KINGDOM OF STRANGERS by Zoe Ferraris is the third book in what informally might be called the Katya Hijazi series. Set in Jeddah, which is the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia, it provides a glimpse behind the veil, if you will, of one of the world’s most interesting and repressive cultures in the context of a murder mystery.
The novel begins when a random shift of wind uncovers a hitherto unrevealed mass gravesite in the Saudi desert. The investigators called to the scene discover the corpses of 19 women, all of whom have had their hands severed from their bodies. By the time the initial investigation is concluded, it is obvious that