Hands Across The Sky
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At the cusp of quitting his San Francisco position to start up his own tech business, computer scientist Ezra Quinn unexpectedly accepts a lucrative offer in surveillance technology at Azure Oasis in Dubai. Alif Zaher, the founder of the little-known company, assures Quinn that it is committed to using the latest technological advances to assist governments in keeping the peace. Regardless, Quinn learns that the project he’s assigned to is designed to target peaceful student demonstrators. Intending to get word out to the students before they’re attacked by the secret police, Quinn is unaware of the flurry of events that will change his life when his covert plans are interrupted.
Rising author Andrew John Schmitz spins an unnerving story set in the heart of the Middle East. Schmitz opens his debut novel with San Francisco scenes before quickly shifting over to the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Featuring Ezra Quinn, Schmitz surrounds his principal character with a unique cast that mimics the societal traditions of Dubai and Cairo. A colorful mix of supporting and foiled characters, Schmitz includes those who fit within an array of classifications—rich, poor, racial, and religious. Particularly distinctive to his cast—and entering later into the story, is an ethno-religious group called the Yazidis.
Amid the high-tech secrecy, Schmitz focuses on unusual relationships. One such example is when Quinn befriends a Sudanese tailor named Tarek. While the combination may not seem out of place, in Middle Eastern tradition, Egyptians do not normally associate with those of a darker race, and as a result Tarek does not share meal times with the other co-workers. This doesn’t stop Quinn, who genuinely desires to get to know this quiet gentleman. Another great example is Leila al-Seifi, Quinn’s lover, who plays a pivotal role both in the development of Quinn’s character and Schmitz’ plot.
Replete with descriptions of all things Middle Eastern—food, customs, dress, geography—and plenty of unexpected twists and turns, Hands Across the Sky is a gripping, enlightening, and informational read!
|Deep Theory Press
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller