Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Cold Touch of Ice by Michael Pearce

Foreign author
Review Courtesy of Bryan Eichner
Series/ Title
Mamur Zapt Mysteries;  A Cold Touch of Ice  by Michael Pearce
Main Characters
Gareth Owen:  The Mamur Zapt- A private investigator the serves as a liason to The British and Egyptian leaders. He is investigating the murder of Sidi Morelli, an Italian citizen living in Egypt.
Egypt in 1912 during The British occupation. Italy has invaded Tripolitania and tensions are high against foreigners.  Public opinion is shifting from tolerance to xenophobia (fear of foreigners) and this shift must be controlled before its supporters have a chance to destroy British/Egyptian relations in the government.
Garreth Owen, The Mamur Zapt  visits Cairo, Egypt because of Mahmoud’s wedding. Local Italian, Sidi Morelli is killed in front of a coffee house on Mahmoud’s street. Gareth and Mahmoud are then sent to investigate the case of Sidi’s death and uncover the truth behind his relationship with the local Egyptians.   Gareth and Mahmoud are also sent to investigate a gun smuggling ring in a Cairo warehouse.
Point of View
Third person, but Gareth and Mahmoud are mentioned the most frequently.
Starts off at a slower pace, but progressively becomes faster as the mystery is revealed. There are some chase scenes as Gareth and Mahmoud pursue suspects for questioning. While the steps in the investigation are noted (research and conversations) they do not take precedence over the thrill of the chase.
Main Character Traits
British, a sharp observer, and fair.  Gareth’s physical traits are rarely touched upon in the book. The Mamur Zapt is very sensitive about issues on sides of both The British and The Egyptian.
 Egyptian culture and language is used in part of the book. Action-oriented
Degree of Violence
One murder. Weapons (knives and guns)
Some light humor
Occasional flirting and fighting. Rated: PG- 13
Special Note:
The reader might want to keep an Arabic/English dictionary handy because some of the words in the book are Arabic terms that are not widely used in The English language. The reader does not have to look at the entire series unless they would like to see Egypt at different points in the 20th century.

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