Dominique Edde's gripping novel tells the story of the doomed Jann family as they plot against one another for revenge and power. Kamal Jann, a successful lawyer in New York City, has a troubled past unseen to most. When he was a boy in Syria, his uncle, the head of the Syrian CIA, had his parents killed, leaving Kamal orphaned at the age of twelve. In a twisted attempt for forgiveness, and as insurance against retaliation, Kamal's uncle paid for his education, leading to his eventual success. Now living in Manhattan, Kamal receives news that his uncle is planning a terrorist attack on Paris and has recruited Kamal's jihadist brother to carry it out. To save his brother, and ultimately avenge his parent's murder, Kamal enters into a dangerous pact with his uncle. Calm, reserved, and even charming on the surface, Kamal hides a vein of madness that will stop at nothing to bring down his uncle and the Syrian regime. Alliances, damaged lives, impossible loves, and deep betrayals unfold as family relationships erode, echoing the conflicts that tear apart the countries around them in the Middle East.
Cousins are at odds; women and daughters are playing their own dark games; and the fortune-teller, La Bardolina, has dangerous motives. Expertly translated by award-winning translator Ros Schwartz, and rendered in a voice that is raw, powerful, and rich in imagery, Kamal Jann has been hailed by the French critics as both universal and prophetic, a novel that is vital to our understanding of Syria and the Middle East.