Patricia McLean's Reviews > A Grave in Gaza

A Grave in Gaza by Matt Rees
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Aug 25, 2010

liked it

Rees writes a suspenseful, interesting tale. I was looking for a good mystery in the aisles of Powell's and I've been intentionally reading authors from outside the U.S., so A Grave in Gaza appealed to me. I loved the first lines and was drawn along by the story and the main character, a sense of chaos, and an omnipresent sandstorm, set the tone.

But as I read, I began to feel uneasy with the author's point of view. Rees is presenting the story from the point of view of a Palestinian, but his British perspective overwhelms. It is Kiplingesque. No matter how much Rees may want to write a Palestinian story, he is not. He is writing a from a distance, an observer, but not a participant. He uses his main character, a Palestinian detective to glorify the role of British soldiers in the formation of the Israeli state. He doesn't touch the complexities of the creation of Israel even while depicting Palestine, and particularly Gaza, as a place writhing in pain. If he had stood a Brit over the grave and had him ruminating over the brave soldiers of the British Empire, I would have had no problem, but to have a Palestinian do this just doesn't ring true.
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