D. A. Mishani, a literary scholar specializing in detective literature, has written the first in what should be a very interesting series centering on Israeli Inspector Avraham Avraham, "The Missing File." (HarperCollins/289 pages)
The reader is introduced to Inspector Avraham "Avi" Avraham, who is bored with the lack of complicated cases in his neighborhood of Tel Aviv. When a mother enters his squad room to file a complaint concerning her missing son, Avraham even goes so far as to remind her that the reason there are no great detective novels written in Hebrew is because there is are no serious crimes committed in Israel.
Avraham is convinced the disappearance of 16-year-old Ofer Sharabi is simply that - a routine runaway teenager being filed as a missing person's case. But the good inspector finds that Tel Aviv does have its share of heinous crimes.
Things take a sinister turn when the boy's backpack is found. Even more troubling is the fact that the boy's neighbor confesses to having sent taunting letter to the parents professing to have been written by the boy.
The neighbor, a teacher and an aspiring writer, had a relationship with the missing boy which raises suspicion. But even more suspect is the actions of the parents and their failure to contact the police after receiving these notes.
Mishani has written an excellent detective novel which keeps the reader guessing to the very end and well beyond as the story ends in the time honored caption "to be continued" which compels the reader to wonder, "Did Inspector Avraham uncover the truth concerning the disappearance of Ofer Sharabi?"
Will the author revisit this case? Or is he suggesting to the reader that unlike the television dramas, real criminal cases are not always neatly resolved; that there may remain an element of doubt.
One thing is certain, this reader hope for more stories of Inspector Avraham of Tel Aviv.