A ritualistic murder threatens to destabilise the turbulent multicultural melting pot of suburban Paris.
Kosher sushi, kebabs, a second hand bookshop and a bar: the 19th arrondissement in Paris is a cosmopolitan neighbourhood where multicultural citizens live, love and worship alongside one another. This peace is shattered when Ahmed Taroudant's melancholy daydreams are interrupted by the blood dripping from his upstairs neighbour's brutally mutilated corpse.
The violent murder of Laura Vignole, and the pork joint placed next to her, set imaginations ablaze across the neighborhood, and Ahmed finds himself the prime suspect. However detectives Rachel Kupferstein and Jean Hamelot are not short of leads. What is the connection between a disbanded hip-hop group and the fiery extremist preachers that jostle in the streets for attention? And what is the mysterious new pill that is taking the district by storm?
In this his debut novel, Karim Miské demonstrates a masterful control of setting, as he moves seamlessly between the sensual streets of Paris and the synagogues of New York to reveal the truth behind a horrifying crime.
Born in 1964 in Abidjan to a Mauritanian father and a French mother, Karim Miské grew up in Paris before leaving to study journalism in Dakar. He now lives in France, and is making documentary films on a wide range of subjects including deafness, for which he learned sign language, and the common roots between the Jewish and Islamic religions. Arab Jazz is the author's first novel.
A brilliant debut — Robin Yassin-Kassab, Guardian
Exciting, informative, stimulating, and a little frightening — Marcel Berlins, The Times
Not to be missed — David Platzer, The Tablet
Miske's imaginative geography lies somewhere between the fantasy Belleville of Daniel Pennac..., the strange world of Fred Vargas, and the amoral fantastic of the television series Breaking Bad — Ruth Morse, Times Literary Supplement
Remarkable . . . a debut of notable assurance . . . Proof that French crime fiction is jostling its way to the top of the noir tree — Barry Forshaw, Independent
A brazenly political crime novel for our times, it tackles hard-hitting and topical themes of religious fundamentalism, drugs and urban alienation. With a gift for setting, Miske's narrative twists through the mosques, prayer rooms and synagogues, where street preachers hustle for power, vendors ply their trade and a male and female detective duo are determined to unveil the mystery. — The Lady
Fascinating police procedural that takes on a new dimension after the Charlie Hebdo massacre — The Sun
A poetic take on the traditional noir thriller — Natalie Bowen, Scotsman
'Intelligent and gripping' Tariq Ali. — Tariq Ali
'It's impossible to miss this dramatically contemporary crime novel about new Muslim and Jewish fundamentalists living together in France' Le Point. — Le Point
'Two police officers who could have been invented by Fred Vargas ... an author is born. And it's good news: once he gets going, it won't be easy to catch up with him' L'Express. — L'Express
A debut of notable assurance... Arab Jazz is proof that French crime fiction is jostling its way to the top of the noir tree. — Barry Forshaw, Independent