By Youssef Fadel
In 1980s Casablanca, Farah arrives from her small town life with big dreams: she wants to sing. She…Read more
Whitefly by Abdelillah Hamdouchi, translated by Jonathan Smolin
Banipal 56, Summer 2106
Set in modern-day Tangiers, Abdelilah Hamdouchi’s Whitefly is a refreshing and refined crime thriller. The Moroccan Hamdouchi, also a successful film and television screenwriter, specializes in police fiction, and Whitefly is a prime example of his prowess in the field, a case study in the apparent ease with which he can roll off such a story.
Its protagonist, Detective Laafrit, is a grumbling, middle-aged policeman battling with a smoking addiction and a need to solve crime. The reader for the most part warms to him, perhaps after learning of his Achilles’ heel: his incessant need to suck menthol lozenges to combat his addiction. Other than his history of political activism as a student and the fact that becoming a policeman had for many years felt like a betrayal of his principles, there is nothing particularly remarkable about him. Conscientious and diligent, he has no time for those who mess him around. He is an experienced cop, with a loyal network of contacts, and he knows how to use them to get what he wants.
Posted on 05/09/2016 in FICTION Crime, FICTION Mystery & Detective - Police Procedural, FICTION Thrillers, Noir, tagged as Abdelilah Hamdouchi, book review, crime, detective, Hoopoe Fiction, Noir, novel, Whitefly