Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lineup by Liad Shoham

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Liad Shoham's Lineup.

While walking home one evening, Adi Regev is attacked and raped. After her parents found her and made her come forward, her father set up camp outside her apartment intent on catching the man responsible. Ziv Nevo was kind of in the wrong place at the wrong time. But even though he's not the man who raped Adi, he was up to something when he was caught in her neighborhood. Inspector Eli Nachum is under pressure to close the case quickly. He's certain that they have their man but when Adi recants her statement, he's not sure what to do next. 

This is the first of Liad Shoham's novels to be translated into English, readers, and I certainly hope it's not the last! Lineup reads at literal breakneck speed. I've read some quick books - and a lot of one sitting books - but this is the first I've read in a while that progressed quite this quickly. I read about 70 pages while hubs watched Colbert last night!

Lineup raises some interesting questions. First, the nosy neighbor who witnesses the whole thing. At what point do you step in? Sure, she's willing to report a guy who doesn't pick up after his dog, but all in all the reader can't totally fault a retiree living on her own who's scared to come forward. But of course what comes later could have been completely avoided if she had. (Slippery slope!)

Second, Adi goes along with both her father and Nachum at first. It's understandable that she so desperately wants to put the whole thing behind her but she makes a pretty grave mistake. Her father's motivations are seemingly pure - he just wants to take care of his daughter, but at the expense of someone else? And Nachum, while he's sure that Ziv is guilty, knows that they don't have the evidence to keep him. Nachum is so convinced, though, that he's willing to risk everything just to close the case with a conviction.

And that's all in the first third of the book!

I loved the alternating viewpoints. I thought Shoham excelled at creating a cast of very different characters with very clearly unique viewpoints throughout the story. Too often I've seen authors try their hand at multiples like this only to result in the same voice out of a handful of people. Definitely not the case here. Adi, her father, Nachum, Ziv, and Amit (the reporter I haven't mentioned until now) each clearly stand out against one another.

Since this is translated from Hebrew, I have to give a little space to Sara Kitai. Her translation here is flawless. It's been ages since I've read a book translated quite this well (no hang ups, no odd phrasing). Lineup reads smooth and easy thanks to her work.

All in all, Lineup is a pretty excellent thriller on all levels. Shoham's research and personal knowledge plays a huge role as well, giving the reader a really fantastic look at how the system works in Israel.

Rating: 4/5

I've got a few extras here for you. First up is an interview Shoham did with PW, offering up some extra insight into Lineup and his work. Second is a Q&A with CBS News.

To see more stops on the tour, check out the official TLC tour page here. You can also like Liad Shoham on Facebook.


Tabitha (Pabkins) said...

It's hard to know and make those judgement calls about when you should interfere. I think so many people take the "it's not effecting me, I'm not going to do anything about it" approach.

Unknown said...

Thank you for this wonderful review. I really enjoyed reading it. As "Lineup" is my first book to be translated in the US I am both excited and anxious. So, reading your review was very helpful. By writing the book from various viewpoints I tried to portray the complexity of things. As you wrote, we can understand where each player is coming from but the result is catastrophic. BTW, the basic story happened in Israel: A father persuaded himself, his daughter and then the police that a suspicious man he saw walking down the street was the man who raped his daughter. The man almost got convicted of a crime he did not commit. Thanks again for reading my book and writing such lovely review. All the best, Liad Shoham.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Translations can be tricky so I'm very excited to see how well done this one was.

Thanks for being on the tour!