Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fourth Assassin” as Want to Read:
The Fourth Assassin
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Fourth Assassin (Omar Yussef Mystery #4)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  158 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Arriving to visit his son Ala in the heavily Palestinian neighborhood of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Omar Yussef discovers the beheaded body of one of the boy’s roommates. When Ala is arrested as a suspect, Omar Yussef must investigate to prove his son’s innocence, uncovering a deadly conspiracy of international proportions.
Paperback, 281 pages
Published 2010 by Atlantic,
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fourth Assassin, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Fourth Assassin

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 272)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
First Sentence: As he left the R train and came up the narrow, gum-blackened steps from the Fourth Avenue subway in Brooklyn, Omar Yussef glanced around for armed robbers and smiled.

Palestinian Omar Yussef is in New York City for a UN conference, thinking the worst he’ll experience is dealing with his boss, who hates him. He does not expect to going to Brooklyn to visit his son and finding a beheaded body on his son’s bed. Yussef becomes caught up in trying to achieve justice while dealing with
this is the best Omar Yusef yet apart from the 1st "the Collaborator of Bethlehem". Characters are so believable that one starts conflating them with real history and news. Rees' characters seem to be getting angrier as this series progresses. here' a great summation line, talking of Muslim societies in general and Palestinian specifically (and usa righteousness?): "No animal would seek its own death. An animal doesn't expect to elevate itself by dying. It's our civilization that leads down the ...more
I thought the novelty of a Palestinian lead character in New York City and a notice in the New York Times would lead to a positive reading experience.
But no. The ending is totally contrived and the plot is weak. So the unusual aspects, which are interesting, don't make up for the fact that the story is crap.
Jim Leffert
This is Rees’ fourth crime novel featuring Omar Youssef, an aging history teacher in Bethlehem. Youssef, a reformed alcoholic, is a voice for moderation and progressive thinking in a corrupt and violent society. This book brings Youssef to New York to serve on the Palestinian delegation to a UN conference and to visit his son, Ala, who lives in Little Palestine, an immigrant enclave in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. No sooner does Omar Youssef walk into his son’s apartment than he encounters a headless de ...more
Cheryl Gatling
Omar Yussef was a teacher in Palestine. He once had four special students who had taken to heart the history lessons he had taught them about the medieval Assassins, and called themselves The Four Assassins. Not killers at all, just four smart, energetic best friends, and Omar Yussef was like a father figure to them. One of them was Omar Yussef's actual son, Ala. Now, years later, three of the former Assassins live together in an apartment in New York. One of them has become estranged. Omar Yuss ...more
In the fourth Omar Yussef episode, he is in New York to make a speech at a UN conference on Palestine, while his police friend Khamis is there to guard the Palenstine president. Visiting his youngest son at his Brooklyn apartment, he finds one of the roommates decapitated. All is not well in America, as Omar’s sons have either assimilated or turned to zealotry in response to Western temptation. References to the Assassins, their castle Alamut, and the Mahdi abound at the crime scene, so Omar kno ...more
Omar Yussef views his trip to New York for the UN conference with mixed feelings. On the one hand he is happy that he will get to see his youngest son, Ala. On the other, he has never before visited this city or given a speech at the UN. When he finds a body, beheaded, in his son's apartment, his heart leaps. Is this what is left of his son? As footsteps reach his ears, he fears the murderer may be returning but it is Ala who knows nothing of what has passed. And, when the police arrives Ala is ...more
A palestinian schoolteacher arrives in NYC for a UN conference & to visit his son when he discovers a headless body in his sons apartment.

