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Dogstar Rising

(Makana #2)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  315 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Summer, 2001. The mutilated bodies of young boys are turning up in the backstreets of Cairo, and the finger of suspicion is pointing at the city's Coptic community. As Makana, a private investigator who fled his native Sudan a decade ago, watches the embers of religious hatred begin to glow, he has a premonition that history may be about to repeat itself. But for now, Maka ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA (first published February 1st 2013)
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Tessa A great part of the novel takes place along the River Nile: The heliacal rising of Sirius marked the flooding of the Nile in Ancient Egypt and the…moreA great part of the novel takes place along the River Nile: The heliacal rising of Sirius marked the flooding of the Nile in Ancient Egypt and the "dog days" of summer for the ancient Greeks. Sirius is also known colloquially as the "Dog Star". (Wikipedia)(less)
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Community Reviews

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Umut Çalışan
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sudan'da yaşanan İslami darbeden sonra Mısır'a kaçan, kaçarken canından can bırakan, yorgun, yaralı, yüreği buruk kahramanımız Makana yine iş başında. Bu kez kendi gibi sığınmacı olan Talal'ın müstakbel kayın pederine gelen tehdit mektuplarını araştırmak için kiralanıyor. Ancak Makana, ilk başta basit bir vaka gibi görünen mektupları araştırırken, kendini İslami terörist örgütlerin, dinler arası çatışmaların, uluslar arası komplocuların, eski darbecilerin, silah kaçakçılarının ve daha nicelerini ...more
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
If you want to understand the Arab Spring you might want to read these mysteries. Bilal captures the hopelessness that the average Egyptian has about his or her government. Makana, a Sudanese exile, is a good man to have on your side as some urchins and a reporter soon find out. We have street children being killed, tension between Christians and Muslims over the killings-each blaming the other, money laundering via a travel agency which handles Western tourists, and terrorist intrigue involving ...more
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Summer (northern hemisphere), 2001, and religious and political tensions in Egypt form the basis of the second Makana crime novel by Parker Bilal. Whilst there's nothing new in the use of crime fiction as the vehicle for exploring society on the edge, DOGSTAR RISING set, as it is, in that place at that time, provides an illuminating alternative viewpoint. Not automatically that of the "opposing", it is a look at pressures and perspectives from another angle. It's edgy fiction based in a very edg ...more
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Set in Cairo in summer of 2011, shortly before the 9/11 attacks, this is the story of a private detective hired to investigate threatening notes with a religious tone sent to a local travel agency. The detective, Makana, who previously appeared in The Golden Scales: A Makana Mystery, is a former policeman who fled his native Sudan some years previously. He quickly learns that the notes were intended for someone other than the owner of the travel agency but also that the owner has his own reasons ...more
P.D.R. Lindsay
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Book two in a series well worth reading.

An unusual mystery novel set in contemporary Egypt. Young boys are turning up dead and mutilated. In the muddle that is Eygpt's mix of cultures someone is trying to stir up trouble and blame the Coptic Christians.

Investigator Makana, a mystery man from the Sudan, becomes involved when he sees a murder. He finds a thread linking that murder to those of the boys. Suddenly the police and state security services are breathing down his neck and all hell breaks
Aug 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting that the story took place in Egypt and that the author is mid eastern, but aside from that, not so much. Too many characters to keep track of and why do children have to be victims of crazed demonic killers. Aren't they already victims of a sort, powerless? Dependent on the kindness of grown ups?
Paul Batchelour
I won't detail the plot, it's been done previously. I found this quite hard work and very put downable. I just didn't feel particularly engaged with the plot or characters. However it seems I'm in the minority so what do I know.
Christine Van Heertum
Le Caire, été 2001. Les corps mutilés de jeunes garçons sont découverts à intervalles réguliers, attisant les tensions antre les communautés musulmanes et coptes. Makana, détective privé soudanais qui a fui son pays une dizaine d’années plus tôt, est appelé par son neveu pour enquêter sur une lettre de menaces envoyée à son patron, directeur d’une agence de tourisme. Durant ses investigations , Makana fait la connaissance de Meera, une jeune femme qui cache un lourd secret. Lorsque celle-ci est ...more
Jelena Milašinović
The second book in the Makana series is another interesting glimpse into Egypt at the beginning of the 21st century. Parker Bilal masterfully weaves threads of various seemingly unconnected stories into a fascinating tapestry making Dogstar Rising such a tempting read that it's very, very hard to put it down. I loved seeing the characters from the previous instalment coming back in this book, seeing them change and grow. Furthermore, I liked the twists the author puts in the path of the main cha ...more
Het verhaal speelt zich af in Egypte. De detective is een Sudanese vluchteling. Daarmee is het boek in sfeer heel anders dan detectives die ik eerder las. De schrijver weet de geuren en kleuren op straat,en de spanningen die er in de samenleving spelen goed te vangen.

