In 1981, British tourist Liz Markham, making an impulsive trip to Cairo with her young daughter Alice, loses her during a tumultuous night on its dark streets. Thirty years later, Makana, an émigré from Sudan (where he was a police inspector), has spent seven years in Egypt living a hand-to-mouth existence. But a possible lifeline comes with an unexpected summons from one of the country's richest men, Saad Hanafi, whose past is checkered, to say the least. Hanafi owns an immensely successful soccer squad, Hanafi Dreem Team, whose popularity crosses national borders. Handsome Dreem Teem player Adil Romario, whose face adorns ads for everything from soft drinks to sports cars, has disappeared. The playboy simply may be blowing off steam, but Hanafi figures better safe than sorry. Hired to find Romario, Makana consults his friend Amin Medani, a human-rights lawyer, who explains Hanafi's deep and perhaps dangerous political connections. When Makana encounters Liz Markham, she tells the sad story of her lost daughter, whose disappearance has left her still raw with pain. Moved in part by personal demons that make him especially receptive to Liz, Makana offers to help her as well. He develops an unlikely friendship with Hanafi's pampered daughter Soraya, an unexpected aid with his search as well as his personal issues.Bilal's portrait of a soulful, broken man dominates his series kickoff, both an accomplished genre caper and a fine example of literary fiction.