5 April 2008 0 Comments

The Economist: New Omar Yussef novel "vivid, outstanding, gripping"

The April 3 print edition of The Economist includes this excellent review of the second Omar Yussef Mystery:

In its vivid portrayal of the violence and degradation of the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, Matt Rees’s second book, “The Saladin Murders”, is outstanding. His hero, Omar Yussef, a Bethlehem schoolteacher, is a recovering alcoholic in his fifties, physically frail but possessed of a steely moral core. At the start of the book he is sent to Gaza on an apparently straightforward school inspection. When a fellow teacher is arrested as a CIA spy by the sinister Palestinian security forces, Yussef ignores advice to leave. He is quickly drawn into a deadly game where disputes are settled by gun battles and car bombs. Brutal, corrupt warlords torture and murder at will, while the khamsin, the hot, dusty desert wind, blows hard, turning the sky yellow and filling the air with choking sand. The Israelis barely feature in this dark, gripping and often moving book. Gaza, it seems, is a hell in large part of the Palestinians’ own making.

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