prose cleverly crafted – a 5* review

Not evry day that you get a 5* review, this time from Australian Author Darryl Greer:


“Passport To Death” by Israeli author, Yigal Zur is one of a series of thrillers featuring private investigator, Dotan Naor, former operative of the Israeli internal security service, Shin Bet. It is set in the back alleys, dive bars and sex clubs of Bangkok, Thailand. On this occasion, Naor is briefed to search for a missing girl, Sigal Bardon, daughter of a wealthy Israeli family. His investigations take him to the underbelly of Bangkok life, the seedier side of this popular tourist city, infested as it is with drugs, the sex trade and just about every other crime or sin known to mankind. Layer by layer he uncovers the clues, each one drawing him inexorably into the bowels of Bangkok society, yet no closer to locating Sigal than when he started out. Is she already dead? Murdered? Overdosed? Anything is possible in the Kafkaesque world into which she seems to have plunged. But despite the horrors Dotan encounters along the way, he is determined to find her – or at least her body.

“Passport To Death” has been translated into English from Hebrew and unlike many translated books it does not seem to have lost anything in translation. It is a thriller, a page-turner from beginning to end. The writing is descriptive, very visual as Yigal Zur takes the reader through the seedier side of Bangkok; it is clear that the author has an expert knowledge of life there – and certainly not as a tourist. The prose is cleverly crafted. Take this example in one character’s dialogue: ‘Her voice painted a picture, as if a delicate brush moved through the air when she spoke, sketching a scene as she described it.’ And the dialogue is not without its lighter moments, despite the dark subject matter of the story: ‘My name is Ivan. Around here I’m known as Ivan the Durian.’ “In Passport To Death” Yigal Zur has crafted a superb, yet different thriller. At 208 pages it is not a long book. Which is good, because once you start reading it, you won’t want to put it down.

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