Israel: One of the Few Israelian Detective Stories

I have read many a book in the genres of thrillers, adventures, crime, and murder. There are many books to choose from, and definitely everything from really badly written and boring to intriguing plots and well-thought executions. D.A. Mishani’s The Missing File has gotten some great reviews and I was quite excited about digging into the book.

A sixteen-year old boy goes missing in Tel Aviv’s suburb of Holon. Detective Inspector Avraham Avraham is set out to find the truth about what happened to the boy. It tends to be quiet in Avraham’s corner of Tel Aviv, and no kids are ever killed or kidnapped. The boy’s mother is obviously worried, but the detective is not, until he realizes something is terrible wrong. The boy’s teacher gets involved in the case, as well as the boy’s neighbours.

What I like about the book is that it is a mystery set in Israel. Apparently there are not too many of those, written by a native. It was interesting to read it from that point of view. Otherwise, well, it wasn’t really my cup of tea. Not saying it wasn’t a good book, but since I’ve read so many great books in the same genre this one did just not live up to the hype, nor was it comparable to some of the top notch detective stories.

Firstly, the pace in the book was just off. It felt like the story wasn’t really moving forward at all. The book was written from two different perspectives; Detective Avi Avraham is trying to find the boy and Ze’ev, the boy’s neighbour. I do not think two perspectives worked in this case. It made everything move slowly, too slowly for me.

Secondly, I did not warm up to the characters at all. I felt no empathy or any other feelings for that matter towards them. I felt like they were distant, and it was hard for me to understand their logic and motives in their involvement in the case of the missing boy. I never really felt a connection at all to basically anything, the book, the case, the characters.

All in all I guess it’s not a bad book per se, and I am sure quite a few readers will enjoy it. One’s taste for detective stories has to be quite different from mine, and luckily there are many out there like that! A detective story has to be captivating, a book I simply do not want to put down, a real page turner. The Missing File was not a book like that.

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