The bestselling historical thriller set in the exciting and atmospheric nineteenth-century Istanbul read by Andrew Sachs.
Jason Goodwin studied Byzantine history at Cambridge University and is the author of Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire, among other books of cultural history and travel. He lives in Sussex, England, is married with four children, speaks French and German and once walked to Istanbul from Poland. This is the first of a series of novels featuring Yashim.
A tough new investigator is on the scene, and he happens to be a eunuch. Yashim Togula serves the sultan, who's troubled by a series of murders rocking the Ottoman Empire in the 1830s. Are the Janissaries, elite soldiers-turned-outcast troublemakers, about to return in force? Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Goodwin, the author of a well-received history of the Ottoman Empire, Lords of the Horizons (1999), makes a welcome shift to fiction with this impressive first of a new mystery series set in the empire's declining decades. In 1836, though the corrupt elite troops known as the Janissaries were crushed 10 years earlier, there are ominous signs that their influence still persists in the twisted alleys and secret places of Istanbul. A series of crimes, including the barbaric murders of several soldiers and the theft of some precious jewels, leads eunuch Yashim Togalu to delve into the past in an effort to separate legend from truth. With special access to all areas of the sultan's royal court, Yashim uses his network of contacts to try to solve the crimes. The author, no surprise, does an excellent job of evoking his chosen locale. While his sleuth's character may be less developed than some readers might wish, no doubt Yashim will emerge as a more rounded figure in future entries of what one hopes will be a long-running series. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.