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Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Missing File by D. A. Mishani



Published by Bourbon St. Books, February 18, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-06-219538-8
Translated from the Hebrew by Steven Cohen

There's an old saying: "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach." It is a fitting almost reverse description of the author of this debut novel.  He is a literary scholar and editor of international fiction and crime literature at Keter Books in Israel, specializing in the history of detective literature.  So he is something of an anomaly. He has created a new protagonist, Israeli detective Avraham("Avi") Avraham, an introspective character who, while being a policeman, is unsure of himself when he is away from his duties.

In this case, he is confronted by the mother of a 16-year-old boy who is said to have left home one morning for school and disappearing. As Avi investigates what should be a simple missing person inquiry, it spirals out of control and takes over his life, ultimately becoming
complicated by a neighbor who inserts himself into the investigation with what may be false information.

Aside from the fact that the novel is set in Israel, where crime is a rarity, it could just as easily be a tale told elsewhere.  Avi is a memorable protagonist, and the plot is well thought out.  He is bruited about as the preeminent Israeli detective of the 21st Century. The translation is smooth, and the twist at the end is so unexpected that it is worthy of a more seasoned novelist.  And we look forward to the sequel, A Possibility of Violence, due out from Harper this summer. Recommended.
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Reviewer: Ted Feit

D. A. Mishani (born in 1975) is an Israeli crime writer, editor and literary scholar, specializing in the history of detective fiction. His crime series, featuring police inspector Avraham Avraham, was first published in Hebrew in 2011 and is translated to more than 15 languages. The first novel in the series, "The Missing File", was shortlisted in 2013 to the CWA International dagger award. D. A. Mishani lives with his wife and two children in Tel Aviv.




Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

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