Thursday, 22 May 2008

Sad Mystery

Finished May 21
The Collaborator of Bethlehem by Matt Beynon Rees
This is the first mystery is what promises to be a series featuring Omar Yussef, a teacher at the UN girls school in Bethlehem. Omar is in his fifties and has lived in Bethlehem since he was a child. He lives with his wife Maryam and their son and his family. He has two other children who have left to go abroad. He is a teacher who believes in using reason and judgment rather than just believing what you are told or what you read and he encourages this kind of thinking in his students, sometimes drawing the criticism of administration or parents. Omar used to teach at the Freres school, which is where his grandchildren now go.
When one of his former students George Saba, a Christian, is accused of being a collaborator in the death of a young Palestine guerilla, he finds that he must try all avenues to clear George's name. The guerilla is the husband of another of his students and she gives him important information in his cause. He finds himself up against the guerilla organization, the police, and sometimes his own friends and family. Omar is a man who fears the outcome, but who cannot stand back and watch while his friend is framed.
I was moved by this story, and found Omar a complex character.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your wonderful comments on my novel. I hope you'll continue to enjoy the series as it develops. Best wishes, Matt Beynon Rees