Finding Nouf

Finding Nouf - Zoƫ Ferraris A fairly standard mystery elevated above the norm with its Saudi Arabian setting and thorough look into multiple practices of Islam. The working relationship between Palestinian investigator Nayir Sharqi and forensic scientist Katya Hijazi -- each coming to their religion at different angles -- makes sympathetic players of each argument: the rigid morality (often couched as etiquette) that dictates women hide behind the burqa, and the need for so many to be acknowledged as more than an accessory to male sin. The mystery itself becomes secondary to these larger issues, but Ferraris's characters and her examination of Muslim life, devout or disdained, propel the novel easily.