Pattern Crimes

Pattern Crimes

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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 111 x 181mm | 173g
  • Macdonald & Co
  • Sphere Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0747401276
  • 9780747401278

Review Text

To date, Bayer has specialized in glossy psychosexual thrillers (Edgar Award-winning Peregrine, Punish Me With Kisses, Switch), with mixed results. Here he switches gears to deliver a richly dramatic and thoughtful police procedural, a sort of Gorky Park set in Jerusalem. As the title indicates, the decoding of patterns is Bayer's theme here, most obviously in the duties of brilliant and tenacious David Bar-Lev, chief of the Pattern Crimes Unit of the Jerusalem Police. When Jerusalem is rocked by three murders connected only by a pattern of parallel slashes left on the victims' faces, Bar-Lev and his team set out to capture what they presume to be Israel's first serial killer. Bar-Lev quickly emerges as a fascinating character, caught in a torn pattern of his own; his shame at being a cop (thought in Israel to be a boorish job) running alongside his shame at his dad's recent move into the ostracized, ultra-Orthodox zone of the city. Bayer's detailed depiction of the manhunt - which takes a political twist when a retired general and a Shin Bet (Israeli FBI) assassin try to call it off - invests the action with gripping realism, as does his splendid evocation of the team's search through Jerusalem's underbelly - the transsexual bars, the teeming Arab quarter. As the hunt deepens, Bar-Lev uncovers more patterns: a link between his long-dead brother and a top-secret band of Israeli assassins who left slashes on their targets' faces similar to those carved into the murder victims; a link between his girlfriend's ex-lover, a world-famous sculptor, and the military men trying to halt the investigation. Putting together the pieces, Bat. Lev uncovers the master pattern: a plot by right-wing and ultra-Orthodox Israelites to bomb a sacred Muslim shrine in Jerusalem, the Dome of the Rock, thus instigating a holy war that Israel will win. A race to stave off the bombing sparks the exciting denouement, capped with a twist that reveals a traitor in Bar-Lev's midst. Provocative and intelligent entertainment from an author who's finally hit his full stride: Bayer's best. (Kirkus Reviews)show more