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A sudden bullet pierces the pungent dust that permeates Cairo. The victim is a bookkeeper called Fairclough; he has been shot at from behind while riding home on his donkey, though not badly hurt. Hardly cause for alarm, thinks Cadwallader Owen, better known as the Mamur Zapt, or head of Cairo's Secret Police. After all, Fairclough is with Customs. And in 1909 British-ruled Cairo, Customs is the lowest of all departments. But Owen's nonchalance is soon shattered as unexpected, bloody violence shakes Cairo's crowded bazaars and bustling thoroughfares. Then, scores of frightened British and Egyptian civil servants flood the police with complaints of pursuit by unknown men. Finally, on a dank back street, Owen himself is followed and nearly attacked by two shadowy characters in European dress. Is this a reign of terror to undermine British rule? Or is it a personal vendetta? The Mamur Zapt is determined to uncover the truth. It is a dangerous mission that will take him through Cairo's darkest alleys, into its loudest, bawdiest district, and out to a fearfully remote desert village. Dodging wild bombs and stray bullets, the Mamur Zapt desperately strives to preserve the law...and his own life. But to do so he must find answers to mystifying questions. Who are these would-be assailants who stalk their victims so cunningly? Who are the deadly "men behind"?
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Michael Pearce was raised in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, where his fascination for language began. He later trained as a Russian interpreter but moved away from languages to follow an academic career, first as a lecturer in English and the History of Ideas, and then as an administrator. Michael Pearce now lives in London and is best known as the author of the award-winning Mamur Zapt books.From Publishers Weekly:
As head of the British secret police in Cairo in 1908, Captain Cadwallader Owen is called the Mamur Zapt. In his fourth appearance (after The Mamur Zapt and the Donkey-Vous ), Owen receives complaints from a spate of English visitors and Egyptians that they are being followed; then a Customs Department official is shot at. Owen is reluctant to mount a full-scale investigation, however, because of current political unrest: the previous government has recently fallen and the Khedive, Egypt's hereditary ruler, has yet to name a new cabinet. After entertaining a man named Roper who has come to look at old emerald mines as a possible investment, Owen is faced with the death of two students killed when a bomb explodes in a cafe. While still uncertain whether the bombing and the shootings are political or personal, Owen learns of another bombing outside Hamada near the mines Roper is inspecting. Only by traveling to the edge of the desert can Owen unravel the forces and motivations behind the killings. Pearce deftly captures the intertwined political, cultural and religious tensions of his colorful locale and turbulent period.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Warner, 1993. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0006472664