Sunday 6 August 2017

The Place of Shining Light

Finished July 21
The Place of Shining Light by Nazneen Skeikh

This book has suspense, romance, and spiritual enlightenment.
There are several related storylines that the reader follows here. One of them is that of Khalid, a Pakistan antiquities dealer, who steals to order, makes very good fakes, and engages in illegal import and export of art. His wife Sofia loves him very much, but is happy with a simple life, and still cooks all the meals for the household, even when he has numerous guests. Khalid has two sons, one of whom, Hamza, lives overseas and works for the family business from there. The other Hassan, is the apple of Sofia's eye, but a disappointment to Khalid who finds him a playboy who is always asking for financial handouts. Khalid relies on his nephew Faisal as his closest confidante in all business matters.
Adeel is an ex-military officer who has been hired by Khalid to steal a Buddhist statue from Bamiyan (the place of shining light). Adeel is a reliable young man, very close to his mother, who has done work like this before. This time however, the statue causes him to have a spiritual awakening, affecting him in a way he has never felt before. He wants to keep the statue for himself.
Ghalid is a wealthy land-owner, a wannabe politician, with a predilection for young boys and girls, preying on the people of his own village. He is not well-liked locally, partly due to his predation, and partly due to the lack of help he has given the locals over time.
As Khalid tries to track Adeel and the statue when they go missing, he engages both his military contacts that recommended Adeel, and a more criminal element that may have connections to the Taliban.
Adeel is resourceful and has many skills, but when he finds himself joined by a young woman who is looking for a new life, he finds both himself both exasperated and attracted.
An engaging novel with a lot of interesting characters.

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