The Golden Scales: A Makana Mystery

Parker Bilal. Bloomsbury, $25 (416p) ISBN 978-1-60819-794-1
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Bilal (Traveling with Djinns) deftly weaves past and present in this complex and compelling mystery set in 1998 Cairo. When corrupt and devious tycoon Saad Hanafi asks PI Makana to find Adil Romario, Hanafi’s missing star soccer player, the trail leads to a closely intertwined group of sleazy film directors, disillusioned starlets, Russian mobsters, and assorted crime lords. Further investigation shows that some of Makana’s unsavory and violent contacts have ties going back decades and may even have been involved in the unsolved disappearance of a four-year-old English girl 17 years earlier and the present-day torture and murder of her mother. The details of the case resonate with Makana’s own tragic past. Despite almost constant verbal and physical assault, the tenacious Makana persists in his interviews, with his chances of staying alive dwindling with each one. Wonderfully detailed, the narrative reveals Cairo as teeming, chaotic, and ungovernable. One looks forward to the sequel. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/07/2011
Release date: 01/31/2012
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-1-4088-3036-9
Paperback - 397 pages - 978-1-4088-2489-4
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-60819-795-8
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-1-60819-796-5
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