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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Layover in Dubai Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 13, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (July 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307268381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307268389
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,150,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in Dubai, Fesperman's listless, dialogue-heavy thriller concerns an American businessman, Sam Keller, who gets tangled up in competing criminal interests following the murder of a colleague. An auditor for a giant pharmaceutical company, Sam spends most of his time on the run, trying to avoid capture by either corrupt cops, Russian mobsters, or officials from his own company who have their own reasons for wanting him to fall off the radar. Sam is aided by possibly the one honest cop in Dubai, Anwar Sharaf, who quickly finds himself fleeing Sam's enemies, too. Fesperman (The Arms Maker of Berlin) does an admirable job of describing life in Dubai, a capitalistic freefor-all deeply troubled by the conflict between Western culture and religious tradition, but the plot falters early and quickly peters out. Anwar's cultural ambivalence and passion for justice provide spark, but Sam's wide-eyed, plain vanilla sensibility snuffs it out.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Sam Keller, an auditor for pharmaceutical giant Pfluger Klaxon, is in Dubai, traveling with a colleague who has a reputation for indulging himself on the road. Indeed, “St. Sam” has been charged by Nanette Weaver, VP for corporate security, with shadowing his partner and reporting back to her. So, when the partner is murdered in a Dubai brothel, Sam knows he has a problem, but he doesn't have any idea how big. He's soon targeted by crooked cops, Russian mobsters, a bent diplomat, and some corporate sharks; his best hope is Anwar Sharaf, a frumpy Dubai police lieutenant who is distracted by his emirate's headlong leap into slapdash modernity and by his strong-willed, liberated daughter, Laleh. Sam, Anwar, and Laleh are pleasingly conflicted characters ill-prepared for derring-do, but Fesperman makes Dubai his book's finest character. Fabulous wealth and opulence grind like tectonic plates against traditional Muslim culture, foreign workers outnumber “emiratis” by nine to one, and rival clans still plot against each other. Layover in Dubai has plenty of action, but it's Fesperman's portrait of a truly bizarre place that will captivate readers. --Thomas Gaughan

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Great characters and insights.
Bob in VA
Maybe some of it will make more sense by the end of the book, but I don't think I'm going to stick around to see it.
Knerrd
Mostly, this book is a lot of fun!
D. Yancey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Road weary American auditor Sam Keller is in his twentieth nation as an employee of Pfluger Klaxon. He and his business companion Charlie Hatcher are in Dubai when the latter is murdered. Although Sam vomits twice at the sight of the blown away Charlie, the cops believe he is the killer so he flees rather than take his chances on Middle East justice even if Dubai is a very westernized center.

He soon finds the Russian Mafia and his own pharmaceutical company want him dead. Dubai police officer Anwar Sharaf believes the American is innocent as the alleged motive fails to hold up under minor scrutiny. However, his investigation leads to him on run from his corrupt peers, the Russians and the hired guns of Sam's firm.

This is an exciting over the top of the Burj Khalifa as the audience gets a close up look at perhaps the most capitalist center in the world conflicted between money and religious beliefs. Fast-paced, Sharaf makes the tale work as he rejects the mainstream bias news, jealous peers and deadly others who threaten his loved ones to insure the right people are arrested. Sam pales in comparison to him during his Layover in Dubai.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Candy Baker on September 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Layover in Dubai" was certainly the best book of the summer. It kept me guessing until the last few pages. As a past resident of the Arabian Gulf, I can attest to the fact that the author had his cultural facts straight and it was clear he has been to the Gulf or had an editor who knows the region personally. I give this book a top rating and recommend it to all mystery/murder fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Yancey on September 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author lived several weeks in Dubai researching this book. Gives you a feeling for Dubai and to some extent the importance of personal relationships in doing business in the UAE. Mostly, this book is a lot of fun! Informative and entertaining!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Pushed 60 on August 13, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked it but not to the point of a whole-hearted endorsement. The plot was somewhat contrived but following the story through the streets of Dubai and the desert kept my interest. I could never figure out whether this was a tale of corporate greed, prostitution or government corruption. Take it to beach but don't expect anything unusual.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Harnett VINE VOICE on October 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Thriller writer Fesperman has a gift for conveying a sense of place, from the smells and sights and sounds to a real understanding of the way another culture's rules work and the conflicts that erupt between tradition and modernity.

He has set his exceptional books in hot spots all over the world, most notably war-torn Sarajevo (Lie in the Dark, The Small Boat of Great Sorrows), Gitmo (The Prisoner of Guantanamo), the Middle-East (The Amateur Spy), and Afghanistan (The Warlord's Son).

His latest is set in Dubai, capitalism's capital of the world, which doesn't have quite the same epic sense of history. What it does have is a glittering surface over a soft underbelly of corruption into which Fesperman adroitly burrows.

His American protagonist is Sam Keller, an auditor for Pfluger Klaxon, a giant pharmaceutical company. Once something of a daredevil, Keller has trained himself to toe the line. The attractive and intimidating head of corporate security has sent him to Dubai to let loose a little - and keep an eye on a colleague with a reputation for women and booze.

Keller isn't particularly comfortable with the assignment but he's a lot less comfortable when his co-worker ends up murdered in one of Dubai's cheaper brothels.

Keller then has to navigate the police - first a mix of Egyptian, Sudanese and Jordanian underlings, then the smooth-talking Lt. Assad and, finally, the rumpled Anwar Sharaf, a Dubai native who finds himself overwhelmed by the pace of modernization and in constant conflict with his headstrong and beloved daughter Amina.

Keller and Sharaf form an uneasy alliance as the murder becomes more complicated, and witnesses begin turning up dead.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ania on January 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book, not only for its detective type story but also interesting references to Dubai and its culture. It was really exciting to read about a faraway place with cultural references that described a place I have never been to. Perhaps the story is not 100% plausible, but this is fiction and I found myself liking the bits of luck along the way. I enjoyed it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Emanuel VINE VOICE on September 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book with some reservations which I shall explain later. Unlike some of the reviewers here (eg HK) I have actually read it and enjoyed it.

The ostensible protagonist Sam Keller, an auditor for a pharmaceutical company, finds himself sent on a side-trip to Dubai to keep tabs on a workmate, who promptly becomes a corpse. The rest of the book is concerned with how Sam extricates from this situation as well as determining who was behind the murder and for what reason.

Unusually, Sam is really not the central character of the book. Arguably, there are 3 or 4 central characters - Sam, his deceased workmate Charley, the inevitable cop Lt Anwar Sharaf and his libertine (by Dubai standards) daughter Laleh.

Sharaf is a likeable savvy cop stuck in the frontlines of an investigation with obscure connections that go all the way up. In some ways, he is a little like Inspector Chen in "Death of a Red Heroine" but with considerably more moxie. As we see the investigation through his and other character's eyes we get to learn a lot about that bizarre fly-speck called Dubai. (I have to confess that I've never been there. However, I've always been interested in the place ever since the days 40 years ago when I used to play foosball at the Bun Shop in Cambridge with Sheik Mohammed's brother, Peter.)

The Sharaf family character development is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the novel. If anything Sam is something of an innocent and passive bystander until the less than satisfactory action that concludes the book. I see the possibility of a sequel involving at least 2 of the surviving characters either in Dubai or in the USA.

What did I find weakest about this book?
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