Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The Saladin Murders by Matt Rees

Whenever I open the newspaper and see an article about the conflict in Palestine I think 'I really must read this, it's important'. Then I struggle through it and end up none the wiser. Matt Rees' first book in this series, The Bethlehem Murders, really made me think for the first time that I had some sense of what life is like for ordinary Palestinians.
This book, The Saladin Murders, is the second in the series. It features the same hero, Omar Yussef. He works as a history teacher in a UN school in Bethlehem. He and a UN colleague, Magnus Wallender, make a trip to Gaza to do an inspection of the UN schools. They discover that one of their teachers there has been arrested, clearly for political reasons. They are drawn into the murky world of Gaza politics where might is right and the best ordinary people can hope for is to keep their heads down and hope trouble doesn't find them. Wallender is kidnapped and Omar Yussaf struggles to keep going in the face of danger.
I thought this was an excellent book and I'm really looking forward to reading the next one in the series.

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