The Bethlehem Murders

The Bethlehem Murders For decades Omar Yussef has been a teacher of history to the children of Bethlehem When a favourite former pupil George Saba is arrested for collaborating with the Israelis in the killing of a Pale

  • Title: The Bethlehem Murders
  • Author: Matt Rees
  • ISBN: 9781843546030
  • Page: 154
  • Format: Paperback
  • For decades, Omar Yussef has been a teacher of history to the children of Bethlehem When a favourite former pupil, George Saba, is arrested for collaborating with the Israelis in the killing of a Palestinian guerrilla, Yussef is convinced that he has been framed With George facing execution Yussef sets out to prove his innocence.

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      Posted by:Matt Rees
      Published :2019-02-10T17:21:03+00:00

    1 thought on “The Bethlehem Murders”

    1. I'm a reader of books about the Middle East, and this mystery set in Bethlehem on the West Bank caught my eye. At first I didn't think I'd like it, but I was quickly drawn into the twists and turns of plot, a few of them shocking, and felt I'd been immersed in Arab-Israeli political tensions in a way I'd never been before. Welsh-born author Rees, a journalist with Time magazine in Jerusalem, chooses as his central character an Arab history teacher at a UN-run girls school for refugees. A man wit [...]

    2. I expected to enjoy this book and it did not disappoint. I haven't read any fiction set in occupied Palestine and I was hoping to get a sense of what life is like under the occupation. The author paints a very grim picture. Not only do the Christians and Muslims live in fear of the Israelis' attacks, but they are also at war with each other, living lives full of distrust, violence and inhumanity. There doesn't seem to be any solution. The mystery is well written and intriguing, with lots of susp [...]

    3. As a voracious reader of mysteries that have a contemporary political bent I always look forward to title suggestions from others. Last week a friend introduced me to Matt Benyon Rees and his protagonist, Omar Yussef. After reading THE COLLABORATOR OF BETHLEHEM the first of four “Yussef” books, I am sold. Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell and others of their ilk have nothing on Mr. Rees who has created an evocative character that allows the reader to enter the byzantine politics of the Palestinian m [...]

    4. i don't like reviewing books and plenty of other people reviewed it. i'll just say: i liked it and i'll definitely read the series. i was impressed with how the author handled the complexities of palestinian history and life as an occupied peoplei'm wondering what palestinians would make of it but so far i've only seen reviews by non-palestinians.i thought the following quotes really exemplify what i consider the author's incisiveness:the problem of religion:"Omar Yussef looked up into the beard [...]

    5. The Collaborator of Bethlehem is fascinating. It works better as an authentic description of life as a Palestinian in Bethlehem, and the significance of rule of law to every day existence, than it does as a mystery, but it works fine as a mystery, at least for the initial 80%. That's the point where I wanted to grab Omar by the shoulders and say, "stop!" in the same way that you scream at the TV or movie screen at your protagonist not to head into a certain building because the score and fact th [...]

    6. The occupied Palestinian territories (or Israeli territories, depending on your viewpoint) forms a fascinating backdrop to this mystery. The author is a Middle East expert, so offers a nuanced view of life in the West Bank. The book explores the authorities' siege/victim mentality beautifully. The lines between violent thug, terrorist and "martyr for the cause" are incredibly blurry in this novel. Worth a read. Oh, and the mystery is somewhat mundane - but who cares about that?

    7. Το βιβλίο τρέχει άνετα και κράτα το ενδιαφέρον. Αναφέρεται σε μια δύσκολη και περίεργη περίοδο και περιοχή για την οποία αναρωτιέμαι πόσα γνωρίζω. Η πλοκή λαμβάνει χώρα στην Παλαιστίνη. Ο Ομάρ Γιουσέφ είναι μάλλον αρεστός στον αναγνώστη αλλά όχι τέλειος. Οι χαρακτήρες μπερ [...]

    8. Despite the fact this is fiction, it was really an eye-opening look into the hell that is the daily life of the Palestinian. I wept more than once.

