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by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
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  • Author:
    Jon Courtenay Grimwood
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    Spectra; Advance Reading Copy edition (December 27, 2005)
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    384 pages
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Arabesk Book 03. Jon Courtenay Grimwood.

FELAHEEN Arabesk Book 03 Jon Courtenay Grimwood For Jamie CG, Sam B and for my father, who has lived many of the things I only write about. I owe you all, as ever. Since the prince needs to play the animal he chooses among the beasts the fox and the lion, because the lion cannot protect itself from snares and the fox cannot protect itself from wolves. Therefore the prince must be a fox to recognize traps and a lion to frighten the wolves. Arabesk Book 03. For Jamie CG, Sam B and for my father, who has lived many of the things I only write about.

Felaheen (Grimwood Jon Courtenay). 11th March CHAPTER 44 Friday 11th March CHAPTER 45 Friday 11th–Sunday 13th March CHAPTER 46 Saturday 12th March CHAPTER 47 Monday 14th March CHAPTER 48 Tuesday 15th March CHAPTER 49 Tuesday 15th March CHAPTER 50 Thursday 17th March CHAPTER 51 Thursday 17th March CHAPTER 52 Saturday 19th March CHAPTER 53 Saturday.

Jon Courtenay Grimwood lives in England. The third book in his acclaimed "Arabesk" series, FELAHEEN, won the 2003 British Science Fiction Association Award, appeared on Locus Magazine's 2003 Recommended Reading List, and appeared on SFSite's Best of 2003 list.

About Jon Courtenay Grimwood: 'Tough, sexy and brutal . Jon Courtenay Grimwood was born in Malta and christened in the upturned bell of a ship. So did his last book, End of the World Blues, about a British sniper on the run from Iraq and running an Irish bar in Tokyo.

About Jon Courtenay Grimwood: 'Tough, sexy and brutal, but leavened with sharp humour. Grimwood is a name to watch. The TimesJon Courtenay Grimwood. He grew up in the Far East, Britain and Scandinavia. Apart from novels he writes for magazines and newspapers.

Felaheen : the third Arabesk. by. Grimwood, Jon Courtenay. New York : Bantam Books. inlibrary; printdisabled; ; china.

Grimwood Jon Courtenay. Pashazade Arabesk 01 Jon Courtenay Grimwood For the girl with red hair standing in the cold under the bridge at Waterloo and for the lead guitarist with the Sepuku Chihuahuas. Same as it ever wa. However many ways there may be of being alive, it is certain that there are vastly more ways of being dead. For the girl with red hair standing in the cold under the bridge at Waterloo and for the lead guitarist with the Sepuku Chihuahuas.

Jon Courtenay Grimwood (born 1953 in Valletta, Malta) is a Maltese born British science fiction and fantasy author. He writes also as Jonathan Grimwood (literary fiction) and Jack Grimwood (crime fiction and thrillers)

Jon Courtenay Grimwood (born 1953 in Valletta, Malta) is a Maltese born British science fiction and fantasy author. He writes also as Jonathan Grimwood (literary fiction) and Jack Grimwood (crime fiction and thrillers). Grimwood was born in 1953 in Valletta, Malta, grew up in Malta, Britain, Southeast Asia and Norway in the 1960s and 1970s.

“Fast, furious, fun and elegant, the Arabesk trilogy is one of the best things to hit the bookstores in a while.”—SF Revu In a world where secrets kill, an ex-cop discovers he’s got the biggest secret of all. . . .  Set in a 21st-century Ottoman Empire, Jon Courtenay Grimwood’s acclaimed Arabesk series is a noir action-thriller with an exotic twist. Here an ex-cop with nothing to lose finds himself on the trail of a man he doesn’t believe in: his father. Ashraf Bey has been a lot of things—and most of them illegal. Now, having resigned as El Iskandryia’s Chief of Detectives, he’s taking stock of his life and there’s not much: a mistress he’s never made love to, a niece everyone thinks is mentally incompetent, and a credit card bill rising towards infinity. With a revolt breaking out across North Africa, the world seems to be racing Raf straight to hell. The last thing he needs is a father he’s never known. But when the old Emir’s security chief requests that Raf come out of retirement to investigate an assassination attempt on His Excellency, that’s exactly what Raf gets. Now, disguised as an itinerant laborer, Raf goes underground to discover a man—and a past—he never knew . . . and won’t survive again. “Felaheen is SF at its most inventive.” –Guardian

