Suzy 's Reviews > Finding Nouf

Finding Nouf by Zoë Ferraris
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's review
Jul 23, 11

really liked it
Read from July 17 to 23, 2011

Finding Nouf is an engaging mystery with an unusual protagonist in an unusual setting. A 16-yr. old girl from a wealthy philanthropic family in Saudi Arabia disappears. The protagonist--a friend of her brother's who is a desert guide--volunteers to lead one of the search groups that fan out across the desert. It's hard to write about this book without giving anything away (since the first leg of the mystery is solved early on). Suffice it to say that the investigation, carried out by the protagonist and a female morgue technician, is hampered by the strict mores surrounding male female relationships in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the protagonist (I'm writing this on vacation and can't remember his name) is himself a devout adherent to these mores. The interesting subplot here is the transformation that takes place in him as he is at first forced into working with the female lab tech (also the fiancee of the aforementioned friend/brother). I thought his paradigm change was very artfully and realistically wrought by the author. Also, the mystery keeps you guessing all the way through--something else artful about the novel. Kudos to Zoe Ferraris, who looks quite young, and who is the ex-wife of a Saudi and lived there with her husband's family for a time.

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