For me, the strength of this book was its uniqueness. Partially the Israeli flavor, partially the writer himself, I haven’t read anything else that has the same feel, and that’s enough to get me back for the next book when it comes out.
Summary via Goodreads:
Detective Avraham Avraham must find a teenage boy who has vanished from his quiet suburban neighborhood.
Police detective Avraham Avraham knows that when a crime is committed in his sleepy suburb of Tel Aviv, there is little need for a complex investigation. There are no serial killers or kidnappings here. The perpetrator is usually the neighbor, the uncle, or the father. As he has learned, the simplest explanation is always the answer.
But his theory is challenged when a sixteen-year-old boy named Ofer Sharabi disappears without a trace while on his way to school one morning. There is no simple explanation, and Avraham’s ordered world is consumed by the unimaginable perplexity of the case.
The more he finds out about the boy and his circumstances, the further out of reach the truth seems to be. Avraham’s best lead is Ofer’s older neighbor and tutor, Ze’ev Avni. Avni has information that sheds new light on the case—and makes him a likely suspect. But will the neighbor’s strange story save the investigation?
The mystery itself– a missing boy– is interesting enough, with sufficient twists and turns to keep the story going. I also enjoyed the character of Avraham Avraham, the neurotic young police detective. He’s a big part of the uniqueness I mentioned. The book was a good introduction to him, with enough depth to show the potential for future growth and development.
Unfortunately, I also had some problems with the book. The first one, which was more of a problem in the first half of the book, was the other viewpoint character. Ze’ev Avni is a neurotic young schoolteacher, and his character had too similar of a feel to that of Avraham. This isn’t helped by some characters referring to Avraham as Avi, while Ze’ev is often called Avni. The problem isn’t that I got the characters confused, it’s that I like alternating viewpoints to offer more of a contrast.
The other problem was one with the flow of the progress of the mystery, particularly at the end. I can’t give details without getting into spoilers, and this may be a deliberate choice of the author, to reflect the frustration of working on such a case.
I did like that a minor character called out the biggest flaw in the solution at the very end. I’ll declare that enough to keep that flaw from being one of my negatives about the book, which it otherwise would have been for me.
The author shows considerable promise, and this book made for an interesting reading experience.
I read this book as part of a TLC Book Tour. Thank you to Trish for the opportunity to participate. You can read other reader’s perspectives on this book at the other tour stops.