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Het verraad van Bethlehem (Omar Yussef Mystery #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  984 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
Een leraar in een Palestijns vluchtelingenkamp neemt het op voor een vroegere leerling die verdacht wordt van collaboratie met de Israëliërs. Hij wordt door iedereen tegengewerkt omdat machtige ideologische groeperingen een zondebok nodig hebben.
Paperback, 268 pages
Published May 5th 2008 by Anthos (first published 2006)
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Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a reader of books about the Middle East, and this mystery set in Bethlehem on the West Bank caught my eye. At first I didn't think I'd like it, but I was quickly drawn into the twists and turns of plot, a few of them shocking, and felt I'd been immersed in Arab-Israeli political tensions in a way I'd never been before. Welsh-born author Rees, a journalist with Time magazine in Jerusalem, chooses as his central character an Arab history teacher at a UN-run girls school for refugees. A man wit ...more
Elsie Klumpner
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
I expected to enjoy this book and it did not disappoint. I haven't read any fiction set in occupied Palestine and I was hoping to get a sense of what life is like under the occupation. The author paints a very grim picture. Not only do the Christians and Muslims live in fear of the Israelis' attacks, but they are also at war with each other, living lives full of distrust, violence and inhumanity. There doesn't seem to be any solution.

The mystery is well written and intriguing, with lots of susp
Steven Z.
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a voracious reader of mysteries that have a contemporary political bent I always look forward to title suggestions from others. Last week a friend introduced me to Matt Benyon Rees and his protagonist, Omar Yussef. After reading THE COLLABORATOR OF BETHLEHEM the first of four “Yussef” books, I am sold. Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell and others of their ilk have nothing on Mr. Rees who has created an evocative character that allows the reader to enter the byzantine politics of the Palestinian movem ...more
The Collaborator of Bethlehem is fascinating. It works better as an authentic description of life as a Palestinian in Bethlehem, and the significance of rule of law to every day existence, than it does as a mystery, but it works fine as a mystery, at least for the initial 80%. That's the point where I wanted to grab Omar by the shoulders and say, "stop!" in the same way that you scream at the TV or movie screen at your protagonist not to head into a certain building because the score and fact t ...more
Ram Kaushik
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The occupied Palestinian territories (or Israeli territories, depending on your viewpoint) forms a fascinating backdrop to this mystery. The author is a Middle East expert, so offers a nuanced view of life in the West Bank. The book explores the authorities' siege/victim mentality beautifully. The lines between violent thug, terrorist and "martyr for the cause" are incredibly blurry in this novel. Worth a read. Oh, and the mystery is somewhat mundane - but who cares about that?
Το βιβλίο τρέχει άνετα και κράτα το ενδιαφέρον. Αναφέρεται σε μια δύσκολη και περίεργη περίοδο και περιοχή για την οποία αναρωτιέμαι πόσα γνωρίζω. Η πλοκή λαμβάνει χώρα στην Παλαιστίνη. Ο Ομάρ Γιουσέφ είναι μάλλον αρεστός στον αναγνώστη αλλά όχι τέλειος. Οι χαρακτήρες μπερδεμένοι. Στην τελική ένα ενδιαφέρον αστυνομικό μυθιστόρημα.
Val Penny
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Matt Rees is a Welsh novelist and journalist. This is the first of his books I have read, although he is the author of The Palestine Quartet, a series of crime novels about Omar Yussef a Palestinian sleuth. He is the winner of a Crime Writer’s Association Dagger for his crime fiction. This part of the world has always fascinated me but Rees’s novels approach the Middle East conflict from an often unexpected direction. There are almost no Israeli characters, and the novels maintain a focus on Pal ...more
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marieke by: random find in a bookstore.
i don't like reviewing books and plenty of other people reviewed it. i'll just say: i liked it and i'll definitely read the series. i was impressed with how the author handled the complexities of palestinian history and life as an occupied people...i'm wondering what palestinians would make of it but so far i've only seen reviews by non-palestinians.

i thought the following quotes really exemplify what i consider the author's incisiveness:

the problem of religion:

"Omar Yussef looked up into the be
Feb 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rees, Matt Beynon. THE COLLABORATOR OF BETHLEHEM. (2007). ****. This debut novel introduces Omar Yussef, a teacher of history at a UN-supported school in the city of Bethlehem, on the West Bank. Omar, also known as Abu Ramiz, has been a teacher for many, many years. He is 57-years old, and has become severly disillusioned over the years by the increasing friction among the Israelis, the Arabs, and the Christians. He has endeavored over the years to teach his young students to put aside factional ...more
Feb 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, mideast
Omar Yussef, a crusty grandfather, refuses to mind his own business. Friends run into trouble in Dehaisha, a refugee camp on the outskirts of Bethlehem, and he looks into the void.

This book is overwhelming in its pathos, and terrifying in its implications. This old schoolmaster, Omar Yussef, almost goes out of his way to avoid finding evidence of murder in Dehaisha, perpetrated, he believes, by a leader of the resistance. Instead he finds clues just lying about, ignored by the very people meant
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I'm an award-winning writer of international thrillers, mysteries, and historical fiction. I'm giving away a FREE ebook THE THRILLER CHECKLIST, a no-nonsense guide to get your thriller written. Get it here: My latest is CHINA STRIKE, second in an international thriller series about a US agent. My Palestinian mysteries won a UK Crime Writers Association Dagger. I've written h ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Omar Yussef Mystery (4 books)
  • A Grave in Gaza (Omar Yussef Mystery #2)
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“Love is not an option. It's the choice of an idiot who wants to end with nothing, robbed and abused and humiliated.” 6 likes
“Life is terrorism, so spare me your indignation. Life is one big infiltration of our secure defenses. Some people put bombs on buses and blow them up: those are terrorists. Some people speak to you and their words blow you up: what would you call those people? Life is a condemned cell. . . . That's the only way to protect yourself . . . to understand that you're always under sentence of death and to try to get a temporary remission.” 2 likes
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