Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lineup - Liad Shoham

I'm a huge mystery fan - it's definitely my favourite genre.  I also enjoy discovering mystery authors from other countries - Scandinavia, Britain, Germany, France - but Liad Shoham is the first Israeli author for me. Shoham is considered to be "Israel’s leading crime writer." Lineup is the first of his books to be translated into English.

Adi Regev is walking home to her apartment in Tel Aviv one night when she brutally attacked and raped. When the police turn up no witnesses or leads, her father Yaron takes it upon himself to stake out her street, to both protect her and perhaps catch the criminal. When Ziv Nevo is caught skulking around the neighbourhood, he is sure he is the rapist. Yaron takes his findings to Inspector Eli Nachum. Nachum, under pressure to close the case, goes against his own better judgement and pushes the case through. But it's a costly error.....Ziv is not the rapist - he works for the mob. What was he doing in the street? Now the mob thinks Ziv is a rat, the rapist is still loose and Nachum, well Nachum has messed up big time.

"He'd been hoping his success with this case would finally prove to everyone that he knew what he was doing, that he wasn't ready to be put out to pasture."

Lineup is told from three points of view - that of Nachum, Ziv and an reporter named Amit. I was torn on Nachum - on the one hand I wanted to like him - he's older, worked hard to get where he is and seems to care about his work. But the choices he made and even his plan to rectify things didn't put me on his side. Surprisingly, the character I did like the most was Ziv, despite his criminal activity. Amit again was another difficult call. Intially I thought he was being taken advantage of, but  I ended up putting him in the same camp as Nachum.

Now having said all that, you don't to like the characters to to enjoy the story. Shoham's premise is a good one, inventive and different. I was quite curious as to how it would all play out. I did find that I  had figured out whodunit before the reveal though. There were some coincidences and omissions that make the path to the solution that much easier. Still, I found Lineup kept me engaged and turning pages until the end.

Lineup was an interesting read - I enjoyed the legal and procedural details. Shoham is an attorney himself and his insider knowledge gave the book that added ring of realism. I enjoyed a setting that was new to this reader and a look at Israeli life.

Lineup was translated from Hebrew by Sara Kitai. She did an excellent job - there were no wooden words or awkward phrasing. Read an excerpt of Lineup.

"Liad Shoham is Israel’s leading crime writer and a practicing attorney with degrees from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University and the London School of Economics. All his crime novels (five to date) have been critically acclaimed bestsellers. He lives in Tel Aviv and is married with two children. Find him on Facebook."

See what others on the TLC Book Tour thought - full schedule can be found here.


bermudaonion said...

I think this would be worth reading just for the peek into Israeli life. Thanks for the review!

Unknown said...

Thank you very much for this review. I think you are absolutely right about liking the characters. Sometimes I had a hard time liking them, but I always understood them. I tried to a show process whereby every character follows his own agenda and does what he think is right. The result is often catastrophic. But this is how human being sometime operate, (especially when they feel their back is against the wall), no? I enjoyed reading your review and hope that we can meet again when my other books are going to be translated into English. All the best, Liad Shoham.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks for being on the tour.

Luanne said...

Thank you Liad.