Heel veel personages. Ik was af en toe kwijt wie wie is.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Corruption, crime, poverty and the excess of faith. No, not modern America, but the Egyptian reality of the past many decades. And settling lightly on top of this background is the crime of a young woman gunned down and our expatriot Sudanese police officer trying to figure out which threads belong to which tapestries.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good quick read with interesting background and setting (Cairo, Egypt). Both of the mysteries in this series that I've read now have James Bond type endings that are a bit over the top but good reads.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Not your classic detective story, if you are into Mankells' novels you will probably dislike this
Anneke de Bundel
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Good thriller with a sharp eye for social & political environment of Egypt. Reminds me of the French Izo policiers.
Bree T
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, crime, cultural, egypt, mystery
In the summer of 2001, before the terrorist attacks that rocked America and the globe, Cairo is concerned with the brutal murders of young and homeless boys. The deaths are creating religious tensions between the Muslims and the Coptics, the Egyptian Christians. Further complicating matters is the angel that appears on the rooftop of a nearby building whenever a body is found.

As a favour to the son of an old friend, Makana has paid a visit to the owner of a travel company who believes that he is
Steven Z.
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Periodically we read in a newspaper or hear broadcast news accounts of attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt. The latest and every bit as horrific as others during recent years was in October, 2013 as Egyptian gunmen opened fire on a Coptic Christian wedding in Cairo. “Three people, including a girl aged eight, died when gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on the wedding party outside a Coptic Christian church in Cairo.” (BBC News 21 October, 2013) Some Islamists groups have been targeting Co ...more
Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
As a private investigator, Makana spends a lot of time out in the field. As with the first book in the series The Golden Scales, the readers get a in depth look into the street life of Cairo. It's not only a detective story regarding a threatening letter, but the politics, religion and daily lives of the people of the city itself. We get a deeper look into the friendships and working relationships that were introduced in the first book. Although reading book one is not a requirement to enjoy Dog ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Detective Makana is hired by Farouk Faragalla of Blue Ibis Travel. Makana needs to find out who wrote a threatening letter to the travel agency. Mira, who works as a receptionist at the travel agency, fears that the letter was meant for her. She suspects that someone has found out her real identity. Mira is the wife of Professor Ridwan Hilal, who is accused of blasphemy. Moreover Mira belongs to the Coptic minority; she is a Christian.

The Christian community is currently scapegoat. In Imbaba, a
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I won this title from Goodreads.
Isn't it wonderful when you get a 400 page book that you get so engrossed in that the pages just seem to fly by? Or how bad it is to find yourself with a 240 pager that drags on forever?
Happily, "Dogstar Rising" is of the former quality. (The actual finished page count, I don't know, but this Advance Reader's Copy is so good, I doubt they'll chop it in half!)
Farouk Faragallo is the owner of an Egytian tour company. He receives one letter with a quote from the Qura
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
In his book Parker Bilal creates, in a distant land of historical and theological significance for which many have died for or still die for, an atmosphere with a sense of humour, consequential events, an assortment of characters, amazing sights, lingering local cuisine smells and tastes and exotic sounds,therefore, you cannot look past a Makana Detective Mystery that has it all.
Even the title of the book “Dogstar Rising”, with its mystical definitions, draws in the most curious of intellects wh
May 05, 2013 rated it liked it
THE second Makana Mystery (you need not have read the first one to get into the plot of book #2) revolves around the titular police inspector, in exile from his native Sudan. Now based in Cairo, he offers his services as a private investigator. Employed by the owner of Blue Ibis Tours, a formerly prosperous travel company, to investigate a threatening letter sent to the agency, Makana faces truculent staff and a bookkeeping system that would take 10 years to decipher. Yousef, an employee with st ...more
Rob Kitchin
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
In this second outing for Makana, a refugee cop turned PI from Sudan, Parker Bilal tackles Christian/Muslim sectarianism, rising Islamic radicalism, and state security corruption in Egypt pre-9/11 head on, whilst keeping the mystery element of the story at its core. Dogstar Rising then is very much a religious/political crime thriller but one played out by relatively minor players in the everyday life of the city. That is, it’s not a political Thriller with a big T. While the case relating to th ...more
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A multilayered, beautifully written picture of Cairo in 2001. The sectarian conflicts between Islamists and Coptics are becoming more intense with the murders of several young street boys. Private security forces on both sides are keeping tensions high.

