Written by Yigal Zur
Dotan Naor, an Israeli private investigator, ousted from Shin Bet—Israel’s internal security service—goes to Thailand to find Sigal Bardon, a beautiful young girl from a wealthy Israeli family.
Sigal has disappeared in Bangkok—completely. Dotan has connections in Thailand and he’s familiar with Bangkok’s dark side—the narrow alleys with bars and hookers, trenches of stagnant water, hotel rooms with illicit activity. This is where he intends to start his search. But when the passport of the missing Israeli girl ends up in his hands during his first taxi ride in the city, he’s suspicious that someone is playing him. But who? And why?
As Dotan searches for Sigal, police corruption blocks his every path. Every lead he pursues draws him closer and closer to a black hole in his own past—one intertwined with his pursuit of Sigal—one that leads him to Reuven—and the haunting failure that led to the dismissal of both of them from Shin Bet.
The wound between Dotan and Reuven is raw and deep, but Dotan realizes it must be healed in order to save Sigal.
The Dotan Naor Thriller series
Book 1 – Death in Shangri-La (review HERE)
Book 2 – Passport to Death
A Grand Second Novel!
A grand second outing for Israeli investigator Dotan Naor – packed with events, so keep your attention firmly on the story!
This time round, Dotan heads to Thailand – at the drop of a hat – to search for Sigal Bardon who, like so many, has gone missing whilst backpacking. A bit sketchy on details, Dotan hits the ground running but when he comes her passport it seems just a bit too easy – so what’s really going on here?
Another good read from Yigal Zur, and one that I had to concentrate on to make sure I kept up with the speedy events. There’s no doubt that there are some beautiful areas in Thailand, but this novel concentrates on the seedier side of things and comes across as very realistic. A gripping read, beautifully written and worth mentioning the translator as it was originally written in Hebrew. I’ve generally found translated books to be a bit stiff and stilted but this one flows easily and whilst this is a complete read I’m fairly sure there will be more to come. A fine read, and well worth 4.5 stars.
My thanks to author Yigal Zur for my copy; as always, all stated opinions are entirely my own.
Tags: crime thriller
- Format: ebook, hardcover
- Size: 225 pages
- Publisher: Oceanview
- Publication Date: 5 November 2019
- Purchase Links: Google Play
- Barnes & Noble
Yigal Zur was born in Israel on July 14, 1955 in the northern city of Haifa, on the slopes of the Carmel Mountains. His parents came to Israel after World War II, having survived the ghettos and concentration camps. His father lost his entire family in the Holocaust, leaving him the sole survivor.
Yigal Zur spent many happy childhood hours wandering through the mountains of Galilee and Carmel or devouring the books he loved best: adventure stories by Joseph Conrad, Jules Verne, Rudyard Kipling, and Jack London, and tales of voyages to Africa and the North and South Poles. He was confident he would someday follow in the footsteps of explorers like Alexander von Humboldt, Sir Henry Morton Stanley, and Dr. David Livingstone.
When the Yom Kippur War broke out in 1973, Zur was a soldier on the front lines in the Golan Heights, and as a young artillery officer, crossed with the IDF’s Special Forces deep into enemy territory.
Toward the end of the war and the imminent conclusion of his military service, he began to repeat to himself like a mantra: When it’s all over, I’m going to India. For seven years he traveled the world with only a knapsack on his back and irrepressible curiosity, his eyes gaping in wonder.
Zur opted for a career in the theater, living for a time in the gritty Brixton district of London, where a friendship with a street musician led him to move to Paris and study theater movement and mime with the famed French acting instructor Jacques Lecoq at L’École Internationale de Théâtre. On his return to Israel, he studied film at the Beit Zvi School for the Performing Arts in Ramat Gan and went on to study Hebrew literature and Chinese philosophy at Tel Aviv University.
It was at this time that his first stories were published in various magazines and newspapers, and he began to attract the attention of the literary community. This period was also the background for his first short story collection, “The Monsoon’s End”, in which he expressed the feelings of youngsters in search of themselves, longing for something they can not name, constantly seeking until what is meant to happen happens.
Zur married and started a family, and at the same time began working as a tour guide, introducing Israelis to some of his favorite places in Southeast Asia, writing travel pieces for the local papers, and filming and presenting travel items for Israeli TV. He established himself as Israel’s special correspondent to unusual events, reaching the height of his reporting career when he became the only Israeli ever to be embedded with US armed forces in action. Attached to the 22 Signals, 3rd Division during Operation Desert Storm 2003, he was a one-man journalistic task force, writing and broadcasting daily from Iraq for the Israeli press and TV.
Other major journalistic projects include reports of a journey to uncover Jewish genetic footprints in Eastern Africa, a meeting with Khun Sa, the most notorious drug lord in Thailand and Myanmar, and the search and rescue of missing Israeli travelers the world over. Zur also hosted his own long-running travel show on Israeli TV.
Throughout this time, he continued to write novels, travelogues, and travel guides, including cultural guides to India and China. In 2000, he published “Dark Prune” which centers around the investigation into whether the Ethiopian soldier whose body was found hanging had committed suicide or whether he was the victim of a racist murder. The book became an overnight success. Together with director Daniel Wachsmann, he also wrote the screenplay for “Menelik, the Black Jewish Prince”, which won the Israeli Film Academy’s Best Director award in 1999.
Realizing that the plots of all his previous novels were driven by criminal investigations, Zur decided to base his next books on his personal experience as a life-long traveler, including his intimate knowledge of the role Israelis play in the arms industry and drug smuggling. This decision gave birth to private detective Dotan Naor, a former member of the Israeli Security Agency, the central character in three suspense novels thus far, all of which have been highly acclaimed.