The final book in the trilogy is as good as the first three with even more bits and pieces of the characters coming into light in this oddly absurd world of north Africa with an alternative Ottoman Empire history in the late 20th century. Fascinating characters with, one could say, 25 shades of grey making up the different aspects of their being. The finale had me on the edge of my seat - would he survive?
Having enjoyed the first 2 I was waiting for this one.It didn't disappoint,fast moving and continuing on.If you havent read the others I think you won't make heads or tails of it but as a set great.An original idea with Arabic tones but not religious was interesting.
And its one more time for our mysterious man with mysterious abilities and a mysterious past to go along with all that mystery! So far in the life of Ashray Bey we've seen him solve a murder and become Chief of Detectives, become Governor of the city of El Iskandryia without having solved a murder and then once the murders were solved give up pretty much every job to become a bum who lives with a woman who wants to be his girlfriend but won't because of reasons while he slowly runs out of money even though he's rich. Or she is. Or the nine year old child he's raising is. Boy, it sounds like someone's life could use a distraction or two.

Fortunately that vaguely mysterious past decides to come in handy when his reputed father the Emir of Tunis almost gets assassinated via technique straight out of a James Bond movie. He's been told all along its his real dad but since his mother was a trouble causing do gooder (or something of the sort) that knew how to have a good time, it was entirely his father was someone else. It hardly matters because the Emir wants his help anyway despite his track record being . . . not real solid (its high profile but you could probably make a case he's more lucky than smart). Which means Ashraf has to go undercover. Without telling anyone. So cue the little kid getting into the act!

My biggest complaint about this series so far has been how goshdarn opaque the plotting seems at times, tangled like a snake orgy and at times just as slow moving in its revelations. As with the last book the premise should be fairly clear cut, with the "someone wants to kill the Emir and needs to be stopped before they do" premise one that would presumably nicely dovetail with the politics of its alternate history. But it . . . doesn't quite go that way. The Emir has two other sons that would both like his job and then there's odd man out Ashraf and from there things start to get murky.

What helps is that the actual reading of the book is as entertaining as ever. Ashraf is both smart and dense, although in this book his niece Hani almost steals the show. She's been a highlight in the other two books, a fiendishly smart child with very little in the way of social skills (or at least worse than most little kids) but pretty good with computers and survival. With Ashraf undercover and sidelined for a good chunk of the book, she gets center stage and the book is the better for it. Grimwood writes a surprisingly effective child, by turns sentimental and standoffish the way that kids are, moody and friendly and not very good at fitting in with people she doesn't know. Her characterization balances out Ashraf's sometimes lack of presence and his confusion at her antics does go a long way toward mitigating how oblique the plot can be.

He also intersperses the actual plot with flashback scenes of Bey's mother's life before she had him, her travails and hijinks, which wind up being a long version of "How I Maybe Met the Man Who Might Be Your Father". It was nice to see but it didn't feel as relevant as the flashbacks to Zara's dad's war-crimey past did in the second book.

