Lori's Reviews > The Collaborator of Bethlehem: An Omar Yussef Mystery

The Collaborator of Bethlehem by Matt Rees
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's review
Oct 21, 2009

it was amazing

The Collaborator of Bethlehem, isn't a mystery in the traditional sense, but is of a genre of new books in which the mystery is secondary to the characters development and the time and place that the story evolves in. I loved it! If you enjoy this type of story, and not the more formulaic mystery, this is definetly a novel for you to pick up and invest time in reading.
Matt Benynon Rees has created a very life like central character in Omar Yussef a Muslim living in the West Bank. The story very realistically, as Rees has spent time in the Middle East,imagines Yussef's neighborhood, his family and the turmoil felt by the average person living in a war zone. It is truely moving to read about the frustrations and violence that is an everyday occurance. Within this descripton of Yussef's life the reader is introduced to a mystery. One of Yussef's former student's is accused of being a "collaborator" with the Israeli army. Omar must overcome his initial hesitancy to get involved and redeem himself by living the life he has urged his students to live. He sets out to prove his former student's innocence by clues and confrontations and deductions. We root for Omar Yussef as he is the everyman struggling to "make things right" in a world gone horribly wrong. This is a well written intriguing novel in which the answer to the mystery is less climatic than the growth that the central character, Omar Yussef, experiences. Well done!

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