Empire of Lies

Empire of Lies

by Raymond Khoury

Overview: Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past.

Istanbul, 1683: Mehmed IV, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, is preparing to lay siege to Vienna, capital of the Holy Roman Empire, when a mysterious visitor arrives in his bedroom—naked, covered in strange tattoos—to deliver a dangerous, world-changing message.

Paris, 2017: Ottoman flags have been flying over the great city for three hundred years, ever since its fall—along with all of Europe—to the empire’s all-conquering army. Notre Dame has been renamed the Fatih Mosque. Public spaces are segregated by gender. And Kamal Arslan Agha, a feted officer in the sultan’s secret police, is starting to question his orders.

Rumors of an impending war with the Christian Republic of America, attacks by violent extremists, and economic collapse have heightened surveillance and arrests across the empire. Tasked with surveying potential threats, Kamal has a heavy caseload—and conscience.

When a mysterious stranger—naked, covered in strange tattoos—appears on the banks of the Seine, Kamal is called in to investigate. But what he discovers is a secret buried in the empire’s past, a secret the Sultan will do anything to silence. With the mysterious Z Protectorate one step behind, Kamal, together with Nisreen—a fierce human rights lawyer—is caught up in a race across the empire and time itself—a race that could change their world, or destroy it.

Carole Zwicker (11/12/19): Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury is not one of my usual favorite fiction genres but it captivated from the first sentence. This is a thriller dealing with alternate history and time-travel. In 1683, the Ottoman Empire is fighting for the capture of Vienna and, in time, the rest of Europe. The novel also begins in Paris 2017 where the Empire has been ruling for three-hundred years. Kamal works for the special police force and his function is to uncover dissidents and traitors. His sister-in-law, Nisreen, a civil rights lawyer, works for the families of people taken prisoner for unproven crimes. Together, the two will attempt to make a difference in their society. This is a must-read book if you like fast-paced thrillers.. It spans four hundred years of history. It will astound you and invite you to ask “what if”.
Rating: *****

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