Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Prophet Murders-Mehmet Murat Somer

The Prophet Murders
Mehmet Murat Somer
Serpent's Tail, Dec 2008, $14.95
ISBN: 9781846686337

In Istanbul, the nightclub owner is depressed to learn of the murder of a transvestite and of the stance of police commissioner Selcuk Tanyer who admits his detective team has no lead and appears to be conducting a limited investigation at best. The nameless club owner being part of the small underground transvestite community is appalled and makes a few inquiries amongst his peers.

He quickly learns that a serial killer is murdering transvestites who use the names of the Prophets. The amateur sleuth also finds out that the homicides are rituals in honor of the Prophet. With the help of an insider in the police force and chatroom member Jihad2000, the club owner prepares to catch the serial killer.

The graphic murders and the solid amateur sleuthing are well written and entertaining in this translation from Turkish of the Mehmet Murat Somer's Hop-Ciki-Yaya saga. However, the Istanbul underground lifestyle steals the show starting with the nameless nightclub owner and his guided tour of a rarely seen side of Turkey. Fans who appreciate something different and have strong stomachs will enjoy this engaging fresh look at the streets of Istanbul.

Harriet Klausner