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Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel It is 1836. Europe is modernizing and the Ottoman Empire must follow suit. But just before the sultan announces sweeping changes, a wave of murders threatens the fragile balance of power in his court. Who is behind them? Only one intelligence agent can be trusted to find out: Yashim, a man both brilliant and near-invisible in this world, an investigator who can walk with ease in the great halls of the empire, in its streets, and even within its harems-because, of course, Yashim is a eunuch. His investigation points to the Janissaries, who, for four hundred years were the empire's elite soldiers. Crushed by the sultan, could they now be staging a brutal comeback? And can they be stopped without throwing Istanbul into political chaos? This first book in the Investigator Yashim series is a richly entertaining tale, full of exotic history and intrigue.
Jason Goodwin lives in Sussex, England, is married with four children, speaks French and German, and once walked from Poland to Istanbul. His new novel, The Snake Stone, will be published by FSG in July 2007.
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"An unusual, exotic historical mystery that reads like literature and moves like a thriller."--George Pelecanos, author of The Night Gardener
"In this engaging novel, the reader is treated to a history lesson about the Ottoman Empire of the nineteenth century, a travelogue that brings the ancient city of Istanbul to life and a spellbinding story all in one. . . . This novel will keep you engrossed from start to finish."--The Roanoke Times