Martin Rees

Atlantic Books £11.99

Released: Feb 1st 2010

Reviewer: Adam Colclough


Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.


Hoping to visit his youngest son Ala whilst attending a UN conference in New York Omar Yussef discovers a headless body in his apartment pitching him into a deadly international conspiracy with links to the mystical elements of Arab history and the grim realities of the current political situation in the Middle East. 

The Fourth Assassin is a real page turner, the sort of book that keeps you reading far into the night, it is also a clever and determinedly clear eyed look at the brutal and often contradictory politics of the Middle East and the culture clashes that have always been an integral part of life in the Big Apple. 

Rees, a correspondent in the Middle East for many years, demonstrates a deep understanding of Arab culture and refuses to make simplistic judgements about which of the many warring factions has a claim to be in the right. He writes equally well about the often disappointing role played by the UN in resolving the regionís conflicts. 

In the figure of Omar Yussef he has created a troubled, fallible but always sensitive central character, frequently at odds with the contradictions of his culture but always aware of its underlying beauty.  

The first Omar Yussef novel, The Bethlehem Murders, won Martin Rees a CWA Dagger in 2008; this latest outing is good enough to make him a contender to win another.






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