Verse in Arabic
by Birgitte Rasine
Verse in Arabic is a mystery that is both lyrical and complex. Vivid images of beauty and horror are conjured up for the reader. There are certain images that have stuck in my mind, even after I finished reading. This tends to only happen when a book has made a deep impression on me. The author, Birgitte Rasine, has been compared with Edgar Allen Poe, and it’s not hard to see why.
The mystery at the heart of Rasine’s novella concerns the murder of a young girl in Madrid in circa 1946, which, we are told, was a turbulent time in Spanish history. A respected doctor was convicted of her murder, but questions remain. We follow in the footsteps of an investigative journalist, twenty-one years later, as he tries to uncover a new angle on the case.
At the start, the journalist is on his way to interview the convicted doctor. Legendary tales have portrayed the doctor as being a monster, and he is also convinced of his guilt. On meeting the doctor, however, he realises just how wrong his impression of him had been. The interview that follows makes for fascinating and compelling reading, as little by little, the clues to the case are revealed. Most mysterious of all is the role of the verse in Arabic, it’s hidden meaning, and the author behind the verse.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading a mystery. I will definitely be reading more stories by this author.