Murder mystery, historical novel, evocation of the differences between the Muslim and the Christian worlds, and indeed between traditional and modernising Muslims - this superb book is all these and more. It is also very relevant post 9/11. In short not to be missed.
Hundreds of years hence men looking at our world through the illustrations we've made won't understand anything. Desiring to take a closer look, yet lacking the patience, they might feel the embarrassment, the joy, the deep pain and pleasure of observation I now feel as I examine the pictures in this freezing Treasury - but they'll never truly know.