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by D.A. Mishani ; translated by Steven Cohen

Pub Date: March 19th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-06-219537-1
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

A missing person case provides an unexpected challenge for a suburban Tel Aviv police inspector.

Aside from terrorism, there’s very little crime in Israel. That, explains Inspector Avraham Avraham, is why so few detective novels are written in Hebrew. So when Hannah Sharabi comes to the station to report that her son Ofer left their apartment in Holon for school that morning and never returned, Avraham assures her that the 16-year-old probably left on his own and will eventually return. But Ofer doesn’t turn up, and after a day, Avraham is forced to open an investigation. Much to his chagrin, young hotshot Eyal Shrapstein is assigned to help him. Shrapstein undermines Avraham’s fragile authority almost as much as his older colleague Eliyahu Ma’alul supports him. Avraham’s superior, Ilana Lis, is also supportive, but as the investigation stalls, her patience wears thin. Should Avraham focus more on Ofer’s father, a seaman who was headed to Trieste when his son disappeared? On neighbor Ze’ev Avni, a teacher whose poor sense of boundaries may have pushed Ofer toward the edge? On one of the anonymous phone calls that make Shrapstein’s ears twitch? Even a weeklong business trip to Brussels can’t shake the Sharabi case from the mind of Avraham, who struggles to separate the truth from a tangle of evasions, misperceptions and outright lies.

Mishani gives his unfortunately named sleuth a compelling debut in a complex case aimed straight at the reader’s heart.