2 April 2007 0 Comments

Newsday: Impatient for more Omar books

Newsday ran a terrific review for The Collaborator of Bethlehem this week. It’s written by Sarah Weinman, whose blog has made her a prominent youthful power in the world of mystery publishing. You’ll see from this excerpt from the review, that she’s looking forward to reading more:

“Rees gives three-dimensional life to all his characters, from would-be terrorists to the Western officials running the UN school to Omar’s family. His wife, Maryam, is an especially intriguing figure: clearly rooted in tradition as a wife and mother but also an enigma to the reader and to Omar. Giving voice to the gender divide, Omar understands that a man’s feelings for his wife are very complex, but “it’s a shame our women can’t acknowledge that their relationships to their men are not so simple, either. It would be a better thing.” Such observations add a welcome layer to an already standout effort made so by Rees’ ability to flesh out core truths and stick to them where other, less assured writers may have been tempted by trickery or more grandiose aims. “The Collaborator of Bethlehem” may not seem like a life-changing novel, but its quiet voice masks deceptively larger themes which, from the vantage point of Omar Yussef, make the wait that much more impatient for future volumes.”

Just so Sarah knows: The next Omar Yussef book, A Grave in Gaza, will be out in the US early next year from Soho Press. But then, she’s so plugged in to mystery publishing, Sarah probably knew that even before I did.

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