Yigal Zur Author
Zur opted for a career in the theater, living for a time in the gritty Brixton district of London, where a friendship with a street musician led him to move to Paris and study theater movement and mime with the famed French acting instructor Jacques Lecoq at L’École Internationale de Théâtre. On his return to Israel, he studied film at the Beit Zvi School for the Performing Arts in Ramat Gan and went on to study Hebrew literature and Chinese philosophy at Tel Aviv University.
It was at this time that his first stories were published in various magazines and newspapers, and he began to attract the attention of the literary community. This period was also the background for his first short story collection, “The Monsoon’s End”, in which he expressed the feelings of youngsters in search of themselves, longing for something they can not name, constantly seeking until what is meant to happen happens.
“Think Homeland meets Raymond Chandler with an Israeli twist. Death in Shanghai-La is a fascinating read and Yigal Zur is the big new name in international thrillers.”
– Jason Starr, International Bestselling Author of Fugitive Red
Zur married and started a family, and at the same time began working as a tour guide, introducing Israelis to some of his favorite places in Southeast Asia, writing travel pieces for the local papers, and filming and presenting travel items for Israeli TV. He established himself as Israel’s special correspondent to unusual events, reaching the height of his reporting career when he became the only Israeli ever to be embedded with US armed forces in action. Attached to the 22 Signals, 3rd Division during Operation Desert Storm 2003, he was a one-man journalistic task force, writing and broadcasting daily from Iraq for the Israeli press and TV.
Other major journalistic projects include reports of a journey to uncover Jewish genetic footprints in Eastern Africa, a meeting with Khun Sa, the most notorious drug lord in Thailand and Myanmar, and the search and rescue of missing Israeli travelers the world over. Zur also hosted his own long-running travel show on Israeli TV.
Throughout this time, he continued to write novels, travelogues, and travel guides, including cultural guides to India and China. In 2000, he published “Dark Prune” which centers around the investigation into whether the Ethiopian soldier whose body was found hanging had committed suicide or whether he was the victim of a racist murder. The book became an overnight success. Together with director Daniel Wachsmann, he also wrote the screenplay for “Menelik, the Black Jewish Prince”, which won the Israeli Film Academy’s Best Director award in 1999.
Realizing that the plots of all his previous novels were driven by criminal investigations, Zur decided to base his next books on his personal experience as a life-long traveler, including his intimate knowledge of the role Israelis play in the arms industry and drug smuggling. This decision gave birth to private detective Dotan Naor, a former member of the Israeli Security Agency, the central character in three suspense novels thus far, all of which have been highly acclaimed.