Author: E.M. ALI


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In the Summer of 1959, the body of a visiting Italian businessman is found in Malta’s famous “Silent City”, officially known as Mdina. The apparent cause of death is trauma to the neck and the deceased’s friend is soon arrested, but foul play is suspected by a member of Malta’s local constabulary and by the doctor in charge of the autopsy. 

Malta being a British province, Detective Superintendent Roderick Urquhart, who works for Special Investigations Branch of the Royal Military Police, is summoned.

What unravels is not only a plot to commit murder in order to cover up a war crime committed in Sicily during the Second World War but also an attempt to cover up the real murderer by pinning the crime on an innocent man.

I lived in the island of Malta between 1977 and 1990. The story that I wrote is based in Malta in the year 1959. I have a passion for reading History and English Literature and spend the rest of my time taking long walks or runs in the countryside. I have a full-time occupation in the customer service industry and am married with three children. I currently reside in Toronto, Canada.

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All Book Reviews

Highly recommended short novel!

A very impressive read, especially considering that this is Ali's first foray into writing. He has obviously devoured many fictional detective stories and this is very evident from his style of writing. He also draws on his extensive knowledge of history, making references to incidents and names that connect to the Crusades, Malta's history, pre-Revolutionary Iran, World War II, etc. At the same time, such background information and knowledge is not necessary for the reader to be able to follow the plot itself. The level of Ali's English, however, might pose a stumbling block to younger readers or for those whose first language is not English; a strong grasp of English prose on the part of the reader will be helpful. On the whole, I would highly recommend this book.

by Sadat Anwar

A thoroughly good read - highly recommended!

Set in late 1950s Malta, E. M. Ali's first foray into crime fiction weaves a rich and delightful tale of murder, dark wartime secrets and intrigue. The small Mediterranean island, with its multi-layered history, colourful locals and sun-drenched seaside landscape provides the perfect foil for its 'English toff' co-protagonists, namely the formidable Chief Inspector Roderick Urquhart and his sidekick, ex-serviceman Archibald Linton. Punctuated by darts of dry humour, splashes of WWII history, twists, turns, and more than one red herring, Ali's beautifully-written and erudite prose paints a gallery of villains and good guys who are anything but black-and-white, and who lead us down a suspenseful path of discovery - not only to reveal 'whodunit', but also to unravel the complicated tangled web underlying the mystery.

by G. C.

Features & Details

Black & White

Pages: 132 | Trim Size: 6x9

Genre: Fiction

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