The book begins intriguing enough but soon becomes overbearing by the authors haughty attempts to impress the reader with his knowledge of Palestinian culture. The fact that middle easterners constantly greet each other with all sorts if blessings is understood but soon becomes annoying to the point if getting in the way of the story. His ability to desc
#4 Omar Yussef mystery. These are usually set in Bethlehem, where Omar works as a teacher, but he is in New York this time to give a talk to the UN about education in the refugee camps. Upon arrival, he goes to visit his son, but finds a decapitated body at Ala's apartment, a body that turns out to be Ala's roommate and Omar's former student. Ala is subsequently arrested and Omar is frantic to get him released. Bethlehem's police chief is also in NY providing security for their President at the ...more
Fenixbird SandS
Jan 19, 2010 Fenixbird SandS marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers of intl intrigue
Recommended to Fenixbird by: Matt
Looking forward to a good intl mystery. Sounds as intriguing as Rising Sun! Quoting author's review, "...For those who have no copy of the magazine (in which case you may have missed Librarian of the Year -- Way to go, Craig Buthod of Louisville, Ky.) here's THE FOURTH ASSASSIN review: "In New York City for a UN conference, Omar Yussef goes to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, home to a large Palestinian community, to visit his son and finds a beheaded body in his son's apartment. With no alibi, his son is a ...more
Catherine Woodman
I love this series, an it is not one to go easy on anyone--the Israeli's and the Palestinians come off equally badly, which is why the series is a little corner of what is going to be so complicated about any solution in the Middle East, and why you really have to feel badly for the Palestinians--while the rest of the Arab world is sympathetic, they don't want them either, so they remain not only without a homeland, but without possibilities to immigrate. In this one, Americans are added to the ...more
Non-stop action in this the fourth book in the series. It's filled with many plot twists. It's also filled with sadness and violence as well as hope for the future with a man like Omar Yussef around to moderate. I enjoyed this one the most because it was set in New York City's Little Palestine and because it capitalized on the role of the teacher as a life-long mentor for students. We see first hand the clash between traditional culture and a new culture that is completely alien to the immigrant ...more
The Fourth Assassin was somewhat of a departure from the series, in that the setting for the story was New York. This was a bit discomforting, but the story was still very good. I have enjoyed this series, because of the mix of culture and crime, and this story was a bit different. It was also not quite as realistic as the other novels. I look forward to reading another story by Mr. Rees.
Sep 24, 2014 Richard rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Another wonderfully crafted novel about the inquisitive school teacher come amateur detective. Normally within the bounds of "occupied palestinian territories", this fourth outing pitches him into New York City to speak at a conference at the UN.
All the usually characters pop up and the body count remains high, but the star of these novels is Omar Yussef and his desire for the truth before even his own welfare, He is a dedicated investigator; fearless and outspoken filled with charm and wit, who
After having worked and lived in Palestine I very much enjoyed reading the whole Omar Yussuf-series as it reminded me about many small things, like food or specific places, and therefore triggered a lot of memories. In creating an atmosphere these mystery novels are similar Donna Leon's books. If reading other faster-paced thrillers feels like seeing a movie, reading these books makes you feel like you are part of the movie -- you can solve the mystery with the detective together. It's also nice ...more
Omar Yussef is a Palestinian teacher from the Dehaisha Refugee Camp in NY to speak to the UN. He goes to visit his son in Little Palestine and finds a dead man with his head removed. He does some sleuthing along with his old friend who is guarding the president of Palestine and a local Palestinian police man. The suspects and dead man were former students of Omar's as well as friends of his son. I had a problem keeping the Arabic names straight. The plot to kill the President of Palestine when h ...more
Matt Beynon Rees' series of mystery novels featuring U.N. School teacher Omar Yussef is both a joy and a sorrow. The Palestinians, the people at the heart of the series are a troubled people and Rees tries to be fair about the source of the troubles. The mysteries are layered, culturally complicated and deeply, sadly human. In this novel, Yussef travels to New York for UN conference and finds himself emmeshed in the politics of little Palestine...a fascinating portrait of a people and a place we ...more
Pam Roberts
Omar Yussef, our hero, is from Bethlehem (that's Palestine, not PA) and is a teacher/amateur detective. His son lives in Brooklyn and Omar comes to speak at the UN and visit him. Rees is really good at portraying NY in winter from the point of view of an Arab and spends a lot of time on Omar's feelings - I almost stopped reading it was so bleak. However, it gets more interesting if not less bleak. Persevere if you want to know more about things from an Arab perspective.
The best book i've read so far on Israel and Palestine. It's not a perfect mystery, but it kept me on the edge of my seat. It educated me so much on the issues, blaming all without taking a side. A sympathetic Palestinian narrator takes Israel to task for its failings, but also praises its attempt at peace. Abu Ramiz exhorts the PLO to abandon terrorism and violence, but also avoids turning all Palestinians into murderers or victims.

