Title:The Golden Scales
Author: Parker Bilal
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Country: UK - Sudan
Known for his novels about the Sudanese community and Diaspora, British-Sudanese writer Jamal Mahjoub – writing under the pseudonym Parker Bilal – has added a lease of new life to the African detective thriller with his crime fiction debut The Golden Scales.
Makana is an exiled Sudanese former police inspector who lives on a houseboat in Cairo. When Adil Romario, Egypt’s biggest football star, disappears, Hanafi – a business tycoon and owner of Romario’s club – hires Makana to track down the missing striker.
Meanwhile, Liz Markham is back in Cairo looking for her daughter who disappeared 17 years earlier. Former Russian military agent Vronsky says he knows nothing about either disappearance. Can Makana and his unwanted ally Sami, a tenacious journalist, find Romario? And is he even missing?
The Golden Scales is a great introduction to Cairo and to African crime fiction, to be followed up with a good serving of novels by Moussa Konaté and Deon Meyer.
Words: Alex Macbeth