Saturday, February 18, 2017

March Book, The Collaborator of Bethlehem

In his first Omar Yussef mystery, The Collaborator of Bethlehem,  (published in 2006),  Matt Beynon Rees tackles the complex Palestinian world of culture clash and suspicion.

Omar Yussef has been a teacher of history to the children of Bethlehem. He is a likable character filled with humility, humanity and faith in the power of knowledge. When a favorite former pupil, George Saba, a member of the Palestinian Christian minority, is arrested for collaborating with the Israelis in the killing of a Palestinian guerrilla, Omar is sure he has been framed. If George is not cleared, he faces imminent execution. When the wife of the dead man, also one of Omar Yussef’s former pupils, is murdered, possibly raped. When he begins to suspect the head of the Bethlehem al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is the true collaborator, Omar and his family are threatened. But as no one else is willing to stand up to the violent Martyrs Brigades men, who hold the real power in the town, it is up to him to investigate. 

Author Anne Perry writes, “A beautifully written story. I have walked the streets of Bethlehem with Omar Yussef, smelled the dust and the fear, tasted his food, shared his anger and his hope. His decency is a light in the gloom. I shall not forget him."

Other Omar Yussef Mysteries: A Grave in Gaza, The Samaratan's Secret, The Fourth Assassin

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