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by Quercus, 4 September 2014. ISBN: 978 1 78087 652 8 (hb)
In this Israel-set novel
Inspector Avraham Avraham has returned to his police station in Holen, a Tel
Aviv suburb, from his stay in Brussels with his lover Marianka. He is expecting
Marianka to join him soon. Now, however, he has a case to work on. A man has
been spotted leaving a suitcase near a kindergarten. It is suspected to be a
bomb. Avraham has a suspect to interrogate but he turns out to have an alibi
and in any case the suspected bomb turned out to be a hoax. But if the suspect
didn’t leave the bomb, who did? Things are not happy at the kindergarten –
Chava Cohen, the manager, has an abrasive manner which has antagonized some of
the parents. Avraham interviews a number of the parents, in particular the
middle-aged Chaim Sara. There is no evidence of a connection between Chaim and
the hoax bomb but Avraham is concerned about another matter – the absence of
Chaim’s Filipina wife Jenny. Chaim claims that she has returned to the
Philippines – but has she? Avraham’s concerns are not just for Jenny but for
the couple’s two little boys but are not shared by his colleagues. His previous
problems in case investigations (see The
Missing File, reviewed on the Mystery
People website) overshadow his relations with those colleagues who feel he
should concentrate on the hoax bomb investigation particularly since there
seems to be a continuing threat to Chava Cohen. And Avraham’s relationship with
Marianka seems to be rather more problematic than when they were together.
is an interesting book with its details of police procedure in Israel. My only
caveat is that since the narrative is partly that of Chaim it seems a trifle
odd that although he actually knows what happened to Jenny this does not
feature in his thoughts. But this is a common problem in novels where an author
wishes to portray the inner life of a character without giving away too much.
The result is that the overall tone is rather low-key. However, both Avraham
and Chaim do come across as sympathetic characters with whom the reader can
Reviewer: Radmila May
D. A. Mishaniwas born in 1975. He 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.