Saturday Morning Murder

Gur, Batya. The Saturday Morning Murder: a Psychological Case. Translated by Dalya Bilu. New York: Harper Collins, 1992.

Reason read: March is supposedly the best time to visit Israel. Also, the murder in Saturday Morning Murder takes place in March.

The story begins early one Saturday morning. Shlomo Gold arrives at the Jerusalem Psychoanalytic Institute to find the dead body of senior analyst Eva Neidorf. Although she was about to give a much anticipated lecture, someone has murdered her with a single gunshot to the head. So begins The Saturday Morning Murder: a Psychological Case, Gur’s first make-you-think fictional thriller starring Chief Inspector Michael Ohayon. [Note: Gur published a collection of essays in Hebrew two year before this translated publication.] Since this is our first introduction to the Inspector, Gur builds Ohayon’s personality with much detail. Early on we learn he is a heavy smoker and doesn’t like talking to the press. He drinks his coffee like an addict and takes it with sugar. He has no problem remembering names, hates to be unshaven and drives a Renault. He is a thirty-nine year old father and has been divorced for eight years. He is involved with a married woman and wanted to get a doctorate at Cambridge. But, back to the review. Gur builds this mystery through the characters she introduced. Don’t worry about trying to remember them all. Gur tries to throw you off the scent by making you think any of them could be the killer. When the whole story is finally revealed it isn’t this big out-of-left-field moment. If you are paying attention you definitely can see it coming. Despite the transparency, this was a great read.

Author fact: Gur died in 2005.

Book trivia: I would have recommended a second editor to take a look at Saturday Morning Murder. There were a bunch of typos and other mistakes throughout the book. I should note that these mistakes did not in any way detract from the story!

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter “Crime is a Globetrotter: Israel” (p 61). Note: Pearl lists them out of order. I read the last published vbook Bethlehem Road Murder first.

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