8 June 2011 0 Comments

From intifada trauma to Mozart murder

The excellent UK crime fiction blog Crime Time features a guest post from me today. I write about how my initial ideas and research for my historical thriller MOZART’S LAST ARIA grew out of my attempts to soothe the trauma of covering the Palestinian intifada as a foreign correspondent.

10 May 2011 0 Comments

Literary Review: MOZART’S LAST ARIA ‘lively, well-researched, very clever’

In the current edition of London’s Literary Review, Jessica Mann leads her roundup of new crime novels with this praise for MOZART’S LAST ARIA, my historical thriller about the great composer’s death: “Matt Rees has drawn a lively portrait of eighteenth-century Vienna and of characters whose names now live only because of their connection with […]

15 April 2011 9 Comments

Taking Refuge

Some people are always expecting or hoping for a war. They’re even working towards that end. When you live in the Middle East, you come to such a realization eventually. Most people are like me, however. The wars sneak up on them. They notice the signs, then they bury them because they think they’re being […]

26 September 2010 4 Comments

New arms race–on author websites

I have a new book coming out in the UK next spring. So it’s time to start looking around to see what new web gadgets and gismos authors are expected to shell out for from their meager advances to keep their “web profile” current. It’s a new arms race. Just as the Soviets bankrupted their […]

13 September 2010 0 Comments

Jerusalem Report: my books critical mirror to Palestinian society

In The Jerusalem Report, Avi Hoffmann writes a very favorable review of my latest, THE FOURTH ASSASSIN. “Former top journalist turned novelist, Rees has ventured out of Palestine this time, but uses his finely honed reporting skills to elicit the flavor of a little corner of Palestine in Brooklyn, where women wear the hijab and […]

9 September 2010 2 Comments

Overturning detective fiction: everyone’s guilty in my novels

The “Golden Age” of the detective story was the 1920s and 1930s. It was a turbulent period. In Britain, the General Strike. In the U.S., the Depression. Civil war in Spain, and in Germany the rise of the Nazis. Red scares everywhere, fascists too. But the detective story was a solace to those who lived […]

31 August 2010 3 Comments

Going historical

Writing of the disdain expressed for genre novels by critics, Raymond Chandler said that there were just as many bad “literary novels” of the type favored by critics as there were bad genre stories – except that the bad literary novels didn’t get published. In other words, there’s nothing inherent in so-called genre fiction that […]

4 August 2010 3 Comments

Sondheim in the West Bank

I’m in between drafts of a novel, so I thought I’d look for something to clear my head. Inspired by a BBC broadcast last week in honor of the 80th birthday of Broadway lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim, I’ve been working on a musical version of my Palestinian crime novels. (Only in the shower, so […]

23 July 2010 1 Comment

Israeli settlements: frozen, still cooking

JERUSALEM — Palestinian negotiators said again this week they’d refuse to re-enter direct peace talks with Israel unless the current partial freeze on construction in Israeli settlements is extended when its term runs out in September. But as a report released this week by the Israeli human-rights organization B’Tselem reveals, a real settlement freeze would […]

17 July 2010 1 Comment

Tragic friends on a search for peace

JERUSALEM—If you asked about a moment that encapsulates the tragedy of the Israelis and Palestinians, there’d be no shortage of incidents, fatal and wrathful, from which to choose. This week, however, I’d point out an occasion that was less shocking but just as poignant. In a banquet hall of the King David Hotel, an Israeli […]