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This book is about a murder. But even more so it is about Palestine, about the quagmire of politics that takes over every part of life and makes living there and remaining sane quite difficult.
The storyline is good, but the best thing about is that one learns quite a lot about life in Palestine as it is for the normal citizen, and how all the stuff we see on the news has direct effect on them. And the best thing is - one does not even notice learning. But a warning: This book is heavily disillusioning.
Aug 23, 2007
so-so mystery, good literature
As a work of contemporary literature, The Collaborator of Bethlehem stands out as a tense, emotional and detailed portrait of life in the Palestinian territories. The author successfully walks the tightrope of portraying both militants and ordinary Palestinians without demonizing or glorifying either.
As a mystery novel, the mystery itself is lukewarm and has one of those endings where the villain gladly explains every last detail of his foiled plan, which is kind of a cheap way out.
Don't read this novel expecting a great mystery whodunit plot. But do read it as a well-written and atmospheric study of a time and place and character.
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