Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bookish Thoughts: Lineup by Liad Shoham

Lineup by Liad Shoham
Harper, 2013
Crime Fiction; 320 pgs
From the Publisher: 
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 suspended, 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 enjoy reading novels set in countries other than my own, and so it was a no brainer to jump on this book tour when I was given the chance.  Lineup particularly intrigued me given the description, and it did not disappoint.

The novel is well written, and the author expertly weaves several different story threads together to form a cohesive and suspenseful novel.  There was nothing I did not like about this novel.

This book is all shades of gray. The novel presents several moral and ethical dilemmas, presenting various sides.  From the elderly woman who holds her tongue after witnessing the rape to the police cover up to the attempted clean up of that cover up and everything in between.  Add to that the not so innocent Nevo, accused of rape but guilty of another crime nonetheless.

Crime novels involving law enforcement can sometimes get bogged down in office politics, and while Lineup did have its share of that, the political threads were woven well into the story.  There's the issues of accountability, corruption, and the old versus the new.  The touches were subtle at times and more blatant at others but always fit the story well.

Lineup follows several different characters as the story unfolds.  There were many moments in which the reader can see how one event leads to another, how actions have consequences, even to those indirectly involved.  I love stories like this.  As I read, I could be heard groaning out loud--not out of annoyance at the book--but rather at the characters, knowing their choices had just set up another character for a fall or worse.

There really are no likeable characters in Lineup.  At least not from my perspective.  I wanted to like Detective Eli Nahum, but his hardheadness got in the way.  I had to admire his tenacity though, and his desire to correct his mistakes and own up to them.  I felt sorry for Nevo, but more so for his ex-wife and son. Nevo has made bad choices in his life and it was hard to see past that.  Amit, the reporter, well, I never grew to like him.  I think the character I did like was Nevo's defense attorney, but his part in the novel was a small one.

What I liked most about this novel was Liad Shoham's expert storytelling, his ability to keep the suspense going throughout the novel, and how well he captured the souls of his characters.  I will definitely be seeking this author's work out in the future. 

Rating:  * (Very Good)

To learn more about Liad Shoham and his books, please visit the author's Facebook page

I hope you will check out what others had to say about Lineup on the TLC Book Tours route!

Many thanks to the TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to be a part of this book tour. The publisher provided an e-copy of the book for review.

© 2013, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. It's rather sad to think that there are politics even in police investigations. This sounds really interesting!

    1. Kathy - Unfortunately it's not too different in my agency either.

      I really enjoyed the book and hope others will too.

  2. Thank you for this wonderful and interesting review. I really enjoyed reading it. As you wrote, I tried to portray the humanity in each of the characters and expose their strength and weaknesses. In a sense sometimes I felt sorry for them for the price they had to pay for their mistakes. My basic motivation was to expose the “behind the scene” of the justice system and present the different players and their motivations. I am really happy you liked it. I hope we meet again in my other books. All the best, Liad Shoham

    1. Mr. Shoham - Thank you very much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I thought you did an excellent job of showing the behind the scenes of the justice system. What you described isn't all that different from some of my experiences, even in a different country.

      I look forward to reading more of your books in the future.

  3. Sounds like there is a LOT going in in this book and not much of it is clear cut. That makes it all the more interesting to me!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

    1. Heather - Yes, it was a very busy book! It wasn't difficult to follow either, which is always a risk with so many characters and points of view.

  4. Liking the sound of this and especially that there are issues of of accountability, corruption, and the old versus the new.

    1. Tracy - Yes, I thought it was very true to life and I liked that the author tackled such relevant issues in such a moving and entertaining way.

  5. I'm a sucker for a good mystery/thriller!

  6. I enjoy mysteries, and based on the last paragraph of your review, I'm definitely interested in this one. Great post!

  7. Steph - I hope you do like it if you read it!


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