Casablanca. Othman, a handsome young Moroccan man, returns home to discover his elderly French wife, Sofia, brutally murdered in their bedroom. Highly educated but chronically unemployed, Othman had been in desperate straits before meeting Sofia, who pampered him with fancy cars, expensive clothes, and access to her mansion in the most exclusive neighbourhood in Casablanca. But living with a woman more than forty years his senior was too much for Othman—before his wife’s murder he sought relief in a steamy affair with an attractive young aerobics instructor, Naeema. The Moroccan police quickly zero in on Othman as the prime suspect in his wife’s murder. But is he guilty? Did he kill his wife for the money and his lover? Or is he an innocent man, framed by circumstance—and an overzealous and brutal police force? Abdelilah Hamdouchi’s The Final Bet is the first Arabic detective novel to be translated into English. With it, Hamdouchi joins the ranks of Yasmina Khadra and Henning Mankell, finally bringing the modern Arabic novel to the global stage of detective fiction.
Abdelilah Hamdouchi is one of the first writers of Arabic-language detective fiction to be translated into English. The author of eight novels, Hamdouchi is also an award-winning screenwriter for Moroccan television and cinema. All of his police novels, including The Final Bet, have been produced for Moroccan television. He lives in Rabat, Morocco.
'the very existence of such a novel would have been unthinkable in previous decades in Morocco, in which even to utter the word ‘police’ was fraught with danger. Paradoxically, then, this novel of police corruption and violence is an important marker in Moroccan society’s tentative steps away from arbitrary police power and towards the rule of law, and Arabia Books deserve credit for bringing it to a wider audience. ' - New Internationalist 2009
'Hamdouchi has a nice, simple style that makes it an enjoyable read. Worthwhile. ' - The Complete Review 2008