Review: Electric Souk by Rose McGinty

Electric Souk - Rose McGinty

Published by: Urbane Publications (23rd March 2017)


ISBN: 978-1911129820


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 5*



Ireland's gone bust, and with it Aisling Finn's life. She flees austerity for adventure in the desert. But the Arabia she finds is not that of her dreams. Everyone is chasing a fast buck, a fast woman and another G&T. Expats and locals alike prickle with paranoia. Debonair fixer, Brian Rothmann, charms Aisling with champagne brunches and nights at Bedouin camps. But is Brian a hero or a desperate expat prepared to go to any lengths to get what he wants? Is this Aisling? Or is he using her as bait? Her only hope is Hisham, a local activist. But where do his loyalties lie? Aisling faces severe peril when the sleazy expat and blood-lusting desert worlds collide, as the Arab Spring erupts. She has to ask, whom can she trust? Can she trust her instincts?



Rose McGinty's debut novel is quite unlike anything I've read before. It's difficult to know what genre I'd class it as because it has elements of many, but I guess 'thriller' is as good as any. The description is breathtakingly good; I can almost taste the fragrant spices and see the jewel coloured pashminas in the hustle and bustle of the night time souk.

The characters are similarly brought to life. Aisling is likeable and believable throughout, Brian is in turn both charming and loathsome and there are plenty of other characters to like and dislike, Mozah and Laila in particular.

Electric Souk is fascinating, frightening, heartwarming, gripping, horrific, and hauntingly descriptive. I found out utterly compelling and read it in two long sittings as I was unable to put it down once I'd started! It will appeal to a wide range of readers.

Thanks to Matthew at Urbane for the ARC, via NetGalley, in return for my honest review.