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Carla Banks

Carla Banks comes from a family of writers, and is fascinated by the power of language. Her father, and Eastern European cavalry officer came to the UK as a wartime refugee where he met and married her half-Irish mother. He told his children stories of his childhood in the forests of Belarus, a country that was virtually destroyed by the war.

Her family is now a global family - her sister lives in one of the Gulf states and her brother lives in Australia. "E-mail keeps us in touch."

She has travelled extensively in Eastern Europe and believes that this part of the world is still largely unknown and largely misunderstood by the US and by Western Europe.

Carla Banks is a member of Ladykillers.

She has been nominated for the Dagger in the Library, awarded by the Crime Writers' Association to "the author of crime fiction whose work is currently giving the greatest enjoyment to readers".

Strangers (cover image)

Strangers is a new, haunting psychological thriller from Carla Banks, published on January 16th.

Carla Banks says: "The world is getting smaller, or so we are told. The world is a global village. My observations lead me to believe that the closer we appear to be, the further we move apart. We don't recognise the distance, and we watch each other with baffled, uncomprehending hostility. It was this belief that gave me my first ideas about Strangers."

* * *

It's Roisin Massey's first time in Saudi Arabia and she has a lot to learn. From behind the veil, Riyadh seems a hostile and forbidding place, for all its exotic beauty and opulence.

Suddenly she's dependent on the man she married only 48 hours ago after a three-month relationship. Joe has lived in Saudi before; he knows how things operate. But Roisin is about to discover that Joe has not told her everything about his time in the Desert Kingdom - the drug thefts from the hospital where he worked, the friend he saw beheaded in as-Sa'ah Square, the woman who fell to her death.

Soon the ghosts from Joe's past come back to haunt them both -- and murder follows in their wake!

Carla Banks skilfully evokes the mixture of bewilderment and fear of expats living in a desert kingdom where "justice" is swift and apparently arbitrary and where even highly educated women often subscribe to a code that seems medieval to westerners. ... A complex and satisfying thriller, set against a backdrop of exotic nightmare.

Joanna Hines

Read more about Strangers

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Last updated 10th November 2007

Photograph © Ken Reah 2006