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John Bowen

A Mesopotamian adventure.

Footprints in the Desert: A Novel (The Nero Wolfe Mysteries) - Maha Akhtar
This is Maha Akhtar's second book, but the first to be available in English. It is an historical novel about the war in Mesopotamia towards the end of the Ottoman Empire, with a couple of guest appearances by Lawrence of Arabia.
Wikkipedia defines Mesopotamia as "The area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, the northeastern section of Syria and to a much lesser extent southeastern Turkey and smaller parts of southwestern Iran."
I have read a number of novels set in this area but this one felt quite different, being written from the Arab perspective.

I enjoyed the interaction between the women who supported and cared for each other while their men fought and died for their beliefs. I was less enthusiastic about the somewhat crazy adventures that the men pursued, These journeys seemed to involve a large element of chance and this started to become irritating. One example that comes to mind was the regular appearance of the sea captain Musa Nair, like a genie who appeared whenever he was needed.
The descriptions of Cairo were excellent and the underground tunnels were fascinating. This was where the book excelled.

The adventure itself had me wanting to pick the book up but the number of convenient coincidences started to get a bit irritating and I felt the author had a bit of an agenda.
I would imagine this book would appeal to readers who enjoy romance and adventure, and lovers of historical fiction, but for my taste I think it needed a bit more detail to make the events feel less random.