    9. Matt Rees is a Welsh novelist and journalist. This is the first of his books I have read, although he is the author of The Palestine Quartet, a series of crime novels about Omar Yussef a Palestinian sleuth. He is the winner of a Crime Writer’s Association Dagger for his crime fiction. This part of the world has always fascinated me but Rees’s novels approach the Middle East conflict from an often unexpected direction. There are almost no Israeli characters, and the novels maintain a focus on [...]

    10. As implausible as it sounds Omar Yussef is a man in the middle of an awful situation that you want to meet. Spend some time with. Drink some sa'ada coffee. Talk to about his Bethlehem. Omar brings a unique perspective to murder, to power games and to fanaticism whilst simultaneously providing a human and humane view of life in his Bethlehem. That Bethlehem is a world of conflict within and from without his own society; and the tension that changed viewpoints between generations brings. Where onc [...]

    11. Rees, Matt Beynon. THE COLLABORATOR OF BETHLEHEM. (2007). ****. This debut novel introduces Omar Yussef, a teacher of history at a UN-supported school in the city of Bethlehem, on the West Bank. Omar, also known as Abu Ramiz, has been a teacher for many, many years. He is 57-years old, and has become severly disillusioned over the years by the increasing friction among the Israelis, the Arabs, and the Christians. He has endeavored over the years to teach his young students to put aside factional [...]

    12. Omar Yussef, a crusty grandfather, refuses to mind his own business. Friends run into trouble in Dehaisha, a refugee camp on the outskirts of Bethlehem, and he looks into the void.This book is overwhelming in its pathos, and terrifying in its implications. This old schoolmaster, Omar Yussef, almost goes out of his way to avoid finding evidence of murder in Dehaisha, perpetrated, he believes, by a leader of the resistance. Instead he finds clues just lying about, ignored by the very people meant [...]

    13. A very illuminating first novel by the former Jerusalem bureau chief of Time magazine. He draws a very grim, gritty, and realistic picture of life among the Palestinians in Bethlehem, with clan rivalries, corrupt police, fanatical martyr brigades, and normal families trying to survive in the chaos of a power vacuum. A lowly schoolteacher tries to free a man he knows to be innocent while simultaneously finding the person who must be guilty. He hopes the size and strength of his own clan will keep [...]

    14. Fascinating, even heart-breaking, background of day-to-day life in Palestinian Bethlehem, where increased Muslim nationalism and militarism have driven the Christians into a despised underground minority, thugs and soldiers fighting it out in the streets is a daily occurrence, and the people who are supposed to protect you are just as scary as those they're protecting you from. Unfortunately, author Rees writes in such a dull, affectless style it's difficult to empathize with the characters and [...]

    15. This was an incredibly hard book for me to read, simply because it captures so accurately the heartache of having no answers to questions of ethics and morality in a war zone with no good guys and bad guys, just guys with guns.Honestly, in a fun little twist to the genre, I found the murder mystery itself paled in comparison to the interest generated by the investigator himself. In fact, I would venture to say that any other character would have left me so bored I wouldn't have even bothered fin [...]

    16. Provides InsightI bought this book following a trip to Israel. I often learn a lot about places I travel to as well as enjoy the story from reading fiction and mysteries set there. This book was excellent at slowly revealing the intricate motives and prejudices of different factions in Bethlehem. Americans can't really understand the depth of hatred and desire for revenge and hardly realize the true players, which are far more numerous than just Arabs vs Jews. This story revealed a lot of that f [...]

    17. I read this book because it sounded good and also as a personal stand against the boycotting of ideas. There is much in this book that has the ring of truth. Still, I was left with the odd impression that the main character and budding detective Omar Yussef takes a more moral and humane stance than the author himself--odd, since Yussef is the author's creation! Yussef insists on seeing everyone's humanity, but I'm not sure the author could quite find it in himself to do so.This book would be an [...]

    18. The title of the book I read was "Bethlehem Murder", but GoodReads seem to have only the American version. Whatever, this book did more for my understanding of the Palestine conundrum than any non-fiction account ever did, and I suppose that was the author's objective.And it is enjoyable - a thumping good read indeed.I read it several month ago, on a trip on the other side of the pond, and it is still with me. I am sure to get back to Matt Rees soon.

