What a fantastic fourth novel Matt - thank you very much. You certainly deserved to win the John Creasey Dagger. `The Fourth Assassin' undoubtedly emphasises the fact.
The three previous novels have not only entertained me and kept me in suspense, but they have given me an insight to the lives of Palestinians and the problems they face. I am not erudite enough to determine whether this aspect is intentional in the writing, but I certainly appreciate its presence in the way in which I interpret what I read in the novels. This fourth novel, in my mind, expands upon this superbly - certainly in the last few chapters - and I am grateful for it.
Having Omar Yussef visit the USA, and particularly new York, is a masterful stroke of writing. In a number of extremely unusual (in `normal' lives, that is) circumstances the writer cleverly invites the reader to experience the complex feelings of a father for his errant(?) son and his favourite past pupils in an alien environment. The reader is led through a range of exciting and often dangerous situations, often feeling that maybe Omar is, in this novel, going to finish his career as a sleuth by being shot or stabbed! This must not happen!!
As someone about Omar's age, without the (resolved) drinking problem and his usual living conditions, from a similar background in education (in the UK though), I cannot help but feel a great empathy with Omar. Perhaps this is why I enjoy reading about him so much.
I have found this to be the most `unputdownable' of the series and I look forward to more - if Matt can find the time to write them.