Evne with all the setup though when the actual plot starts to climax it all starts to congeeal into a slight mess when a lot of important action seems to take place off screen, leaving the reader feeling with the constant sense they've missed something important and having to play catch-up or just triggering rounds of confusion as it becomes unclear what everyone is doing and why. Soldiers are chasing people, Hani is with another kid trying to escape, Ashraf is popping up randomly also trying not to get killed . . . and then suddenly its over and there's a wedding. Yay? A lot of stuff seems to happen that we're not privy to (including the resolution of Zara and Ashraf's non-romance . . . she's barely a presence in this book) and if not for the decent action sequences and Hani's charm it would be a bit of a perplexing read. I know I read and maybe don't catch everything but I kept skimming back thinking I had let some important detail flash by me and . . . either I need a refresher course in basic reading or they're well hidden.

Its an interesting series, all told, one that was an entertaining read but never seemed to live up to its promises . . . an alternate history with a solid diversion point it never really made the case that it was a radically different world and despite flirting with a wider view, it never fully delved into the broader alliances and conflicts. It also seemingly wanted to be a Chandleresque mystery series at time and while Grimwood's prose could be up to the task he never had a really strong character in Ashraf Bey to communicate any kind of worldview beyond wanting to stay out of trouble. Even the "fox" in his head and his ill-defined combat abilities were kind of just . . . there. It winds up being a bunch of elements of stories that I like that somehow failed to fuse into an amalgamation that was more than the sum of its parts. I'd read about the continuing adventures of his niece, though, so make of that what you will.
The assassination attempt using a poisonous snake could have come from anyone who had access to Emir Moncef. The viper bites his calf, but he survives because his twelve year old son witnessed the incident and screamed for help. His wife and his heir believe the obvious culprit is either a family member, an un-loyal servant, or another member of the inner retinue. However, an unrecognized son by a different woman Kashif Pasha believes the NR is behind the assault.

To protect the Emir and to uncover the assassin, former cop turned private investigator Ashraf Bey, who may be another unacknowledged offspring of the prolific Emir is hired. The genetically altered Ashraf struggles to uncover who wants the Emir dead; he leans towards the North African rebellion as the source so he goes undercover as a laborer in the lair of the enemy the metropolis of El Iskandryia while his maybe ten years old niece Hana al-Mansour better known as Hani decides to become Uncle Raf's "apprentice".

The Third Arabesk alternate history Ottoman Empire Noir (see PASHAZADE AND EFFENDI) is a terrific who-done-it starring a fabulous hard boiled sleuth who is softened by his niece. The story paints quite a vivid picture of a world in which the Ottoman Empire still exists in the twenty-first century. The complex sty line takes the audience all over from Manhattan to the Ifriqiy Desert to El Iskandryia and elsewhere without missing a beat so that the reader knows this is the real stuff. Reading the previous novels would be worth the effort as they are amongst the best in the sub-genre, Jon Courtenay Grimwood cleverly intertwines the key elements into this excellent entry. FELAHEEN makes three winners in a row.

Harriet Klausner
A wild tapestry of a thoroughly enjoyable story. There are elements of sci-fi, alternate history, fantasy, mystery, quest, fairy tale and more. The hard-boiled tagging of this book shouldn't put off readers who don't usually incline to that breed of book -- it's our hero's will more than any beat-em-up and leave-em-dying that's really hard-boiled. There is violence, but it's neither excessive or gratuitous.

The warp-speed tale is colorful, incredibly convoluted and quick, and challenging: you've got to stop every so often to figure out if you've kept up with all the inferences and developments. With all this, there's more than a sprinkling of dry humour and sarcasm to whet the sharpness of this tale. And if you want to see a really hot and hellish restaurant kitchen, this is the place.

Despite the alternate history aspects - the Ottoman Empire and Imperial Germany still exist - this is a recognizable modern world, advanced technology, bio-medical tinkering (one fantasy element), and the contemporary range of mores we are now familiar with in the Muslim world.

A final note - I was pleasantly surprised that this not a travelogue with action thrown around some famous sites. It takes place where it needs to. Not a pyramid or sphinx in sight, but wonderful dramatic support from the deserts, kitchens as noted already, and boulevards.

An altogether breathless and entertaining experience.