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Devil's Tumble-bookcover

By: Eben Beukes

Devil's Tumble

Pages: 231 Ratings:
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The Scud missile did not bring the dreaded sarin gas but it did point the way to the first dead body. The first in a trail of blood that would lead Kuwaiti homicide detective Riad al Ajmi from the world of the rich to the slums of the underworld as a war rages on the horizon and old wounds are opened once more. Kuwait City, March 2003. The Iraq War—the city swarming with American troops as refugees start streaming in, bringing with them tales of horror. Some going all the way back to the earlier rape of the city and uncovering old secrets—terrible secrets—that some would do anything to keep hidden.

Even murder.

Then there’s the ritualistic slaughter of a young nurse at Kuwait’s Armed Forces Hospital, the killer dressed in the Class A uniform of a ranking American officer—shades of a serial killer previously encountered in Seoul.

Enter CWO Sally Kendrick and WO Troy DuBois, American Military Police CID, flown in to find this killer before it threatens to spill into the realm of civilian Kuwait, straining the uneasy relationship between host city and foreign troops.

A second murder on the military compound raises the possibility of Kuwaiti involvement and soon the duo find themselves working with a reluctant Riad, who prefers to do things his way, which is not quite the army’s way. As the body count mounts, the scene is complicated by the unexpected arrival of Riad’s uncle, the scion of a well-known Lebanese crime family. What is he doing there? How did he even manage to get into a city in total lockdown? Could he be linked to what was happening on that hospital compound and on the streets of the city?

Still struggling to deal with the violent death of his wife at the hands of a jihadist, leaving him the sole carer for a young daughter, Riad finds himself drawn into the circles of the city’s rich and the arms of a sultry seductress, whose motives might just hold the key to the biggest secret of all.

As the hunter becomes the hunted, this fast-moving thriller builds to a shattering climax, where Riad faces the fine line between the law and that most elusive entity of all—justice.

A surgeon, Eben Beukes is the author of several novels, details of which can be found on the website:

Seven years living in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait City have provided the background for the Riad Ajmi crime novels.

He lives with his wife, Ruby, in Mount Gambier, South Australia.

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