Liz McCran and Donnie Barnes travel to Cairo, Egypt, in search of Addie and Gary Wright, who were asked to deliver a mysterious envelope. Within days of their arrival, the couple has vanished. When Liz locates the Wright’s contact, Mr. Moustafa, she receives the first of several riddles.
Rayhan Shenouda, an Egyptian working at the American Embassy, agrees to help but his desire is to win Liz’s heart. Following his traditional customs, and much to her surprise, he proposes within days of their meeting.
Will the Wright’s be found? Can Rayhan and Liz’s love withstand an inevitable collision of cultures and customs? Or will it all end at the hands of a nomad insurgent named Ahmad?
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“How much do you know about your friends’ disappearance?” Rayhan asked as he eased the car onto the busy highway.
Liz caught his eye in the rearview mirror. “Not much, Mr. Shenouda. They’d been missing for two days when you called me.” Her heart pounded against her ribcage and she fought to breathe. “I had been instructed to call her family if anything happened, and when I called Donnie, he and I agreed to come here.”
“This is all you know?” Rayhan murmured. “Fil-mišmiš!”
Liz sat on the edge of her seat and bent forward as she gave Rayhan a gentle, but firm message. “It did happen. Don’t be so skeptical, Mr. Shenouda. Just to let you know, I understand every word you say. We can speak either Arabic or English.”
“I’m sorry, Miss McCran. It is just odd they disappeared with no other information.” Rayhan fixed his eyes on Donnie, who shrugged his shoulders.
“They were here on vacation. I don’t know any more.” Liz sat back in her seat and speculated how she could spend the next few days with not one, but two, headstrong men.
She fell into silent thought as she remembered the weeks right before their vacation, and Addie’s excitement about her first trip to Egypt. Her husband, Gary, as a hobby compared early Christian writings and Egyptian mythology. Liz wondered if this had gotten them into trouble. Had they asked the wrong questions of someone? Addie and Gary were good, decent people. They wouldn’t have knowingly stepped into a smuggling situation. Or could it be an issue of Christianity? They would have been arrested, not missing. Unless…Liz shuddered. She glanced out the tinted window of the sleek, black vehicle and recognized the streets approaching the Embassy. She found an inner strength and forced down the panic rising in her throat.