Rosenberg, Robert

(Penguin, 1992)

Reviewed by Sue Feder

Jerusalem has been the site and subject of bloodshed for millennia. At times there can be almost as much hatred among different factions of Jews as there is between Jews and Palestinians. Aging, cynical detective Avram Cohen already has his hands full with the investigation of a deadly grenade attack when he is assigned the task of investigating the brutal, bloody murder of two nuns from a Russian convent. Religion and politics have ever been synonymous in Jerusalem, and never more so than here, with Cohen caught between the two. He is horrified by the idea that the killer may be a Jew, and simultaneously determined that no bureaucracy will stop him from unveiling the killer regardless of who he is or what his motive was. This is a very densely plotted and written tale, and will take patience to read and understand; but is worth the effort, especially for those who may persist in perceiving of Israel as a monolith.