Clive F Sorrell
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia alcoholism is a major problem even though alcohol is illegal. If consumed publicly or privately by the expatriate workforce or nationals it incurs extremely harsh punishments.
It is in this alien social environment that Stuart, a geologist contracted to an oil company, alleviates his boredom by distilling ethyl alcohol for his close friends. The high quality of the distilled spirit is called ‘siddiqui’ (Arabic for friend) and it soon attracts unwelcome attention from a jealous colleague, a corrupt sheikh and a royal prince. As a consequence, Stuart is drawn into a vicious vortex of blackmail, murder and revenge.
Stuart survives one asassination attempt in the Empty Quarter only to be subjected to further attempts on his life in the mountains. While battling to survive he falls in love with an attractive young female doctor and together they are caught up in a deadly chase that ends in the 4,000 year old city of Mada’in Saleh (Sister city to Petra) where they are compelled to fight for survival.
A Saudi policeman, a Bedouin tribal leader and a small group of expatriates show how honour and justice can create powerful cross-cultural bonds of friendship despite the avaricious and murderous nature of their adversaries.