The Mamur Zapt & The Return of the Carpet

Written by Michael Pearce
Review by Alycia Harris

With the celebration of the Return of the Holy Carpet from Mecca soon to take place, Captain Owen, the Mamur Zapt or head of the Egyptian CID, must navigate tricky political intricacies to figure out who might have nearly assassinated a prominent figure. Meanwhile, political unrest threatens to erupt into terrorist activities as Captain Owen continues to peel back the international layers of society in search of the answers.

If the reader isn’t careful, they’ll start tasting the coffee and feeling the dust of 1908 Cairo. This story is rich with elements that paint a vivid portrait of Egyptian life and politics. In fact, its descriptions of just about every facet of life make the book more interesting than its plot line. Seedy back rooms, steamy baths, crowded shops, coffee houses, etc., all are described in detail and intricately entwined with the politics and personalities of a variety of nationalities and plenty of intrigue.

The book may be uncomfortable for some American readers – it can be a bit dry. Still, this historical mystery/thriller is hard to put down. Readers of mysteries, terrorism, early 20th century Egypt and more will find this book enjoyable. If nothing else, the reader will be momentarily transported to time and place now long gone.