Life changing.
Omar Yussef taken from his usual setting to NYC. I realize this is fiction, and the view has its own biases, but interesting to see America through the eyes of non-terrorist Moslems, including ones who came here with much hope (but perhaps unmeetable expectations). Great, intricate multithreaded plot and characterization as always simply sterling, as is the smooth writing. One of my favorite newer series for many reasons
I didn't like this as much as I liked the first three books. This one takes place in NY and I prefer the ones that take place in the Middle East. I didn't feel as though I learned as much reading this book. It was also quite unrealistic that Omar Yusef was able to negotiate the ins and outs of NY as well as he did, never having been there before.
The Omar Yussef mysteries are a real pleasure to read, realistic characters where the heroes are flawed and human and the setting is brought realistically to life. Although this one takes place in New York the West Bank is never far from the text. Do yourself a favour, start with the first in the series and work your way up to this one.
Fourth in the series. I believe I read the first, but missed the next two.
It was intriguing to watch Omar Yussef navigate New York, though I think he has too easy a time of it. The other characters are interesting, too. The plot is pretty intricate, and the bodies do pile up rather improbably. Still, this was an enjoyable read.
This was the second Omar Yussef mystery I read and enjoyed it more than the first. It took place in and around Manhattan and so there were fewer Palestinian names to track! And I had met several of the characters in his previous book.
A well written book by a new to me author. I'll definitely be on the lookout for the previous 3 in this series featuring Omar Yussef, a school teacher from Palestine. A teacher who solves mysteries, it seems.
Margaret Sankey
Fourth in a morally ambiguous mystery series set in the gray noir world of Palestine, exiles and refugee camps--this time shifts to murder and assassination plans at a UN conference in New York.
Great author but this book is stretched a little thin. He loses the main character who is fabulous in the other books in the series. A great mystery series about Palestine!
Omar Yussef comes to New York!

I liked this more than the third book in the series. A little heavy-handed at times, but great insight into life as a Palestinian.
Melanie Relton
Another great Omar Yussef mystery. Murder, Arabic history, politics, sadness and love all set within New York's Little Palestine district.
Good. I do not know how accurate Rees's picturing of current Palestine is but his books make me want to find out.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Lord of Death (Inspector Shan, #6)
  • Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground
  • The Talmud and the Internet: A Journey between Worlds
  • The Affair of the Mutilated Mink (Burford Family Mysteries, #2)
  • The Blue Demon (Nic Costa, #8)
  • Rip Tide (Liz Carlyle, #6)
  • Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right
  • The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress
  • Terror and Liberalism
  • Murder In The Central Committee (Pepe Carvalho, #5)
  • The Merry Misogynist (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #6)
  • A Loyal Character Dancer (Inspector Chen Cao #2)
  • Practicing Catholic
  • The Gentle Axe (Porfiry Petrovich, #1)
  • The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold
  • Mysteries of the Diogenes Club
  • Dreamland
  • Chaucer
I'm an award-winning crime novelist--mysteries, thrillers, and historical fiction. My first novel (about Palestinian sleuth Omar Yussef) won the UK Crime Writers Association New Blood Dagger. I've written historical novels about the mysterious deaths of the composer Mozart and Caravaggio, the Italian artist. I'm working on a thriller series about a US agent. Set in New York, which is where my wife ...more
More about Matt Rees...
Mozart's Last Aria The Collaborator of Bethlehem A Grave in Gaza Samaritan's Secret A Name In Blood

Share This Book