Batya Gur (January 1947 – May 2005), the author of Murder In Jerusalem, was an Israeli writer with the specialty in detective fiction, obviously set in Israel. She was born in Tel Aviv in 1947 to parents who survived the Holocaust. She earned a master’s degree in Hebrew literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before writing her first detective novel at the age of 39, she taught literature in high school. Gur was also a literary critic for Haaretz newspaper. She died of cancer at the age of 57.
In Murder in Jerusalem, a woman’s body is discovered in the wardrobe warehouses of Israel Television, and Chief Superintendent Michael Ohayon embarks on a tangled and bloody trail of detection through the corridors and studios of Israel’s official television station, and through the fears, loves, and contradictions of the people who work there.
It is important to note that this is not a fast-paced book and Batya develops the plot and characters very patiently through the storyline. People who like psychological mysteries will enjoy this novel as the author talks a great deal about psychoanalysis related elements in the book.
However, people who enjoy page-turning thrillers might not enjoy this book as much. Gur provides a lot of background information, on the local scene and also regarding Freudian psychology, which wouldn’t have been all necessary.
On the positive side: This author shows she can write well, the storyline slowly draws the reader to the conclusion. Batya gives away the culprit before the end of the book and the puzzle then becomes the way Michael Ohayon is going to catch the murderer.