Bethlehem Road Murder

Gur, Batya. Bethlehem Road Murder. New York: Harper Collins, 2004.

I have a confession to make. Bethlehem Road Murder is the last book in a series recommended by Pearl. I should have read this one last. Dead last. Instead I read it first. Oh well.

I read Bethlehem Road Murder at the same time as The Concubine’s Tattoo and immediately I was struck by a huge similarity between the two stories (besides the fact they are from the same chapter in More Book Lust). Both books are centered around the murder of a woman. Both women were strikingly young and beautiful. Both women had experience as fighters (one in the army, one as a samurai). Both women had secret lovers and complicated histories. Both women were in the early stages of pregnancy at the time of death (which always throws a wrench into the question of motive).

Bethlehem Road Murder takes place in Jerusalem in a community locked in the ancient culture of Israeli society. They have their own way of governing; their own way of thinking. In the middle of this community lies a mystery. A beautiful woman is brutally murdered. Chief Superintendent Michael Ohayon must investigate the crime and solve the mystery while keeping within in line with the constraints of the rules of a close-knit community. Political and religion tensions between Jews and Arabs only serve to complicate the case. Of course, no murder mystery would not be complete without a little romantic intrigue and psychological guess work. Gur does not disappoint.

Favorite lines: “Each time he stood over a corpse…he imagined he felt every bone of his body and his skull laughing derisively beneath his flesh” (p 7). “Don’t you know that all real estate agents are crooks?” (p 9). I had to laugh at that one because just having gone through the process of buying a house for the first time my realtor is a saint!

Note: I think this was the first book I have ever read that included a no-nonsense account of most every detail of an autopsy.

BookLust Twist: In More Book Lust in the chapter called, “Crime is a Globetrotter: Israel” (p 58).

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