Books Reviews by Brenda Repland
Adnan Khalil
Publish Date: 19 Jun 2017

Alhawadeth Media

The Searcher

 

By

 

Christopher Morgan Jones

 

 

  Review by Brenda Repland

 

This is the latest in a series that focuses on a unique London corporate espionage firm headed by Ben Webster and Ike Hammer.  They follow the criminal money wherever it leads – Moscow, Dubai, Kazakhstan – wherever.

 

Webster has traveled to Georgia (the country) for the funeral of a journalist friend who inexplicably committed suicide after publishing the exposé of a lifetime.  Then Webster disappears.

 

In a very timely story about the perils of the former Soviet satellites such as Georgia, (Ukraine etc.) Hammer rushes to Tblisi attempting to track down his partner.  The country is in a state of civil strife with the fear of Russian incursion never too far behind.  Oligarchs and government saboteurs turn it into a dangerously violent place. 

 

Bombs have gone off and everyone is suspect.  Hammer ends up in the middle of a massive riot leaving him wounded and without passport or funds.  He is determined to find Webster but whom can he trust?  Everyone has their own agenda.

 

The author builds the tension as Hammer’s situation becomes increasingly dangerous the closer he gets to finding Webster.  Threats come from all quarters as Georgia spirals out of any semblance of stability.

 

 

Miss Burma

 

By

 

Charmaine Craig

 

 

  Review by Brenda Repland

 

Based on the story of the author’s mother and grandparents, Miss Burma is the picture of one family and their determination to survive in a country torn with strife and civil war.

 

News of the struggles of minorities in (what is now called) Myanmar reaches the West.  But here we have the very embodiment of its effect on the Karen (Ka-REN) as they fight for the cause of their people.

 

Born in Rangoon (now Yangon) and raised in Calcutta, Benny is the grandson of the city’s late rabbi.  When he returns to Burma, he meets and marries Khin, a member of the Karen minority.  Together, they will face the trauma of World War II.  Japanese occupation will force them to flee to the hills (literally).  There, they will barely escape the atrocities of the Japanese military.

 

When civil war strikes, Benny, Khin and their family will be drawn into covert dealings with would-be allies in an effort to secure a place for the country’s minorities.

 

This is a fascinating story and a sobering look at the horrors of civil war and its cause – maniacal nationalism.  You will never again look at Myanmar in the same way. 

 

 

 

The Greek Exodus From Egypt

 

Diaspora Politics and Emigration 1937-1962

 

By

 

Angelos Dalachanis

 

 

 

    Review by Brenda Repland

 

Greeks had been migrating to Egypt from the nineteenth to mid twentieth century.  They came from many different regions of the Balkan Peninsula, Asia Minor and Jews from the Greek islands escaping anti-Semitism).  Their reasons for coming varied but were most often related to overpopulation and unemployment.  (The latter of which would impact their exodus as well.)  They would come to be the largest minority ethnic group in Egypt.

 

This detailed and well-documented history examines the various permutations affecting them.

 

Referred to as “Egyptiot Greeks” or simply “Egyptiots,” they had a psychological attachment to Egypt as well, reminding their adopted country of their mutual ancient histories.   Just one hundred miles from Greece was Alexandria, named after Alexander the Great.  While Egypt classified foreigners as anyone who did not have Egyptian citizenship, the Greeks felt a certain superiority to other foreigners and wished to be considered non-foreigners. 

 

The greatest initial blow to the Greek community was the abolition of foreigners’ privileges (the Capitulations) in 1937 which exempted them from almost all taxes, and from which – it can be argued – they never really recovered. 

 

The political events of this time period all played a role in the life of Greeks in Egypt, among them the Suez Canal crisis, Cyprus, World War II mobilization and ultimately the nationalist revolution of 1952. 

 

Companies were nationalized; quota laws affecting the number of foreigners in any company;  and an evolving more highly educated Egyptian populace all spelled trouble for the Egyptiot labor force.  As these issues escalated, so did their insecurity.  Ultimately, it was just too much to bear for many.  From a high of ca. 70,000 , today there are only 2,000 Egyptiots remaining in Egypt. 

 

Magpie Murders

 

By

 

Anthony Horowitz

 

 

 

  Review by Brenda Repland

 

From the author of Midsomer Murders and Foyle’s War comes this unique stand-alone mystery within a mystery. 

 

Susan Ryeland is the editor for Alan Conway’s mystery series with its investigator Atticus Pűnd.  Very much in the vein of cozy British mysteries set in small English villages, his latest is no exception.  The murder(s) at Pye Hall, a local manor house, set the scene.  However, when Ryeland starts reading this new manuscript, she has an eerie feeling that there are may be a parallel story.  And why are the final two chapters missing?

 

When an apparent suicide appears to be related to the story, the plot thickens. 

 

This is a two-part book.  First is the manuscript of Magpie Murders which concludes in a most ambiguous way.  What follows, in part two, is the even greater mystery of Alan Conway himself.  What’s more, buried in all the riddles he so loved, will be the answer to the story itself. 

 

This is a thoroughly enjoyable whodunit.  You will NOT be able to figure out who the culprit(s) are but you’ll love every minute of trying!

 

 

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