Book Review: Lineup by Liad Shoham

lineupTitle: Lineup
Author: Liad Shoham
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Harper Collins
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: ARC from the publisher for a tour with TLC Book Tours
First line: Sarah Glazer raised the binoculars to her eyes and followed the movements of the young man and his dog walking down the street.

Goodreads blurb: A brutal rape in a quiet Tel Aviv neighborhood has the police baffled. Detective Eli Nahum is eager to wrap up the high-profile case and sees an easy conviction when the victim’s angry father delivers a likely suspect.

But Ziv Nevo isn’t a rapist. He’s a hired hand for a notorious mafia boss, and he’s not going to tell the cops why he was really near the crime scene. When the case is thrown out on a procedural technicality, Nahum is fired, Nevo goes free, and the mob smells a rat.

Then another rape occurs. Certain its Nevo, the cops are determined to see him to prison-unless the mob sends him to the grave first. On the run with his wife in the desert, an innocent man has one chance to survive-a disgraced former detective named Nahum who’s determined to find the truth at any cost.

I have been on a mystery/thriller kick for the last couple of years, reading them in higher volumes than I have since high school and college. I don’t see that changing any time soon, as I am realizing how much I enjoy them, especially if they are well-written. I also enjoy reading thrillers and mysteries from international authors, and so jumped at the chance to read Lineup, from one of Israel’s best-selling crime writers.

Lineup is set in the city of Tel Aviv, and the crime is a brutal one. Shoham was adept at giving the point of the view of the victim without making the rape unbearable to read. The falsely accused Nevo is in a precarious position; he is guilty of something, just not the crime the cops are trying to pin on him. As Detective Nahum gets deeper into the mystery, he becomes convinced of Nevo’s innocence, but isn’t in any position to prove it without Nevo’s help.

The mystery was well-written, and I was surprised by the revelation of the culprit, although in hindsight, I shouldn’t have been. Unfortunately, the level of writing and the intrigue of the plot weren’t enough to make this book a home run for me. Shoham uses multiple points of view to tell his story, which isn’t necessarily a bad plot device, but in this case made it difficult to relate to any one character. I wanted to keep reading to find out how it ended, but I wasn’t emotionally invested in the lives or outcomes of the characters.

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9 Responses to Book Review: Lineup by Liad Shoham

  1. bermudaonion (Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion

    Too bad this didn’t live up to its promise.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kathy – it really is, because he is a good writer. I think if he narrows his focus more, he could write a very compelling thriller.

  2. I’m sorry you didn’t like this one more, Carrie. I really enjoyed it. I do see your point about there not easily being able to relate to the characters because of the multiple viewpoints offered. And, in reflection, I agree with that in part. For me, though, I think it was more the characters themselves that kept me at a distance.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Wendy – I still think I would look for one of his other books, and see if my experience is different.

  3. Pingback: Liad Shoham, author of Lineup, on tour September 2013 | TLC Book Tours

  4. Thanks for being on the tour.

  5. Liad Shoham says:

    Thank you for this review. It is not easy for a writer reading such a review, but this is part of the risks you take when becoming one. I thought a lot about the point you made. “Lineup” is my fifth book, but is the first one where I used the technique of telling the story from alternating perspectives. I guess you are right when saying that something gets lost. But I think you gain much more. You get all perspectives and a panoramic view of the situation. You do not just get to hear the point of view of the detective, the victim or the perpetrator, but you get to read them all. You understand who are the players and the agenda and motivation of each. In “Lineup” I tried to expose the behind the scene of the legal system. That meant giving all the players their “day in court”. I think you lean more from it as it gives you a more complex viewpoint. Anyway, this is the point I was trying to make. I hope we meet again in my other books. All the best, Liad Shoham

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Liad – Thanks for explaining your writing process to me. I can definitely see why you chose to use the multiple points of view. And I hope it came through in my review that I like your writing itself very much. I will definitely be looking for more of your work.

  6. Pingback: The Sunday Salon – September 29, 2013 (plus, wrapping up September) | BOOKS AND MOVIES