A sassy American airhostess and a gay British banker (and their boyfriends) help kick-start a Persian Gulf revolution. A foxy Arab princess comes out on top in Regime Change. Is there a message here for the women of Bahrain? The first 250 readers can download it for free…

Read SHAIKH-DOWN for free (first 250 readers)

“Witty, entertaining, raunchy and very well written.” Peter O’Donnell, creator of Modesty Blaise

“Ribald and politically incorrect. Set in a fictitious but absolutely believable Arab state where sheikhs and their minions are locked in a life-and-death struggle to survive the relentless move towards democracy. Entertaining.” GAY TIMES

Two newcomers fly into the Persian Gulf island of Belaj on the night of a political assassination. Cass McBride is a 44-year-old London housewife who’s just left her faithless husband; in Belaj she takes an English lover; then an Arab taxi-driver has her turning tricks at £250 a time. Also newly arrived is nerdy banker Eddy Lawrence who soon acquires an Arab boyfriend and becomes embroiled in the next assassination, targeting the island’s Emir (why does Gee call him the Amir?) in his palace bedroom.

Two other women are involved in the plot: Sam, a sassy and pneumatic American air-hostess (think Dolly Parton in Nine to Five) shacked up with Eddy’s boss; and Nayla, the Emir’s niece and the widow of the assassin’s first victim. Nayla has assignations in Eddy’s flat with her secret lover; she’s the kind of Arab princess you read about getting decapitated in Saudi Arabia.

The Arab men in David Gee’s version of the Gulf are mostly lechers (like Nayla’s murdered husband) or creeps (especially the Emir, whose regime “disappears” dissident citizens and their families). Nayla’s brother Ibrahim is somewhere between the two. He’s the Commandant of Traffic Police and, in the book’s most hysterical scene, is beguiled by Sam’s bouncing bubbies into giving Eddy a driving licence. Nayla and Ibrahim, the book’s best characters, provide constant surprises and get very different outcomes from the coup.

It’s hard not to see Belaj as Bahrain – especially with what’s going on there at the moment. What’s going on in Bahrain – and elsewhere – is not funny. David Gee may wish he’d written a more serious book.

At the end of Shaikh-Down David Gee offers a crystal-ball glimpse of the Arab World’s future, a lot scarier than what’s going on there already. He even gives us ‘Regime Change’ in Downing Street and Buckingham Palace – a jaunty gag to climax a novel which is frequently funny, occasionally disturbing, packed with near-non-stop sexytime and about as unPC as a book can get.

On his website David Gee is offering the first 250 readers a free download of the complete text of Shaikh-Down from Smashwords. Or you can buy it in print from Amazon.

Read SHAIKH-DOWN for free (first 250 readers)

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