Selasa, 16 Agustus 2011

Israeli Law and Order

The Missing File D Mishani

The Missing File D Mishani

This book is compelling for its vivid portrait of Israeli life, not in the glamorous cafes of Tel Aviv but in the streets of Holon, a less than glamorous suburb. The main character is interesting, for the author has shunned creating an Israeli superhero and chosen instead to offer us a man disappointed in life, relying on colleagues for insights, and, in the case of this book, guilty for ignoring a mother's plea about her missing 16 year old son. But not is all that it seems, and, slyly, the book undermines the cliches of the detective story even as it follows standard mystery conventions. This series will deservedly do well, so it is worthwhile discovering it at the beginning of its fame. The only flaw was that some of the language is stilted, though it is impossible to determine whether the fault lies with the author or translator.

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5 komentar:

  1. Rosemary Castaneda23 November 2010 07.32

    This book held my attention from the beginning. Some reviews (here and elsewhere) have said that it's more about the thoughts of the detective and the other main character, but there's plenty of suspense and action.

    The story might be classified more as suspense or police procedural than mystery, because we don't get any clues about the ending. In fact, as others pointed out, there's a neat twist in the last few pages that make everything hang together.

    The characters were plausible almost to a fault. The police detecdtive, Avi Avraham, seems surprisingly insecure and out of touch. He seems lonely and his skills don't jump out at the reader.

    The author doesn't go out of his way to create an environment that's Israeli; probably he's writing for audiences that take it for granted. Another reviewer points out that Avi eats a ham sandwich - something I completely missed!

    A few loose ends were left untied here and there but I didn't feel we were given extraneous information. The interrogations of suspects were a little long but probably realistic. I would have liked to get a sense of the Israeli court system; it seems that the police can hold a suspect without providing a lawyer or reading their equivalent of Miranda rights.

    Still, I'm already looking forward to the next volume in the series. This book stands as well above average - even outstanding - in the mystery and suspense genre. one

    BalasHapus
  2. I noted with interest that the author is a scholar of detective literature. D. A. Mishani is clearly intimately familiar with all the conventions of detective fiction, and he has managed to ignore them all to create a very original whodunit.

    Ay first I didn't realize what a treat I was in for. Events unfold in a rather desultory fashion. And the detective is insecure and indecisive. But Inspector Avraham Avraham (Avi) gets more engaging by the page. He's at an awkward age (38) and seems to have no women in his life but his nudge of a mother (whom he keeps at arm's length) and his female boss (on whom he has a strange dependency).

    The case is nothing sensational. As Avi is fond of observing, there are no serial killers or kidnappers in Israel. A sixteen-year-old boy has simply gone missing, and in all likelihood will return home after his escapade. But Ofer doesn't come home. And Avi finds himself in charge of a very weird investigation. It doesn't help that a "brilliant" young detective is assigned to his team and clearly intends to outshine him. Or that Avi is forced to go on a business trip in the middle of the investigation.

    There's an odd neighbor who keeps volunteering to help with the investigation - a bizarre and fascinating character. Avi conducts a number of dramatic interrogations with this guy.

    I enjoyed the Israeli ambience. Fast food for Avi is a falafel eaten on the street. He drinks Turkish coffee. He has amusing interactions with his Jewish parents. The Missing File was originally published in Hebrew, which for me adds to its exotic appeal.

    I'm looking forward to Avi's next case. And I'm dying to know the outcome of the little romance that gets started in this book.

    BalasHapus
  3. Christian Lynn23 Oktober 2012 05.32

    Some have said that this book is slow going. I disagree, maybe it took awhile to take off, but the author held my attention with his fine writing, good description and the plot developing. I like how he led me down a false path. I was totally in his grasp.

    If you're looking for a detective story that isn't set in familiar cop surroundings, you know, L.A. or N.Y. or any other American, British or Scandinavian city, give this one a chance, I think you'll like it, because this is a very good story.

    BalasHapus
  4. This probably isn't a book that's going to grab you at the outset. It's slow developing with a detective who, as one reviewer notes, will remind you of Colombo in that he's not impressive at first. But the author skillfully weaves two subgenres, that of the police procedural and that of the mystery puzzle, together and creates an eminently satisfying mystery for your pleasure. Highly recommended...as I say, just stick with it and you'll be rewarded.

    BalasHapus