Book Reviews of Pattern Crimes

Pattern Crimes
Pattern Crimes
Author: William Bayer
ISBN-13: 9780394558769
ISBN-10: 0394558766
Publication Date: 4/12/1987
Pages: 329
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.

4.8 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: Villard
Book Type: Hardcover
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Helpful Score: 1
At first they seem like random killings but chief of the Pattern Crimes Unit isn't sure. Very good book
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It begins when the strangely marked body of a young prostitute is found just outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. A similarly disfigured corpse of an American nun turns up. Then an Arab boy. As the list of victims grows, their only apparent connection the bizarre markings on their bodies, it appears that Israel is facing its first serial murder case.

David Bar-Lev, chief of the Pattern Crimes Unit of the Jerusalem police, is not so sure. A tough yet sensitive investigator with a powerful intelligence and a querying mind, he begins searching for a pattern that will explain the apparently random killings.

At first the disorder is overwhelming, the clues unfathomable. But then, as David probes deeper into this particular pattern crime, he is not so sure he wants to understand it. Pieces emerge that suggest that this time the key may lie within his own life. During the course of his investigation he must uncover and confront many painful secrets:

The mysterious behavior of his father, Avraham, a retired psychoanalyst;

The tragic suicide of his brother, Gideon, a talented fighter pilot;

The hidden past of his beautiful Russian lover, the cellist Anna;

The possibility of corruption within the Jerusalem police and the ultrasecret General Security Services (Shin Bet).

But despite the pain of these and other revelations, David probes on until he finally glimpses his astonishing solution-for, as one cop says of David Bar-Lev, "It is not enough for him to investigate. David has to understand."

The Jerusalem of Pattern Crimes is not the idealized Holy City of the guidebooks. Depicted as the capital of an angry anguished, torn-up nation, a city of prostitutes, narcotics dealers, lusting journalists, ruthless politicians and zealots of every stripe, it becomes here an arena for a remarkable story of crime and punishment.

This is a book about patterns- in love, in relationships, in politics, in art, in death. And always at the center is David Bar-Lev, one of the most memorable characters in recent crime fiction, relentlessly searching for the pattern that will unlock his case- the pattern he must uncover in order to clarify his vision ... of himself, his family and the country that he loves.