Although at least half a dozen books precede this one in the series, this is my first experience with Chief Superintendent Michael Ohayon, whose career as a homicide detective takes place in Jerusalem. A young woman found brutally beaten and murdered in an empty apartment has no known men friends and is active in her Yemenite community. Tensions between families in her neighborhood reflect societal tensions between different factions of Jews, and between Jews and Arabs. A lonely, unhappy little girl may be able to provide clues to the secrets held by the people around her, and Ohayon may have a chance to reconnect with an old love.
I enjoyed the insight into modern day Israel, and the history lessons that became part of the plot. But the character of Danny Balilty, of the police intelligence division, just about drove me crazy. I can't imagine why anyone would listen to his nebbischy monologues or his racist remarks, and I couldn't fathom why on earth Ohayon would put up with all the unasked-for advice about his personal life. So for me his appearances slowed down the development of the plot and worked against the believability of the characters. Or maybe it's just more insight into a tendency in other cultures for everyone to criticize and mind everyone else's business in a way that would normally not be tolerated in the US.
The author gets strong reviews both in the US and internationally, however, and I enjoyed the book and the look into Israeli society enough that I will probably seek out and read others in the series.
Overall very good. It is well written but it is sometimes hard to follow. Good characterizations.