A Detective's Complaint
Author: Shimon Adaf; Translated from the Hebrew by Yardenne Greenspan
"In Shimon Adaf's Lost Detective Trilogy, what begins as conventional mystery becomes by degrees a brilliant deconstruction not just of genre but of our own search for meaning. Both profound and compulsively readable, these books demand to be devoured." —Lavie Tidhar, author of By Force Alone
In A Detective's Complaint, the sequel to One Mile and Two Days Before Sunset, Elish Ben Zaken has traded working as a private investigator for writing detective novels based on unsolved cases from the past. He appears to live an ordinary writer’s life: meeting with his agent, attending literary conferences. But all is not quite right with Elish, who cannot escape his past so easily, especially when his sister’s daughter, Tahel, a teenager and an aspiring sleuth herself, calls on him for help. Tahel has uncovered a mystery: a young woman boarded a bus in Beersheva on a Thursday evening and stepped off in Sderot, close to the Gaza border, on Sunday evening. A bus ride that should have lasted an hour instead took three days, and the young woman remembers none of it.
To assist Tahel—and, he tells himself, to conduct research for his next novel—Elish moves back to Sderot, where he grew up. His sister, Yaffa, has moved her family from Tel Aviv to a new lakeside development there; the property came cheap, despite the attractive setting, and there are murmurs that the developer fled the country before it was completed. Some of the houses still stand empty, and Tahel keeps waking up at night to find her mother staring out at the lake, convinced she is being watched.
Now, in the summer of 2014, Sderot lies near the center of the Gaza–Israel conflict, and sirens and missile strikes are part of the town’s daily reality—as are violent clashes between anti-war protestors and those who oppose them. In this pressurized environment, Elish must grapple with the deep wounds of history, both personal and political, and the human need for answers in a world that offers few.
In The News
"Moving and perceptive . . . The author also has a keen ear for the cacophonous region, which Greenspan conveys in a flavorful translation. This series continues to delight." —Publishers Weekly
"Shimon Adaf is my literary hero, a fearless explorer with the endless curiosity of a child and the skill of an Old Master, combined to unleash strange and wonderful masterpieces on the world. In his Lost Detective Trilogy, what begins as conventional mystery becomes by degrees a brilliant deconstruction not just of genre but of our own search for meaning. Both profound and compulsively readable, these books demand to be devoured." —Lavie Tidhar, author of By Force Alone