Cairo, 1910. Captain Owen, The Mamur Zapt, is the head of Egypt's Political CID in the heyday of British Rule. He is ultimately responsible for law and order in the Khedive's Cairo. When the rules, whether obvious or hidden, are flouted, he steps into action – although it sometimes looks like he's merely stepped sideways, out of the way.
Now it is the end of the boom, leaving banks beleaguered and borrowers in trouble whether the poorest land-working fellahin or the richest land-owning Pashas. Then a civil servant suspiciously dies at his desk. The whiff of corruption is in the air. Even Owen, who is supposed to be investigating the affair, appears to be living beyond his means. As he turns to such unlikely allies as the Grand Mufti, the local barber, and the Widow Shawquat, he penetrates to the heart of such sinister organizations as the Khedive's Agricultural Society. The rich are tricky, and money speaks louder than words, challenging Owen to use all his skills to stop the Camel of Destruction….