This novel by a well known Turkish writer begins with the end, the end of Tequila Leila who is a murdered sex worker and lies dying in a rubbish bin in Istanbul.
The opening chapter – hence the title – are devoted to her final thoughts, reminiscences, recalls in the last 10 minutes 38 seconds of her life.
Her five best friends Nalan the transvestite, Jameelah, Sabotage Saron, Zayrab and Humeyra are planning to dig up Leila’ s corpse from the bleak Cemetery of the Companionless for a more decent burial.
This leads to a ghoulish ending.
The book is also a graphic description of Istanbul. For this it’s worth reading alone. It’s not the Istanbul of the tourist guides but all the more insightful for that. It also covers such issues as child abuse, Islamic orthodoxy , corruption and the authoress has been prosecuted for its content.
My principal criticisms are the disconnect between the opening and what follows in tone and plot and also its not totally explained who her murderers are.
Nonetheless less I would recommend it as a good read which does not suffer from any clunky translation.