The Quality of MercyBook - 2017
"Meet Franz Kafka, conflicted cop, hapless investigator, wide-eyed cynic on an odyssey across the Navajo reservation, pursuing a murder case"--
"Move over Walt Longmire. Make room for Franz Kafka, aka 'K.' Expertly plotted, beautifully written, eloquent, colloquial, wry, insightful . . . Medhat demonstrates a keen sense of place and Navajo culture and history, with superior attention to language; smart, witty, often humorous and always precise analogies, metaphors, and similes. A sharp eye for detail and sprachgefühl for putting observations into words. Style, grace, a confident, compelling, and controlled narrative voice. The sophisticated narration dances from omniscient to close-third without any false steps or trips. A very smooth operator, this writer. The characters glide off the page. This book is a high-wire act, and the author shines a bright, steady beam on the dark stage where clashing cultures meet."—Sara Pritchard, author of Crackpots
Quixotic cop Franz Kafka's small-town routine is disrupted by a mysterious death at Chimney Rock. Navajo cop Robbie Begay joins the murder investigation, which leads the mismatched duo across the reservation into the victim's fraught past, to associates living under the shadow of heinous crimes, cunningly camouflaged meth-merchants, and sweet-natured squash-growers. The killer, it turns out, is much closer to home.
Katayoun Medhat was raised in Iran and Germany and studied anthropology in Berlin and London. Before training as an intercultural therapist, she worked in an adolescent psychiatric unit, which taught her much about human resilience. For her PhD in medical anthropology, she researched mental health and alcohol rehab services on the Navajo Nation, and along the way learned to appreciate the healing power of humor as life force.
When a murder disrupts his small town life, conflicted cop Franz Kafka teams up with Navajo Nation officer Robbie Begay to investigate the case, and as the two make their way across the Navajo Reservation, they continue to hinder each other.