Author: Tarek Refaat

Publisher: Red Sands Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-69263-35028

Tarek Refaat, previous to his recent tome Broken Shadows, had written two other books.  Egyptian born,  Refaat loves history, poetry, and prose. He is married with two daughters and lives between Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

There are four characters that are central to this novel's theme:  Nadim, Heidi, Ashraf, and Hussein. Much of the story takes place in Cairo.

Nadim and Heidi were once involved in a relationship when suddenly Heidi left without any warning. With many unanswered questions, Nadim plows through his life becoming a very successful businessman, but remaining single.

Fifteen years later, Nadim is in the process of hiring a new marketing person for his international organization when out of the blue Heidi’s resume is among the ones to be considered for the opening.

Nadim recalls his bittersweet memories of the two of them together and wonders why now and why her. Part of him wants to see her and learn what happened fifteen years ago and part of him is still too hurt to know more.

One day, Nadim goes home and is accosted by Ashraf who tells him that he needs to hire Heidi for the marketing opening in his organization.

Ashraf is part of Egypt’s military intelligence and he convinces Nadim to work with them in this venture because doing so would be good for all of Egypt. Nadim is stupefied to learn that Heidi is, or was, actually an operative for the Military Intelligence Agency, but he agrees to help Ashraf leaving him few alternatives.

Nadim hires Heidi and Ashraf tells Nadim to “get close” to Heidi. Nadim wants to as he still loves her, but he also keeps his distance remembering how she hurt him so deeply in the past and he does not want to live through that nightmare again.

They embark on a huge marketing campaign that takes them to three continents in as many weeks. Things begin to go awry, not with their campaign, but with the people from Military Intelligence.

Nadim and Heidi are forced to flee and hide for their lives. Nadim sees how good Heidi is at this game of spies. He respects her skills, but fears the person she is that he never knew. He is unsure if she will save him or kill him. Finally, they are both captured and Heidi is tortured. She presses Ashraf and Hussein to let Nadim go to no avail. Heidi and Nadim narrowly escape again only to be caught again. Will they get killed? Will they survive?

Enjoyable read. Bravo Tarek, you wrote a home run with Broken Shadows!