Archive | February, 2010

28 February 2010 0 Comments

How does that grab you? Great openings to new books

The first line of a great novel tends also to have a lot of punch — to “grab” you. My favorite is “The Sun Also Rises,” which manages to tell you a great deal about one of the main characters, but even more about the narrator: “Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. […]

26 February 2010 0 Comments

New York Times Book Review: THE FOURTH ASSASSIN ‘engrossing,’ ‘New Yorkers will be startled’

New Yorkers tend to have a “seen it all” attitude to life. It’s not surprising, given the madhouse that is the Big Apple. But I’ve now officially done something that’ll shock them. In The New York Times Book Review’s crime fiction roundup by Marilyn Stasio, my new novel THE FOURTH ASSASSIN is called “engrossing.” It’s […]

26 February 2010 0 Comments

Born Hamas, turned Shin Bet

How the son of a Hamas founder ended up an Israeli agent, as told by the “Green Prince” himself. (I posted this on GlobalPost) RAMALLAH, West Bank — Parents often lament that their kids don’t follow them into their chosen professions. They ought to think themselves lucky. They could be Sheikh Hassan Youssef, a founder […]

24 February 2010 0 Comments

Inventing the Palestinian detective

The dead man’s mother raged and cried as she told me how she’d discovered her son’s body, in the cabbage patch outside her home. She’d gone down on her knees, she said, touched his blood and wiped her fingers on her face and called out that God is most great. As the winter wind came […]

23 February 2010 0 Comments

The British Crime Fiction Insider: Duncan Campbell’s Writing Life

One of the great pleasures of life as a writer is being paired with terrific authors when you speak at book fairs. (It’s also an occasional rough ride when you find yourself stuck with a bum who can’t write, but I’m being nice here so I won’t go into any of those.) The most delightful […]

22 February 2010 0 Comments

Book of A Lifetime: The King Must Die

The Independent has a regular feature in which it asks authors to write about a book which changed their lives somehow. Last week the London newspaper asked me to write the piece. Here it is: In early 1999, King Hussein fell sick on his return from cancer treatment in the US. I was Middle East […]

21 February 2010 2 Comments

Palestinian sex-for-favors scandal

Was Israeli intelligence really behind the video showing an Abbas aide soliciting sex? (I posted this on Global Post.) Fans of the Jamaican reggae singer Shaggy will already be familiar with the strategy of a Palestinian official caught with his pants down — actually, with his pants entirely off — in a sex scandal this […]

18 February 2010 0 Comments

Espionage is a dirty business

You’d think there was something wrong with spying. People pay good money to watch Daniel Craig dispose of villains in the bloodiest fashion. They nod in approval when M pushes 007’s perfect false passport across the desk. Yet everyone’s peeved about what in all likelihood is a Mossad hit against a Hamas operative in his […]

18 February 2010 1 Comment

From Hitler History to Mahler Mystery: J. Sydney Jones’s Writing Life

Some authors exude the pleasure of reading and writing (and, believe me, when you meet them, you’d be surprised how many just don’t.) J. Sydney Jones is such a man, with a breadth of writing experience in different genres that’s deeply impressive and carries with it an obvious love of his craft. His Viennese Mystery […]

15 February 2010 2 Comments

Who’ll play Omar in the movies…?

On the My Book, The Movie blog, I was asked to write about who I’d choose to play Omar Yussef in the movies. Here’s what I wrote: I didn’t need to think of an actor. Not until I’d finished my book. Then the thinking really started. The Palestinian detective hero of my books, Omar Yussef, […]