How does one investigate murder in the middle of a war zone? Does it matter if a person is killed by an airstrike or a knife?
When Zahra’s husband, Ammar Bseiso, is killed in 2014 he is written off as one of the two thousand or so casualties of war. However, his thirty-five-year-old wife is convinced that her husband was murdered by a fellow Palestinian and not an Israeli airstrike. She spends two years looking for a detective who will agree to take on her case as people dismiss and ridicule her.
When Nouman El Taweel agrees to investigate the crime, Zahra begins to regret it almost immediately as the policeman uncovers the truth behind the murder, along with a network of deception, lies and corruption.
Come What May is a novel about love, betrayal and class issues in a conservative society which is isolated from the rest of the world.
Review by Ceasefire Magazine
Ahmed Masoud is the author of the acclaimed novel Vanished: The Mysterious Disappearance of Mustafa Ouda. He is a writer and director who grew up in Palestine and moved to the UK in 2002. In 2019, he worked with Maxine Peake on Obliterated, a theatrical experiment and artistic protest – you can find a small clip on YouTube.
Ahmed’s theatre and radio drama credits include: Application 39 (WDR Radio, Germany 2018), Camouflage (London 2017), The Shroud Maker (London 2015 – still touring), Walaa, Loyalty (London 2014, funded by the Arts Council England), and Escape from Gaza (BBC Radio 4 2011). Ahmed is the founder of Al Zaytouna Dance Theatre (2005 – 2013) where he wrote and directed many productions with subsequent tours in the UK and Europe, including Unto the Breach (London and Vienna 2012), Between the Fleeting Words (London, Zurich, Freiburg, Ljubljana, Madrid 2010 – 2012), Ila Haif (London, Freiburg 2008-2010) and Hassad (London 2007 – 2008). After finishing his PhD research, Ahmed published many journals and articles including a chapter in the Britain and Muslim World: A Historical Perspective (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011). Most recently, Ahmed launched his new artistic initiative called PalArt Collective. For more information, please see www.ahmedmasoud.co.uk
Florence Knox –
I am an avid reader of crime fiction and I’d heard good things about Come What May from the book’s editor, so I was thrilled to receive a review copy.
This is a real page-turner of a novel, and I read it over the course of two days. I was drawn in straight away by the fast-paced story, the well-drawn characters, and the evocative sense of place.
When Zahra’s husband is killed there is no investigation; he is seen as a statistic, a casualty of war. Zahra is certain her husband was murdered, and devotes the following two years to finding out the truth – finally persuading the enigmatic policeman Nouman El Taweel to take on the case. The truth is messy, and as the story unfolds we are plunged further into a maze of corruption, danger and lies, all the while rooting for Zahra and Nouman. (If I’m honest I am a little bit in love with Nouman 🙂 )
Yet there is so much more than a tale of murder and deception in this Palestinian story. It explores friendships, family relationships, and the complexities of daily life in a war zone – there is hope as well as darkness. And at the very heart of it there is a wonderful love story which totally captivated me. I held my breath in the final pages – but the ending was perfect!