PARIS 2017. THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE HAS RULED EUROPE FOR OVER 300 YEARS
It has to be really clever thriller Sci-Fi and still fit into my reviews of the Crimefiction genre to appear on BOOK POSTMORTEM. Fantasy doesn’t cut it, so the above blurb had me shaking my head. Well, I sighed, might as well have a look… The Couldn’t put it down cliché applied, big time.
What an imagination! What research! Raymond Khoury, take a bow. I loved this time travel thriller of immense power and intricate what-if intrigue.
Paris, now, in an alternate time-line, sees Kamal Agha, special investigator for the Empire, find his own brother, an anaesthetist in a heart-valve replacement team, and his wife come into the crosshairs of the security services that Kamal serves with distinction.
The tattooed man who appeared naked on the banks of the Seine (and who murdered a passerby) is under the knife, needing a heart op to save his life. His muttered explanation for the meaning of the marks on his body reveals a secret to the anaesthetist that is so dangerous a threat to the Empire that he is forced to flee with his family.
Kamal then must choose between state or family loyalty, if he survives.
What a fabulous tale of how history unfolds, or doesn’t. It is thought provoking as well as tense and action packed. And plausible, once I came to accept the premise of time-travel, which, to begin with, was for me the main stumbling block. But that soon faded and I thoroughly enjoyed this unusual thriller.
Many thanks to Penguin Random House SA for this Michael Joseph imprint ARC.