This crime novel frustrated me no end, so much so that I considered stopping several times. I still kept at it until the end because I expected a kind of enlightenment at the end, which didn’t come.
First things first, I noticed this writer several years ago in a Rouen library that has a very wide offering when it comes to international crime novels. I couldn’t remember if I’d read his book after all, so I borrowed the second one in the series from the library. This was a big mistake! The second book starts just when the aftermaths of the first investigation are still haunting the hero, and I felt that I was missing out. If you want to try this author, please note that you should start with “The Missing File”.
It should have been a warning sign that the hero and I were not exactly… compatible. At the beginning of the book Tel Aviv inspector Avi Avraham comes back from a long vacation in Belgium, some necessary time off after a major screw-up in a previous case. Yet he seems unable to move one with his life, or to learn from his mistakes. The next case he takes seems rather random (a fake bombing attempt on a daycare), but Avi is so full of hesitations and second-guessing that he quickly got on my nerves. His interviews of some potential suspects lead him towards another potential crime that has never been reported or perhaps does not even exist. He follows his guts, then doubts his guts to the point that he fails to follow obvious leads. I found it not very plausible, if not in psychology, but at least in terms of police procedures. It looks as if Avi’s boss and colleagues let him do whatever he feels like. Moreover, I couldn’t really understand what went on between Avi and his Belgian girlfriend and that annoyed me even more.
If you’re interested in Israeli detectives and mysteries, I would rather recommend Batya Gur.