Line up

By Liad Shoham

Harper Collins, 2013, 306 pages

ISBN 978-0-06-223744-6


            Liad Shoham, a practicing attorney who wrote five critically acclaimed crime novels, demonstrates the skills that made him Israel’s leading crime writer with this novel translated from Hebrew into fluent and engrossing English by Sara Kitai.

Events escalate in Tel Aviv after an aged woman spies a man from her upstairs window brutally raping a young woman in the street below. Detective Eli Nahum, assigned to the case, is certain he can easily find the culprit and get his conviction. However, the raped girl’s father performs an act that muddles the case resulting in the alleged culprit Ziv Nevo, a somewhat naïve man who was fired from his job for having sex with an employee, being released.

Detective Nahum is certain that Nevo raped the girl because he was seen at the rape site and because of his history. However, Nevo was present in the area for an entirely unrelated reason involving the principle henchman of a crime boss. He was performing an act demanded by the henchman that was not sanctioned by the Mafia leader. The police are searching for evidence to help them convict this crime boss.

Meanwhile a forceful newspaper editor is pushing his young reporter to discover information about the rapist, and the editor and reporter’s acts complicate Nahum’s life. Nahum foolishly tries to cover a mistake he makes prompted by the raped girl’s father’s deed and is suspended from the police force, and the henchman who sent Nevo to the site is looking for Nevo to kill him.

Shoham describes the events in a suspenseful manner and portrays each of the characters well so that they become almost unforgettable.