The Samaritan's Secret
Matt Beynon Rees
Soho, Feb 2009, $24.00
In Nablus, Palestine, someone murders Palestinian Authority employee Ishaq and apparently stole the millions he controlled as part of his government job. The World Bank is furious with the shoddy funds control and the strong possibility of government corruption involved in the theft; they threaten to cut off future financing unless the money is found and used appropriately.
Fifty-seven year old Palestinian history teacher Omar Yussef knows investigating on the West Bank is dangerous, but gets involved anyway. He quickly realizes no one in Nablus thought highly of the deceased; in fact most people scorned Ishaq as a bad Samaritan, who even in death gets no respect. He soon finds the murder and theft tied to religion and politics and if he is not careful he could become victim number two.
The third Yussef amateur sleuth mystery is a timely exciting tale that provides an in depth look at the Palestine situation from the Moslem perspective. Yussef is a terrific hero who just wants to be an educator, but feels obligated to investigate. Although his inquiries in this case and his previous two seem implausible, no one will care as THE SAMARITAN’S SECRET like A GRAVE IN GAZA and A COLLABORATOR IN BETHLEHEM are superb thrillers because of the profound glimpse into Palestine.