cover image Three


D.A. Mishani, trans. from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen. Europa, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-1-60945-609-2

Mishani (the Avraham Avraham series) displays a superior gift for psychological suspense in this taut and twisty standalone. Orna Azran lives in Holon, Israel, with her nine-year-old son, Eran, and is still coming to terms with the end of her marriage to Ronen. A teacher, Orna works tirelessly to support her family and to help Eran, who is socially awkward, to weather the absence of his father; Ronen, who has moved to Nepal and remarried, can’t even be relied upon to wish Eran a happy birthday. Orna finds a change of pace from her exhausting, self-sacrificing routine after she meets Gil on a dating website for divorced singles. Their relationship develops slowly, partly due to her own ambivalence about becoming intimate again, and partly because of increasingly troubling signs that Gil is not who he says he is. Things take an unexpectedly dark turn before veering in a direction few will anticipate, but which pays off in the end. Mishani imbues his flawed, plausibly-drawn characters with a deep melancholy, spinning the noirish elements into a deeply satisfying conclusion. Mishani demonstrates a real flair for literary crime fiction. (June)