All Blog Posts Tagged 'Assassin' (30)

Omar Yussef predicted Cairo and Tunis

If you’ve been wondering why the people of Tunisia and Egypt have risen up against their dictators and why it caught Washington with pants down, it’s because you didn’t read THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, the latest of my Palestinian crime novels.



Added by Matt Rees on February 2, 2011 at 7:02pm — No Comments

Love and the crime novel

The crime novel tradition seems to have little connection to love. Maybe sometimes love in a perverse sense is the spur to the murder at the heart of most crime novels – the spurned husband killing his wife, for example. But usually the detective is a loveless loner, pining without much hope like the great Marlowe for his true love to come along.

As I write more novels, I’ve noticed that love is at the heart of crime fiction. At least, mine,…

Added by Matt Rees on October 14, 2010 at 5:56pm — 3 Comments

Times thriller roundup: Omar Yussef 'most beguiling of current sleuths'

In this weekend's Sunday Times of London, reviewer John Dugdale describes my Palestinian detective Omar Yussef as "one of the most beguiling of current sleuths." You can read the roundup in full at Times Online, but here's the bit about my newest novel THE FOURTH ASSASSIN:

Set in a pulsating,… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on April 5, 2010 at 6:31pm — No Comments

An Islamic Romeo and Juliet

Since 9/11, writers have tried to understand the extremists committed to the destruction of the West and, often, that of their own societies in the Middle East. Most have attempted to do this by “going inside” the world of those extremists, giving us the inner life of suicide bombers or of the “American Taliban.”

It’s a worthwhile premise, because it’s aimed at comprehending people who are frequently written off as bestial, bloodthirsty psychopaths, as though…

Added by Matt Rees on April 2, 2010 at 8:05pm — No Comments

Literary reviews: If you can’t say something nice…

Kingsley Amis said that “a bad review may spoil your breakfast, but you shouldn’t allow it to spoil your lunch.” That’s because Kingsley, bless his vindictive old heart, was probably too busy spoiling someone else’s. Believe me, a bad review leaves a bad taste all day long.

That’s not because of any insecurity about my writing. If a review is negative or even mildly snarky, I know the reviewer got it wrong. It’s the mere existence of negative thoughts about me…

Added by Matt Rees on March 8, 2010 at 1:15am — 2 Comments

Gumshoe Review: THE FOURTH ASSASSIN 'excellent'...and a list of crime fiction good, bad and pointless

Top crime fiction blog Gumshoe Review rates my new Palestinian crime novel THE FOURTH ASSASSIN very highly: "Rees does an excellent job of showing the pressures on the young Palestinians and describing the microcosm of one immigrant community within the U.S. The mystery also contains plenty of twist and turns." Read Mel Jacobs's full review.

If you feel compelled to read any other…

Added by Matt Rees on March 2, 2010 at 8:23pm — 1 Comment

How does that grab you? Great openings to new books

The first line of a top-notch novel usually has a lot of punch -- to "grab" you. My long-time favorite is "The Sun Also Rises," which manages to tell you a great deal about one of the main characters, but even more about the narrator: "Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. Do not think that I am very much impressed by that as a boxing title, but it meant a lot to Cohn." <!--more-->This weekend The San Francisco Chronicle has… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on February 28, 2010 at 7:31pm — 4 Comments

New York Times Book Review: THE FOURTH ASSASSIN 'engrossing,' 'New Yorkers will be startled'

New Yorkers tend to have a "seen it all" outlook on life. Unsurprisingly, given the madhouse that is the Big Apple. But I've now officially done something that'll shock them. In The New York Times Book Review's crime fiction roundup by Marilyn Stasio, my new novel THE FOURTH ASSASSIN is called "engrossing." It's also described as a novel that…

Added by Matt Rees on February 27, 2010 at 5:01pm — 3 Comments

Inventing the Palestinian detective

The dead man's mother raged and cried as she told me how she’d discovered her son’s body, in the cabbage patch outside her home. She’d gone down on her knees, she said, touched his blood and wiped her fingers on her face and called out that God is most great.

As the wind came winter cold off the Judean Desert, I watched her weep and thought: “I have to write a novel about this.”

