24 February 2008 0 Comments

Sunday Telegraph: Stunning sense of place, memorable characters

Here’s the Sunday Telegraph’s review of my latest Omar Yussef Mystery, The Saladin Murders (US title A Grave in Gaza):

A seeker of truth and justice

Matt Rees’s endearing protagonist, Omar Yussef, is not a detective, but a seeker of truth and justice, both of which seem impossible to find in The Saladin Murders.

Omar has left his home in Bethlehem, where he is principal of a UN school, to accompany a Swedish UN official on an inspection of the organisation’s schools in Gaza. Within hours of their arrival he discovers how dangerous the place is.

One of their teachers has been arrested, after accusing the university of selling degrees to members of the Preventive Security Force, who use them to get promotion. Warring factions, each led by notoriously corrupt and brutal men, commit horrific crimes in their battle for power, and little Omar, overcome at times by rage and desperation, finds himself fighting to save not only the imprisoned teacher but his own life.

Rees has created a stunning sense of place and memorable characters for his impassioned story.

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