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Behind God's Back

248 pages4 hours


1. The second in the Ariel Kafka series. Like the extensively reviewed Nights of Awe, the first in the series, it is a brisk read, with rapid twists and turns leading to a satisfying resolution. Kafka’s dry humor is once again in evidence, as is his appealing, somewhat melancholic presence. Helsinki’s Jewish community plays a central role as certain business dealings —shady and not shady-- attract the unwanted interests of the Finnish Secret Services and Israel’s Mossad.

2. The hero is one of two Jewish policemen in Finland. Blessed with the wonderful name Ariel Kafka and a strained relationship with his rabbi, he is relentless in the pursuit of truth in this case of murdered fellow Jews.

3. Will appeal to fans of ‘The Yiddish Policemen’s Union’ by Pulitzer winner Michael Chabon, and to readers of Leonardo Padura whose mystery writing is not afraid to be critical of the prevailing powers, to intelligent readers of Scandinavian crime writing and to fans of Faye Kellerman.

4. It should benefit from the current vogue for Nordic noir but, unlike its competition, it is funny, without gratuitous or sadistic violence, and has a charming hero.

5. Second of a series of four.

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