The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category on the far right sidebar.
The latest book, Lineup, from Liad Shoham, the number one best-selling crime author in Israel, has been translated into English. He has been called Israel’s John Grisham for his complex crime novels, and after reading Lineup it becomes obvious he has lived up to the reputation.
The book begins in Tel Aviv where a brutal rape has occurred. To obtain closure for his daughter the father decides to stake-out the area, finding someone, Ziv Nevo, he is sure is the rapist. The police detective, Eli Nahum makes a quick arrest and sets up the circumstances to ensure Nevo’s guilt. However, this rush to judgment causes the case to be tossed out on a technicality resulting in Nahum losing his job and Ziv running for his life. Nevo, a mobster, was in the neighborhood to plant a car bomb. This is where the plot takes off showing the moral struggles of the characters and those working within the Israeli judicial system.
Shoham told blackfive.net, “This is my fifth book in which I tried to show what happens behind the scenes of the judicial system. Every character is motivated by their moral standards. I hope this book gives readers a glimpse of how easily those influencing the judicial system can make it go awry. Each of these characters symbolized a part of the judicial system with their own agenda and motives.”
To attest to the great character development the reader will encounter a range of emotions as he blurred the lines between good and bad, right and wrong. The author hopes that his “characters are seen as humans, not superstars. I don’t write them as purely evil and purely good. I was influenced by the TV show “The Wire” that offers a lot of perspectives from the different characters point of view. I am also influenced by my sister, a public defender (PD) here in Israel. She gave me the details of a similar case and I developed that story. Look, I do not consider my sister evil just because she defends supposed criminals. She opened my eyes to look at PD’s differently, which hopefully the readers will do as well. My final influence is the basic fact that Israelis have grown up around bombings. I lived in Paris when I was between the ages of eight and twelve because my dad was a diplomat. There were a lot of terrorist attacks on Israeli targets. One of my father’s colleagues had a bomb go off under his car while my friend’s father, a Mossad agent, was shot. Bombings are always in the back of every Israeli’s mind.”
He also gave a heads up about his next book, A Silent City. It is about illegal immigrants from Africa living in Tel Aviv intertwined with a crime mystery. For Shoham, “I write stand alone books but the themes are always similar. I try to choose a subject that disturbs me and make a thriller out of it. In the next book the main character will be a policewoman because I wanted to tell the story from a woman’s point of view.”
Although A Silent City is already published in Israel, Americans will have to wait another year. This year they can enjoy Lineup for its very suspenseful plot with its many twists and turns. It is a page-turner that insightfully explores the Israeli judicial system.