1 March 2007 0 Comments

Mystery Scene: a heart-breaking, unforgettable novel

The latest issue of Mystery Scene magazine includes a three-page profile about me, which gives a good explanation of how I came to write the Omar Yussef mystery series. That article isn’t online–read it in the magazine, which also has excellent articles on Dana Stabenow and Robert B. Parker–but their review is. Mystery Scene says that The Collaborator of Bethlehem is a “heart-breaking, unforgettable novel… The book is a cry from the heart. We walk with Omar Yussef in his shoes, and in so doing we go deep into his disturbing, dark everyday experience, which is so different from our own. The author, Matt Beynon Rees, is a journalist who lived in the region for more than ten years and based his story on real events. His stark realism makes for a detective tale that teaches a lesson worthy of Omar Yussef himself.” It’s a great review and you can read it in full at:

Time Out Chicago also features a good review of The Collaborator of Bethlehem. Here’s part of what it says:
Rees is a former Jerusalem bureau chief for Time, and it’s his deep understanding of the area’s cultural complexities that make this mystery such a riveting read. At certain points the mystery recedes to the background and the exploration of entrenched prejudices takes over, and the book is better for it. The Yussef character is fictional and the characters have changed, but Rees drew from real events that occurred during his time as a journalist. “The killers really killed this way,” he relates in an epigraph.

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