Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Missing File by D.A. Mishani

Morning, everyone! I'm on the TLC tour for D.A. Mishani's The Missing File today.

There's not much serious crime happening in Avraham Avraham's district of Tel Aviv and so when a mother worried about her missing teenage son shows up to file a report, the officer gently convinces her to give it a second thought. When the boy still has not returned by the following morning, however, Avraham himself starts to second guess that decision. The boy in question left his cell phone at home and didn't attend school on the day he disappeared. So far, no one seems to have any solid leads in the case. If harm has come to the kid, Avraham fears it will be a public nightmare for the force and his lack of effort at the outset could be a problem.

I was intrigued by the idea of this first in a new series. D.A. Mishani is based in Isreal and, according to his bio, is a scholar specializing in the history of detective literature. I kind of wish I could have studied that subject!

The book is translated from Hebrew by Steven Cohen and he seems to have done a pretty exceptional job. At no point did the narrative feel awkward or clunky. In fact, it read very smoothly and I likely wouldn't have noticed it was a translation at all.

The problem with The Missing File is that it really was just a ho hum sort of read for me. Avraham didn't particularly grab me as a lead character. I didn't feel like I knew much about him at all. At times it seemed he was being set up as a character similar to Carl Morck (of Jussi Adler-Olsen's Department Q series) but the development just wasn't there.

The book never really seemed to pick up any speed either. It seemed to drag by and I found myself struggling to remain interested.

I'd have liked to see a stronger sense of place - the series is set in Israel and I would have loved to see more of the setting brought forward in the story, and even a tiny bit more about Avraham as a person would have been enough to interest me.

While it wasn't a hit for me, you can check out other stops on the tour to see what everyone else thought by visiting the official TLC tour page here. You can also head over to Facebook and like D.A. Mishani's page there. He also has an author page on Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5


Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm glad to know that the translation flows smoothly - that is always a challenge to get right.

Thanks for being on the tour!

Man of la Book said...

I thought the "hum drum" was part of the magic of the novel (http://manoflabook.com/wp/?p=8184). I liked the fact that it's about grey people living in a grey world.

Are you going to read the next installment?

Becky LeJeune said...

I'm honestly not sure yet if I'll continue the series. On the one hand I don't like to judge any series by the first book alone, I've found that can be a big mistake on my part. On the other hand, I'm not at all certain that I'm the right reader for the series.