The Mamur Zapt and the Girl in the Nile
The Mamur Zapt and the the Girl in the Nile, fifth in a series that now numbers sixteen, offers all the trappings of espionage tales of an earlier era: hot, lazy days; cool, callously scheming British officials; and the odd lazy or ingratiating native. But then come the subtly contemporary touches. The mamur zapt's, or British secret police chief's, romantic involvement with an independent daughter of the Egyptian upper classes is the most obvious of these.
More intriguing are remarks such as this: "Not only that. He was also the façade which concealed the realities of British power in Egypt." That's not the sort of thing one is likely to find in, say, John Buchan.
Most intriguing, and likely to hit home with a force as fresh as today's headlines, are passing observations like this one about the populace's unease with police, whom they saw "as the agents of either an alien, infidel force (the British) or a dissolute secular power (the Khedive)."
I shall read this series with considerable interest.
© Peter Rozovsky 2008
Egypt crime fiction