    19. Wonderful writing. Awful to read, because of content and tone - this is SO not a world I want to live in. Still I kept reading because Mr. Rees sucked me into this unpleasant and very scary world, and made me care about some of the people in it. Will I read this again? Probably not. Will I read something else by this writer? Almost certainly.

    20. A well written, hard hitting, crime novel in a fascinating setting and against a politically very interesting background. I look forward to the next books in the series.

    21. Modern Bethlehem appears greatly changed from the rural outpost described in the stories of Jesus’ birth. The cave where Mary delivered her holy child is now a shrine within an elaborate Armenian monastery, and a bustling city has grown among the shepherds’ hills in the intervening centuries. However, Matt Beynon Rees’s The Collaborator of Bethlehem, based on true events surrounding the decades-long conflict between local Jews, Christians and Muslims, reveals that human nature itself has n [...]

    22. A year or so ago I stumbled across the Palestinian Quartet on a list of the ten best international mystery series, a genre that has long appealed to the armchair traveler in me. Born in Wales, Rees lived in Jerusalem for twenty years where he was the bureau chief for TIME. Amateur sleuth Omar Yussef teaches history at a United Nations refugee camp school for girls after teaching for many years at the local Catholic school. The book was enlightening in terms of tensions between the Christian and [...]

    23. [Warning: The introduction to the review of the book is rather long; I apologize for that but felt it necessary to ensure readers have the complete context from which I base this review. In an era of soundbites, pull quotes, memes and GIFs, I shall plant my lonely flag of exposition. It’s a luxury afforded to those of us who have maybe two people who read our blog.]It can be very easy in today’s information-saturated age to believe one understand a place and its people, even never having bee [...]

    24. Usually a stubborn amateur (here 56 year-old Palestinian history teacher, Omar Yussef), fortuitous last-minute escapes and a verbose villain at the climax would detract from the story but this superbly atmospheric, human novel, set in Bethlehem, shows the plight of Palestinians without being an anti-Israeli diatribe; in fact far more critical of the criminals who control the Intifada. A Christian is condemned on trumped up charges of collaboration after the murder of an Intifada hero and Yussef [...]

    25. Beynon Rees a abordat subiectul cu tact. El a abandonat clișeul occidentalului justițiar. Eroul său este un stâlp al comunității musulmane, protejat de un clan puternic. Cel mai bun prieten al lui este un fost membru al rezistenței, devenit polițist, care a descoperit că idealurile de tinerețe sunt frumoase, dar nu foarte reale. Oamenii descoperă adevărul despre trecut și prezent, dar tradiția, regulile nescrise și teroarea sunt atât de puternice, încât nu au curajul să ridice [...]

    26. Few detective novels have managed to elicit a profoundly emotional response from me the way The Collaborator of Bethlehem had. For his debut novel, Matt Beynon Rees plumbs the depths of his experience as Time Magazine's former Israel bureau chief to create a compelling mystery set within the context of an extremely polarizing Israel/Palestine conflict. This unflinching but compassionate portrait of life in the West Bank gives readers who are only familiar with the region through pithy CNN headli [...]

    27. First line: Omar Yussef, a teacher of history to the unhappy children of Dehaisha refugee camp, shuffled stiffly up the meandering road, past the gray, stone homes built in the time of the Turks on the edge of Beit Jala. When a young member of the Palestinian resistance is shot dead near his home on the outskirts of Bethlehem, George Saba, a Christian, is arrested as the collaborator who led the Israelis to him. As a member of the minority Christian community, he is a convenient scapegoat, but O [...]

    28. #1 Omar Yussef mystery set in Bethlehem, Israel. Omar Yussef is a fifty-six-year-old history teacher, an alcoholic who's been dry for ten years. Obviously not a devout Muslim, he does the best he can in an ever-changing, violent world to teach his students right from wrong and respect for all. When one of his former students, George Saba, is accused of being a collaborator with the Israelites and murdering one of the local heros, Omar takes a leave of absence from his school and sets out to inve [...]

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