The Night Of The Mi’raj
Let’s first admire this beautiful cover of the book which attracted me to pick it off the shelf in the first place. Secondly, I was under the impression that this would be about the Miracle of Mi’raj, but it’s not. It’s a fiction novel regarding a murder mystery.
The title is derived from the literal meaning of Mi’raj as “the night of revelation”. A teenage girl from a wealthy Saudi family disappears from the house labelled as a runaway. The family is frantic to find her whereabouts. They reach out to Nayir, a trusted family friend and a desert expert. Nayir is diligently following the leads in the desert until the news of Nouf’s death reaches him. When he goes to collect the dead body from Jeddah he meets Katya Hijazi, a forensic specialist. She’s fiancee of Nouf’s brother, Othman. It’s there that Nayir finds out the actual truth. It’s not a death by accident but in fact she was murdered. Hence it starts a very interesting murder investigation in which Nayir and Katya work as partners to uncover the truth.
Murder mystery is my favourite genre in fiction. I have read many novels and watched many movies/seasons on this theme. Usually I am pretty good at guessing about the end. In this novel too, I guessed it quite early. Vut as the story moves on, it turned out I was half right only. The story unravels in a continuous motion. The writer had a tight grip on it۔ There were no unnecessary details covering pages. She keeps the reader thoroughly engage throughout. During the course of investigation, she Introduces us to the culture and lifestyle of Saudi Arabia in a subtle way. Most of the times when I read our local writers or from other Islamic countries, they highlight the negativity but forget to mention the good things. They undermine the values and teachings of Islam in order to appear very progressive and modern.
Zoe Ferraris, however, talks about their culture and values while owning them and highlight the benefits. Nayir talks to Allah and refers to Quranic verses, glorifying the wisdom. The story has enough suspense to keep you engage so you will be turning pages. It’s a good read and I totally recommend it.