Collaborator Of Bethlehem

Collaborator Of Bethlehem

Book - 2007
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Random House, Inc.
“Matt Beynon Rees has taken a complex world of culture clash and suspicion and placed upon it humanity.” —David Baldacci, author of The Camel Club

“A beautifully written story. I have walked the streets of Bethlehem with Omar Yussef, smelled the dust and the fear, tasted his food, shared his anger and his hope. His decency is a light in the gloom. I shall not forget him.” —Anne Perry, author of Dark Assassin

“The Collaborator of Bethlehem is the best—and the rarest—sort of mystery: exciting and compelling, but it is also a deeply moving story that will, for many readers, shed much needed light on the conditions in the Palestinian territories. Matt Beynon Rees’s ability to blend the political and the emotional is reminiscent of Graham Greene.” —David Liss, author of The Ethical Assassin

“Omar Yussef has everything I admire in a detective: humility, humanity, a great faith in the power of knowledge and a few bad habits too!” —Barbara Nadel, author of The Ottoman Cage

For decades, Omar Yussef has been a teacher of history to the children of Bethlehem. When a favorite former pupil, George Saba, a member of the Palestinian Christian minority, is arrested for collaborating with the Israelis in the killing of a Palestinian guerrilla, Omar is sure he has been framed. If George is not cleared, he faces imminent execution.

Then the wife of the dead man, also one of Omar Yussef’s former pupils, is murdered, possibly raped. When he begins to suspect the head of the Bethlehem al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is the true collaborator, Omar and his family are threatened. But as no one else is willing to stand up to the violent Martyrs Brigades men, who hold the real power in the town, it is up to him to investigate.

Baker & Taylor
Omar, a history teacher, manages to stay away from all the violence around him until a former pupil of his is charged with murder, and Omar cannot believe he is guilty, so he decides to investigate the case for himself.

Perseus Publishing

“Matt Beynon Rees has taken a complex world of culture clash and suspicion and placed upon it humanity.” —David Baldacci, author of The Camel Club

“A beautifully written story. I have walked the streets of Bethlehem with Omar Yussef, smelled the dust and the fear, tasted his food, shared his anger and his hope. His decency is a light in the gloom. I shall not forget him.” —Anne Perry, author of Dark Assassin

“The Collaborator of Bethlehem is the best—and the rarest—sort of mystery: exciting and compelling, but it is also a deeply moving story that will, for many readers, shed much needed light on the conditions in the Palestinian territories. Matt Beynon Rees’s ability to blend the political and the emotional is reminiscent of Graham Greene.” —David Liss, author of The Ethical Assassin

“Omar Yussef has everything I admire in a detective: humility, humanity, a great faith in the power of knowledge and a few bad habits too!” —Barbara Nadel, author of The Ottoman Cage

For decades, Omar Yussef has been a teacher of history to the children of Bethlehem. When a favorite former pupil, George Saba, a member of the Palestinian Christian minority, is arrested for collaborating with the Israelis in the killing of a Palestinian guerrilla, Omar is sure he has been framed. If George is not cleared, he faces imminent execution.

Then the wife of the dead man, also one of Omar Yussef’s former pupils, is murdered, possibly raped. When he begins to suspect the head of the Bethlehem al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is the true collaborator, Omar and his family are threatened. But as no one else is willing to stand up to the violent Martyrs Brigades men, who hold the real power in the town, it is up to him to investigate.


One man stands up to the deadly gun law of Palestine.


Blackwell North Amer
For decades, Omar Yussef has taught history to the Muslim and Christian children of Bethlehem. He has managed to stay aloof from the violence swirling around him. Gradually, the Palestinian Christian minority has dwindled. Then George Saba, a favorite former pupil and a Christian, is arrested by the Palestinian guerilla. He is charged with collaborating with the Israelis in the killing of a Palestinian guerrilla. The dead man's wife, also a former pupil, is found murdered next.
George faces imminent execution; the mob is screaming for vengeance; the police want a scapegoat. But Omar cannot believe that George is guilty. Since no one else is willing to risk standing up to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades gunmen, who hold the real power in Bethlehem, it falls to Omar to investigate. But will knowledge of the truth ensure that justice prevails?

Publisher: Soho Press 2007
ISBN: 9781569474426
Characteristics: 264

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multcolib_susannel Jul 25, 2016

When one of his former students is accused of murder, Omar Yussef is determined to prove his innocence. Based on real events.

WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

Omar Yussef, a middle-aged history teacher, has managed to stay aloof from the prejudice and violence that has escalated in Bethlehem. However, when a Christian former pupil and friend of his is arrested, his outraged sense of justice forces him almost against his will to challenge the corrupt and cynical Palestinian authorities. Rees’s vivid depiction of life in a shattered society makes this an outstanding mystery novel

PickyReader Feb 02, 2012

Slow start to a growing intricate and fast-moving narrative, with more red herrings than you can count. Most important, it's a well written immersion in what life in Gaza, and especially the Palestinian camps, is like for normal people. Fortunately, it is not a political screed.

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