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Omar Yussef is the most unlikely detective in modern whodunnits. He does not study fingerprints, collect physical evidence or check alibis.
He is a tired old history teacher who has an insatiable interest in other people's affairs. He believes that the study of history is a must, but also how it is made or influenced by those who live it. In other words, he believes that one must intervene in the present to shape history.
In his third outing in this book, Yussef and his family are in Nablus on the West Bank to attend the wedding of a friend and neighbour.
He goes to the Samaritan Temple with his friend, a policeman, to investigate the theft of one of the most holy books of that tribe.
The Samaritans are not regarded as Jews by the Israelis and as funny people by the Palestinians. Still, they live peacefully among the Arabs except for occasional harassment. Yussef is fascinated by their culture and in-breeding.
The murder of the high priest's son brings all sorts of characters into play as Yussef probes the murder and theft of millions by the former head of Palestinians.
There are fascinating snippets about the people of Nablus, their customs and beliefs.
Yussef solves the case after digging out family secrets grounded in greed, hate and love.