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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lineup by Liad Shoham translated by Sara Kitai

Lineup by Liad Shoham translated by Sara Kitai – Adi Regev, living in an apartment building in north Tel Aviv, is raped just outside her home. Her parents persuade her to report the attack to the police.

Amit Galidi, a young ambitious reporter, for a local daily paper is late to the story and is under extreme pressure from his editor, Dori Engel, to find new information about the crime.

Following the traditional tabloid press approach to crime Engel has his paper howling for the rapist to be swiftly arrested and convicted and sent away for a long jail term.

Regev’s father, Yaron, worried about her, spends much of each night outside her home to ensure she is safe. A few nights later he sees a man who looks to be “scouting the area” and then ducks behind a car. When he runs away Yaron is convinced he is the rapist. Yaron follows him to his residence and manages to get a photo.

Yaron turns his information over to Eli Nachum, a veteran detective, who is in a career lull and sees the case as a way to regain status as a leading investigator.

The Tel Aviv police arrest Ziv Nevo at the apartment Yaron identified. Sure he has the rapist in custody Nachum aggressively questions Nevo.

Without giving particulars Nachum acts unethically in his zeal to get the rapist. The end justifies the means. Details that contradict Nevo being the rapist are ignored.

Galit Lavie is the prosecutor assigned to handle the case. Thankfully she acts more ethically than the police.

The problem is that Nevo did not rape Regev. The police are completely certain of guilt and completely wrong.

The problems and complications of jumping to the wrong conclusion fill the rest of the book. While not glad the police acted improperly I did appreciate reading a book where there are consequences for police and society when police do not follow the rules involving criminal investigations.

The police and prosecutors of Israel are just as reluctant as their North American counterparts to face they are wrong.

After reading I Am Pilgrim with its big themes involving terrorism Lineup was an almost startling change. It deals with the issues of individuals. While the reasons the police got the wrong man involve important societal issues the book is about the people involved in the fiasco.

The book is a strong police procedural but I did not find it a great book. It was a very good book. It is meant to be read when you are ready for a change from the police can do anything because they get the right man mysteries that are so common.

I regret that I did not really learn much about Israel through reading the book. Essentially the book could have been set in any large city in the Western world.

The cover states the author is “Israel’s leading crime writer and a practising attorney” with Lineup his 6th book. It is the first to be published in the United States. I thought the translation was excellent.
Readers looking for a solid police procedural which happens to be set outside the traditional Western countries will enjoy Lineup. (Feb. 15/14)


  1. Bill - Like you, I prefer mysteries with a distinctive sense of place. That said though, this does sound like a solid police procedural that addresses issues at a human level. And that's where issues have their most profound impact. I think that's why I like best mysteries that address issues that way. Thanks for a fine review.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. The book does not preach but lets readers think for themselves.

  2. Bill, doesn't Adi Regev get to identify the man in police custody? I guess if she did, there wouldn't be much of a story left. Wrongful arrests and convictions are as disturbing to read about in fiction as they are in real life and probably the worst form of miscarriage of justice.

    1. Prashant: Good question but I think the answer would tell too much of the story. If you get a chance to read the book I am sure you will understand.

  3. Interesting premise, and as you say, always good to discuss these matters. Thanks for a thought-provoking review.

    1. Moira: Thanks for the comment. The author said he was inspired by a real life case in Israel.

  4. This sounds like a police procedural worth trying, but it is a shame that you don't get a sense of the setting.

    1. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. I am hoping to learn more of Tel Aviv from another mystery I am reading set there.