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.