Sudanese exile Makana, a former police inspector turned private investigator, is hired by the owner of a shabby travel agency to find out the source of a threatening letter. An employee of the agency, a Coptic woman, is murdered in the street out
Sarah Beauchamp
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Advanced Copy Winner
There is definitely a strong theological significance in this book that people have given their lives for throughout history. The author went into great detail with the multitude of characters in this book but I often found that to be over kill and I got bored waiting around for the plot to progress. The imagery is extremely vivid but again it made the story a bit long winded for my liking. Additionally, the author has an overuse of similes and metaphors that often felt force
Carla Handley
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is my kind of detective: weighted down by something in his past for which he cannot forgive himself, marvelous deductive skills, clear morals, interesting people skills, intriguing friends. And then, a good story line. The setting is new to me and I enjoy all the Egyptian words that I scurry to look up; with many of those words being the names of native foods I'm looking to find an Egyptian restaurant!

I started the series with this, the second novel, because the first wasn't available to b
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
I received an ARC of this through the publisher (Bloomsbury) via the Goodreads Giveaways - Thanks Bloomsbury! Thanks Goodreads!

This is a well-written mystery with an intricate and skilfully crafted plot. The setting (Cairo/Egypt) adds another layer to the story and serves to give the whole adventure a further air of intrigue. This is a book that grabs the reader right out of the gate and moves swiftly to the conclusion. I was already aware of the Coptic Christian (minority)population in the regi
Simone Sinna
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
The beauty of ebooks- having heard the author speak about his new book I could download The Golden Scales and read that first. I went onto this one directly after.
Dogstar rising continues to follow Makana, a Sudanese refugee in Egypt who was a police officer in Sudan and now works essentially as a private investigator. In this book his past comes back to haunt him and we learn more about the atrocities in the Sudan (the book’s strength) and religious tensions.
Like the first in the series it is
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
The book takes place in Egypt just before Sep 11, 2001. Makana, a former policeman is investigating threatening letters to a travel agency in Cairo. He meets Meera, to whom the letters were actually directed, and learns about government official plots to get rich quick. There are several murders of young boys, and a lot of religious unrest. The Coptics are being accused of the murders. Makana witnesses a brutal murder, and both the police and the gangsters are out to get him. It takes awhile for ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Definitely a cut above the usual mystery as the author does a great job of giving an insight into the complexities of Egyptian culture and society and making it readable. Not even the people living there in this book understand it all, but through the eyes of our hero Makana, it is possible for the reader to get a sense of the place, the people and daily lives. Can our hero be any more dignified and thoughtful? He's everything a detective should be.

I think this is the strongest of the first 3 in
Peter A
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I had not heard of this author until I came upon the book while browsing local independent bookstore, One More Page ( in Falls Church Virginia.

I liked the book on a number of levels. As a mystery it was very good. However it also gave a feel for place, and put the protagonist (Makana) is a difficult bind between the law, military, and other interests. It is also a glimpse into the life / tensions in Cairo.

I look forward to reading another of this author's books.
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Parker Bilal is the pseudonym of Jamal Mahjoub. Mahjoub has published seven critically acclaimed literary novels, which have been widely translated. Born in London, he has lived at various times in the UK, Sudan, Cairo and Denmark. He currently lives in Barcelona.

Other books in the series

Makana (6 books)
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  • The Ghost Runner (Makana, #3)
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  • City of Jackals (Makana, #5)
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