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The Fourth Assassin (Omar Yussef Mystery 4) [Paperback]

Matt Rees
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Feb 2010 Omar Yussef Mystery 4
This is the fourth Omar Yussef mystery from CWA John Creasey Dagger winner Matt Rees. When Omar Yussef travels to New York for a UN conference, he is eager to see his youngest son, Ala. But the discovery of a decapitated corpse in his son's empty apartment catapults him into a police enquiry full of contradictions. In his desperation to clear Ala's name, Omar's investigations place him at the heart of a deadly international conspiracy.

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (1 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848872038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848872035
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,003,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm an award-winning British crime novelist. Major authors have compared my writing with the work of Graham Greene, John Le Carre, Georges Simenon and Henning Mankell. French magazine L'Express calls me "the Dashiell Hammett of Palestine." Read more about my books, listen to podcast and see extra features at

My first book was non-fiction about the Middle East, where I live. Once that was done, I was looking for my next project and came up with the idea for Omar Yussef, my Palestinian sleuth, while chatting with my wife in our favorite hotel in Rome. I realized I had become friends with many colorful Palestinians who'd given me insights into the dark side of their society. Like the former Mister Palestine (he dead-lifts 900 pounds), a one-time bodyguard to Yasser Arafat (skilled in torture), and a delightful fellow who was a hitman for Arafat during the 1980s. To tell the true-life stories I'd amassed over a decade, I decided to channel the reporting into a crime series. After all, Palestine's reality is no romance novel.

I've since written four Omar Yussef novels, which have won awards from the Crime Writers Association, and in the U.S. and France. My latest two books are historical crime fiction: Mozart's Last Aria, about the death of the great composer, and A Name in Blood, which is based on the mysterious end of Caravaggio.

I'm currently working on a thriller set in Italy...

Product Description


"'Morse, Rebus, and now Yussef' Observer 'Omar Yussef is a splendid creation' Colin Dexter 'The next big sleuth in crime fiction' Donal Macintyre 'These gripping thrillers by a British journalist are excellent - not least because they are based on real events' Independent 'Indispensable... Rees not only provides a classic investigation into a terrible crime, he paints a picture of life in this hell-hole... First-rate crime.' Scotsman (The Samaritan's Secret) 'Ree's captures the touching undercurrent of existence in the direst circumstances... This is a rare crime novel.' TLS (The Samaritan's Secret)"

About the Author

Matt Rees is an award-winning crime novelist who lives in Jerusalem. Major authors have compared him to Graham Greene and John Le Carre. The French magazine L'Express called him 'the Dashiell Hammett of Palestine'. As a journalist, Rees covered the Middle East for over a decade for Time Magazine and Newsweek. His Omar Yussef Mystery series (The Bethlehem Murders, The Saladin Murders, The Samaritan's Secret) won a Crime Writers Association Dagger and is published in twenty-two countries.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For his fourth Omar Yussef mystery, Matt Rees takes his charismatic teacher/detective out of the Middle East and temporarily transplants him into New York - with complete success. The story still retains the culture, danger, treachery and, yes, despair of Matt's previous stories, emotions which are enhanced rather than diminished by the New York setting.
If you are yet to meet Omar Yussef, try one of the other books first. If you already know him, join him on his trip to New York. He will not disappoint you. Bless your hands, Matt!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Omar Yussef does it again - away from home 27 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A human side to Palestinians 25 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is Matt Rees' fourth Omar Yussef novel, a school teacher in a UN school in Bethlehem, who finds himself caught in the madness of the situation the Palestinians find themselves in, and the madness they inflict upon themselves.

This time, Yussef in in New York, in the area of 'Little Palestine' in Brooklyn, where he is visiting his son, and giving a speech at a UN conference.

As per Rees' previous novels, it gives an intriguing insight into the mind of an ordinary Palestinian, more family than religious oriented, but still with a love of his people and exuding the warmth of hospitality they show.

The mystery of the fourth assassin is second fiddle in a way to understanding and exploring the relationships and beliefs of Palestinians, albeit done in a very easily readable and approachable way.

Better than his last book, The Samaritan's Secret', it lacks a fifth star due to the fact it felt too short!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Omar Yussef abroad - as good as at home! 5 April 2010
Omar Yussef is a retired Palestinian history teacher from Bethlehem. He's overweight, he used to drink too much and he can't resist sticking his nose in when he senses injustice which often leads him in to danger, no more so than in this, his fourth outing, which takes place in New York. He's there to speak at a UN Conference, and he also plans to visit his son during his trip. It is immediately clear that the trip isn't going to be straightforward when he walks into his son's appartment to find a headless corpse on the floor.
Although the setting is New York (and Rees through Yussef conveys the feeling of being an outsider very well), the roots of the mystery are to be found in Middle Eastern intrigues and the plot rattles along at a good pace. There is sadness here about what life in a troubled region has done to some people - no side (and there are many in a complex conflict) comes out of it well. But there is also optimism that things could be better if only more people would listen to men like Omar Yussef.
This is an excellent read which informs as much as it entertains. It does stand alone although I would probably recommend that you start this excellent series at the beginning so you can enjoy it to the full.
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