Forgive me if that sounds heartless, but I’m a…

Added by Matt Rees on February 25, 2010 at 4:52pm — 1 Comment

Book of A Lifetime: The King Must Die

The Independent has a regular feature in which it asks authors to write about a book which changed their lives somehow. Last week the London newspaper asked me to write the piece. Here it is:

In early 1999, King Hussein fell sick on his return from cancer treatment in the US. I was Middle East correspondent for The…

Added by Matt Rees on February 22, 2010 at 5:07pm — 2 Comments

The Daily Beast and The New York Times

My new Palestinian crime novel THE FOURTH ASSASSIN is one of five "This Week's Hot Reads" on The Daily Beast, which also happens to be the hot read of the web these days. The Beast writes of the book and its Brooklyn setting: "Rees paints a meticulous portrait of the post-9/11 community of Little Palestine and the tension of cultures trying to…

Added by Matt Rees on February 14, 2010 at 5:32pm — 2 Comments

Why's a Palestinian sleuth in Brooklyn?

I’ve been called the Dashiell Hammett of Palestine, the John Le Carre of the Middle East, the James Ellroy of…Palestine, the Graham Greene of Jerusalem, and the Georges Simenon of the Palestinian refugee camps. Depends which review you happen to have read.

I’ve written three previous crime novels about Omar Yussef, my Palestinian schoolteacher/sleuth. Omar has been called the Philip Marlowe of the Arab street, the Hercules Poirot of the Near East, Sam Spade fed…

Added by Matt Rees on February 12, 2010 at 5:50pm — No Comments

Wall St Journal on 'The Fourth Assassin'

During my trip to New York this last couple of weeks, I stopped into the space-age headquarters of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp on Sixth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Once my eyes had adjusted to the superbright white light everywhere, I settled into a studio for… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on February 9, 2010 at 11:24pm — 2 Comments

'The Fourth Assassin' takes Page 69 Test

The blog empire of the Campaign for the American Reader has as its flagship the Page 69 Test. The premise is this: open any book to page 69; if it grabs you, that's a better indication of whether you'll enjoy the book than simply reading the opening page. Try it on a book you like (and one you don't), it usually is quite reliable. Blogger Marshal Zeringue asked me to submit my new Palestinian crime novel,…

Added by Matt Rees on February 9, 2010 at 5:47am — No Comments

The (Forgotten) Book You Have to Read: Simenon's 'Saint-Fiacre Affair'

<img src="" alt="" title="Maigret Goes Home" width="190" height="320" class="alignright size-full wp-image-887" />Crime fiction blog <a href="">The Rap Sheet</a> runs a weekly feature asking authors to write about a "forgotten" book that merits new attention. This last week the blog's editor asked me to…

Added by Matt Rees on February 8, 2010 at 12:06am — No Comments

Palestine Scene of the Crime

Crime writer J. Sydney Jones has a new blog called Scene of the Crime. He aims to interview writers about the impact on their writing of the location and sense of place in their novels -- usually from far-flung countries. This week he features me on my Palestinian crime novels. Read on, for the full interview.

A Different View of Palestine

Matt Beynon Rees has… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on February 3, 2010 at 1:08am — No Comments

Bringing the Mideast to America

Often a novelist can humanize foreign affairs in ways a journalist can't.

To mark publication today of my new Palestinian crime novel The Fourth Assassin, I posted this for my regular column on GlobalPost.

Though it's convenient to do so, we ignore overseas events at our peril. We… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on February 2, 2010 at 12:17am — 1 Comment

Matt Rees NY book reading Feb. 2

Award-winning crime writer Matt Beynon Rees reads from THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, his new novel, Feb. 2 in New York.

The fourth installment in Matt's Crime Writers Association Dagger-winning series about Palestinian sleuth Omar Yussef is published Feb. 1. In New York for a UN conference, Omar uncovers an assassination plot. The suspect: his own son. Omar's most personal investigation so far.

Matt will read from the book Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.

Location:… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on January 24, 2010 at 9:59pm — 4 Comments

In new Palestinian crime novel NYC dangerous as West Bank

In the current Library Journal, my new Palestinian crime novel, THE FOURTH ASSASSIN (out Feb. 1) gets a great review that highlights the themes and implications beyond the way the detective resolves the mystery. For those whose mailman has yet to deliver a copy of the magazine (in which case you'll have missed the award for Librarian of the Year -- Big up… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on January 19, 2010 at 11:38pm — No Comments

Writer declares he's pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli

The best thing about switching from journalism to fiction writing is that people show you more respect.

As a journalist covering a highly contentious issue like the Israel-Palestinian conflict, I was often subject to rather nasty verbal attacks during public speaking engagements. For a partisan of either side, I seemed a fine target for their generalized contempt—they thought journalists were all against them and here was a live reporter on whom they could vent their… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on January 15, 2010 at 5:22pm — No Comments

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