Arriving to visit his son Ala in the heavily Palestinian neighborhood of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Omar Yussef discovers the beheaded body of one of the boy’s roommates. When Ala is arrested as a suspect, Omar Yussef must investigate to prove his son’s innocence, uncovering a deadly conspiracy of international proportions.
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Matt Beynon Rees was born in South Wales. He was previously the Jerusalem bureau chief for Time magazine and covered the Middle East as a journalist for over a decade. The first book in the Omar Yussef series won the CWA New Blood Dagger.From Booklist:
Road trips in crime series have the built-in problem of removing their heroes from the landscapes that define them. Rees’ Bethlehem history teacher and occasional sleuth Omar Yussef is a strong enough character to survive a temporary transplant to New York, but that’s not to say we don’t miss the vividly evoked Palestine setting. Yussef has agreed to attend a UN conference in Manhattan because it will give him a chance to see his son, Ala, who is living in Brooklyn’s Little Palestine neighborhood. The reunion is spoiled, however, when Yussef finds one of Ala’s roommates dead, the victim of what appears to be a ritual killing. With Ala a suspect, Yussef attempts to find the killer. Could the history lessons that Yussef once taught Ala and his friends have been corrupted into a contemporary suicide-assassination plot? Although the setting and the high-concept premise—the finale evokes The Manchurian Candidate—take us too far away from the small human dramas that usually drive this series, Yussef himself never loses sight of what he calls “the life that remains when politics is sluiced away like the filth a stray dog leaves in the street.” --Bill Ott
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