cover image Brother Kemal: A Kayankaya Thriller

Brother Kemal: A Kayankaya Thriller

Jakob Arjouni, Trans. from the German by Anthea Bell. Melville International Crime, $15.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-61219-275-8

Spot-on and often beautiful descriptions distinguish the fifth and final Kemal Kayankaya thriller (after Kismet) from Arjouni (1964%E2%80%932013), in which the Turkish-German PI tackles the Frankfurt underworld%E2%80%94as well as the Frankfurt book world. One day, seductive and rich Valerie de Chavannes calls Kemal to her villa with an urgent job: her 16-year-old daughter, Marieke, has gone missing, kidnapped (she believes) by an older man who claims to be a political photographer. At the suspect's apartment, Kemal finds the traumatized Marieke, ties up the girl's captor, and constructs an elaborate blackmail scheme to ensure her safety. This brash tactic will send ripples through the underworld, piquing the fury of criminal kingpin Sheik Hakim. In a separate assignment, Kemal signs up to protect Malik Rashid, a boisterous Moroccan writer in town for the Frankfurt Book Fair whose new novel has caused outrage in the Arab world. With a shoot-first-think-later ethos, Kayankaya blasts his way out of snafus with the same bravado that got him there in the first place. Although Arjouni (the nom de plume of Jakob Bothe) professed to care more about his literary fiction, fans of his crime novels will be grateful that he chose to bring back the ruthless Kayankaya for one last raucous outing before his untimely passing earlier this year. Publishing professionals will relish the author's cockeyed view of the Frankfurt Book Fair and its attendees. (Sept.)