The murder of the archaeologist, Albert Glock,proved the setting for this book's multifacted investigation into turbulent Palestine and Israel. It is an engrossing tale, and excellently written. The author considers a number of credible explanations before, on the balance of probabilities, linking the murder to rogue young Palestinian militants.
It is a fair minded work, concentrating on the cultural storm surrounding archaeology in the region. Fox points out quite convincingly the importance of archaeology as a handle to crank out authenticity certificates for the many cultures of the region. The paranoiac sense of two communities under siege and fearful of every aspect of each other's existence and intentions is drawn carefully and with scrupulous regard for opposing views. Some measure of Fox's commitment to unearthing the facts of the matter is conveyed by his sojourning in the occupied terrorities for several months while investigating the various accounts of the murder.
The subject of the book is notionally Glock, but he is a tragic bit player in terms of the overall thrust of the book. He is portrayed as a man of uneviable character. Socially impaired in his understanding of people and indifferent to other points of view. These traits, it is conjectured, are ultimately what contribued to his demise.
If the work has any dissatisfying structure it must be the way itis hurried along somewhat to a conclusion. We are given tantalisingly frustrating glimpses of the actions of people inth months leading up to Glock's murder, but never enough to stand up a prolonged analysis. The book is pool of tragic stories and uncertain endings retold in the prose of a quiet factuality. Don't pass over the opportunity to read it.