The first novel of Rouass’ trilogy follows a detective hunting down the “Moorish Jack the Ripper” in Marrakech at the turn of the 20th century.
Moroccan-British author Saeida Rouass’s book “Assembly of the Dead” is soon to turn into a film or mini-series. The book, originally published in 2017 by Impress Books, captured the attention of Hollywood producer Ronald L Carr shortly after its release.
“The time wasn’t right for me then because I had so many other projects going on,” said Carr to Morocco World News. “But it’s such a powerful story I couldn’t forget it. When the publisher told me at the start of this year that it was still available, I couldn’t believe my luck and jumped at the chance to work on it.”
“Assembly of the Dead” is set in Morocco in 1906, a time when the country was caught between growing European influences and domestic instability. Farook Al-Alami, a detective from Tangier, is sent to Marrakech to solve the disappearances of many young women. Farook enters Marrakech on the orders of the sultan to investigate crimes in a country without a police force. With the city under siege from famine and fear, he must rely on his own intuition and skill to uncover the mystery.
Saeida spent six months living in the heart of Marrakech as part of her research to help get a “feel” for the place. As it has not changed much in the last 120 years, she feels that experience added authenticity to her meticulously-studied novel about the murders of 36 women at the start of the 20th century.
“I am really excited at the prospect of ‘Assembly of the Dead’ becoming a film or mini-series. The story of the Moorish Jack the Ripper and the women he targeted has captured my imagination for a while, along with the story of Morocco at the turn of the 20th century. I hope this project brings that moment in history, set in the alleyways of Marrakesh, to a wider audience,” Saeida told MWN.
Saeida is currently working on the sequel to “Assembly of the Dead.” “Library of Untruths” will be the second book in what she plans to be a trilogy. Ronald L Carr already hopes to be able to bring that story to the screen as well. His next film – Turkish-French production “Scent of My Daughter” – is set to have its US premiere in Beverly Hills at Method Fest on August 16.