24 November 2008 0 Comments

Daily Telegraph: Omar Yussef a ‘masterstroke’

Daily Telegraph reviewer Jake Kerridge praises the second of my Palestinian detective novels The Saladin Murders (US title A Grave in Gaza) in today’s newspaper, calling my characterization of detective Omar Yussef a “masterstroke.” Here’s Jake’s review:

Matt Rees, a seasoned Middle East correspondent, seems determined to send his unlucky detective Omar Yussef to all the hottest trouble spots he has reported from. In this sequel to The Bethlehem Murders, the reluctant sleuth visits Gaza as part of a UN schools’ inspectorate and finds himself trying to help a teacher who, after exposing corruption among university officials, has been jailed on trumped-up charges of spying for the CIA. Rees does a good job of evoking Gaza and cleverly exploits the complexity of its politics to produce a twisty plot, but Omar Yussef is his masterstroke. He is a middle-aged, slightly bumbling, Quixotic figure who ought to be pottering around solving non-crimes in an Alexander McCall Smith novel; pitched into the madness of Gaza, he becomes emblematic of all the ordinary people whose lives are ruined by warfare.

For The Telegraph’s other crime reviews:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/arts/2008/11/25/bocrime125.xml

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