I like reading books that help bring me insight into another culture. This book takes place in Saudi Arabia and the main protagonist is Nayir a desert guide who, although he is Palestinian, has lived in Saudi Arabia so long and has been with and learned so much from the Bedouin that everyone assumes that he is one. Nayir, because of his talent as a desert guide, is friends with Othman, one of the sons of one of the richest and most influential families in Saudi Arabia. When one of Othman's sisters, the Nouf of the title, disappear and apparently ran away into the desert, Nayir is called upon to help in the search.
Unfortunately Nouf is found dead from drowning in the desert and the coroner declares it an accidental death by drowning. It is, of course not that simple (how could drowning in the desert be simple?). Nayir is called upon by Othman to help a private investigator look in the desert for more clues and when the private investigator turns out to be incompetent it's up to Nayir to dig deeper. Nayir is a profoundly religious man so it is hard for him to be around woman and when he (eventually) teams up with a female in the coroners office, Katya, you see his views of woman slowly change. He even starts to understand better how Nayir might want to actually escape her life of luxury on the families private island in the Red Sea.
This is the first in a series and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.