The Jeddah Series
Eye-opening, entertaining, award-winning novels
for book lovers everywhere
Literary mysteries that offer an intimate look at life in Saudi Arabia
When sixteen-year old Nouf goes missing, her prominent family calls on Nayir Sharqi, a pious desert guide, to lead the search party. Ten days later, her body is discovered by anonymous travelers. When the coroner's office determines that Nouf died not of dehydration but from drowning, and her family seems suspiciously uninterested in getting at the truth, Nayir takes it upon himself to find out what really happened. He quickly realizes that if he wants to gain access to the hidden world of women, he will have to join forces with Katya Hijazi, a lab worker at the coroner's office who is bold enough to bare her face. Their partnership challenges Nayir, as he confronts his desire for female companionship and the limitations imposed by his beliefs. Fast-paced and utterly transporting, "Finding Nouf" is a riveting literary mystery that offers an unprecedented window into Saudi Arabia and the lives of men and women there.
City of Veils
Women in Saudi Arabia are expected to lead quiet lives circumscribed by Islamic tradition. But Katya Hijazi, one of the few women in the medical examiner's office, is determined to make her work mean something. When the body of a brutally beaten woman is found on a beach in Jeddah, detectives are ready to dismiss the case as another unsolvable murder. Only Katya is convinced that the victim can be identified and her killer found. Katya soon discovers that the dead woman was a young filmmaker named Leila, whose controversial documentaries earned her a few enemies. Was it her connection to an incendiary Koranic scholar or a missing American man that got her killed? "City of Veils" combines a thrilling, fast-paced mystery with a rare and intimate look into women's lives in the Middle East.
Kingdom of Strangers
When a secret grave is unearthed in the Saudi desert, the bodies of nineteen women are discovered and a shocking truth revealed: a serial killer has been operating undetected in Jeddah for more than a decade. As the officials investigate, lead inspector Ibrahim Zahrani and Katya Hijazi, one of the few women in the police force, are drawn into a dark underworld that exploits the most vulnerable members of Saudi society. In the tense, page-turning thriller, award-winning author Zoë Ferraris weaves a tale of psychological suspense around an elusive killer and the sinister forces trafficking in human lives in the Middle East.
"A finely nuanced first novel offering an exceptionally balanced look at male and female perspectives."
"Ferraris offers up a fascinating peek into the lives and minds of devout Muslim men and women while serving up an engrossing mystery ... Highly recommended."
"Beautifully crafted...With intelligence, patience, and meticulous detail, Ferraris evokes a complex culture profoundly ambivalent about female power."
"A first-class police procedural...Ferraris continues her impressive run of crime novels set in Saudi Arabia...Terrific atmosphere and a painless lesson in the religious, social, and sexual mores of Saudi Arabia."
The Times (UK)