Every parent's nightmare...a child gone missing. Police Detective Avraham "Avi" Avraham is on duty when a mother comes into the Israeli police station to report Ofer, her sixteen-year-old son, missing. He left for school but never arrived. Avi asks her if she knows why there are no detective novels in Hebrew.
"Because we don't have crimes like that. We don't have serial killers; we don't have kidnappings; and there aren't many rapists out there attacking women on the streets. Here, when a crime is committed, it's usually the neighbor, the uncle, the grandfather, and there's no need for a complex investigation to find the criminal and clear up the mystery."
Avi sends the mother home telling her Ofer is probably just being a teenager and will show up before the night is out. But when Ofer's mother and uncle show up in the police station again the following day, Avi realizes Ofer is not just being a typical teenager, and this time, Israel does indeed have a mystery to be solved.
The Missing File is D.A. Mishani's debut novel and the beginning to a series featuring Avraham Avraham. His background as a literary scholar, specializing in detective literature, shows in his strong plot, complete with layers of conflict and plenty of red herrings. Mishani also delves into the psychological with this police procedural, wading into the murky waters of truth.
While the setting is Israel, where there has apparently been no call for detective novels in the past, the setting doesn't play a huge role in this book. The focus is squarely on the investigation and the characters.
Fans of the traditional crime novel will appreciate Mishani's respect of the genre, and all readers will appreciate his complex characters. While there may be differing opinions about the novel's conclusion, it will be difficult to argue that Mishani doesn't make the reader think...and then think again.
The Missing File is an intriguing detective novel and an impressive debut. I'm already looking forward to the next in the series.
The Missing File is available in hardcover (ISBN: 978-0062195371) from HarperLuxe.