4 April 2008 0 Comments

Jerusalem Post: Human Characters and Complex Culture in new Omar Yussef Mystery

The second Omar Yussef Mystery A Grave in Gaza is reviewed in today’s Jerusalem Post Magazine. Here’s a portion of the review:

For readers who hunger for a peril-free tour of Gaza, Matt Beynon Rees’s latest detective novel may offer the perfect solution…. Life in Gaza is depicted down to its finest and most sordid details. Not only does the reader get an inside view of Palestinian culture, with its coffee boys and potentially dangerous funerals, but also graphic descriptions of frequent and unsettling acts of violence… The novel opens with an explicit description of filthy latrines, and that opening sets the tone for the rest of the narrative. Nearly all the details about Gaza range from dreary to outright hideous. There is no softness in this account; even the weather is a perpetual dust storm, violently churning the desert sands as if as a metaphor for the brutality of the plot. Beaches are inundated with trash and oil drums. The only oasis for the characters, ironically, is a graveyard where the greenery is miraculously intact. …Rees strives to portray Gaza as objectively as possible while still underscoring the humanity of his characters and the complexity of the culture.

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