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The Murder of Yasser Arafat (DeltaFourth Operations Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 87 pages Series: DeltaFourth Operations (Book 1)

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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, hear my podcasts and see extra features at mattrees.net.

My first book was non-fiction about the Middle East, where I live. When 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.

THE NOVELS: My latest one is MOZART'S LAST ARIA, a historical thriller set in Vienna in 1791. The main character is Wolfgang Mozart's sister Nannerl, who investigates the great composer's death. It's based on my own love for Mozart's music, my fascination with his often-forgotten, talented sister, and my reading of recent historical research which shows that Wolfgang may well have died suspiciously. It's out in the UK in May and in the US in November. I learned piano so I could write about the Maestro's music. For my next book, which is based on the life of Italian artist Caravaggio, I'm learning to paint with oils and duel with a seventeenth-century rapier.

The first novel in The Palestine Quartet, The Collaborator of Bethlehem (UK title The Bethlehem Murders), was published in February 2007 by Soho Press. In the UK it won the prestigious Crime Writers Association John Creasey Dagger in 2008, and was nominated in the US for the Barry First Novel Award, the Macavity First Mystery Award, and the Quill Best Mystery Award. In France it's been shortlisted for the Prix des Lecteurs. New York Times reviewer Marilyn Stasio called it "an astonishing first novel." It was named one of the Top 10 Mysteries of the Year by Booklist and, in the UK Sir David Hare made it his Book of the Year in The Guardian.

Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse novels, called Omar Yussef "a splendid creation." Omar was called "Philip Marlowe fed on hummus" by one reviewer and "Yasser Arafat meets Miss Marple" by another.

The second book in the series, A Grave in Gaza, appeared in February 2008 (and at the same time under the title The Saladin Murders in the UK). The Bookseller calls it "a cracking, atmospheric read." I put in elements of the plot relating to British military cemeteries in Gaza in homage to my two great uncles, who rode through there with the Imperial Camel Corps in 1917. One of them, Uncle Dai Beynon, was still around when I was a boy, and I was named after him.

The third book in the series, The Samaritan's Secret, was published in February 2009. The New York Times said it was "provocative" and it had great reviews in places I'd not have expected - The Sowetan, the newspaper of that S. African township, for example.

THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, the fourth novel in The Palestine Quartet, was published in February 2010. In it, Omar visits the famous Palestinian town of Brooklyn, New York (there really is a growing community there in Bay Ridge), and finds a dead body in his son's bed...

AROUND THE WORLD: My books have to leading publishers in 24 countries: the U.S., France, Italy, Britain, Poland, Spain, Germany, Holland, Israel, Portugal, Brazil, Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden, Iceland, Chile, Venezuela, Japan, Indonesia, Greece, Turkey, and South Korea.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By arnold draiman on January 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
while i appreciate the story behind the story - all based on facts, knowing that both M & M were there, on the scene; i really appreciate their insight and interpretation of the events. i "knew" what had happened, but now, i really know. thanks!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Chen on January 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
A body in a radish field. A loyal bodyguard suddenly suspect. Forget everything you ever read about the death of Yasser Arafat. Matt Rees and Matthew Kalman promise and deliver an in-depth investigation that spans the years leading up to Arafat's death. They dig beneath the surface of the Palestinian social infrastructure and come up with facts that are sure to surprise. Using original reporting that takes you behind the scenes, this account is bold and brassy, wise and witty, a racy read that will leave you wanting more.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Judie Amsel on January 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Yasser Arafat died in November 2004, twenty years after returning to the Palestinian territories after his exile in Tunisia. His supporters, among others, suspected him of being poisoned by the Israelis. There were also several other theories, including his dying from HIV/AIDS, liver cirrhosis, cancer, a blood disorder, and leukemia.
His health had been deteriorating for awhile and he went to Paris in an attempt to improve. He was buried, without an autopsy, immediately following his death and all the medication bottles from his home were destroyed before anyone could check them.
In 2012, evidence of high levels of radioactive polonium-210 was found on some of his belongings. His body was exhumed, bone samples were extracted, and four medical teams examined and reported the results: Yasser Arafat was poisoned by polonium-210.
The question of who administered it and how is the plot of this short book. In order to determine it, though DeltaFourth investigates who had a motive and who had an opportunity. There are many people with motives: Corruption was rampant in the Palestinian Authority; in fact, it was a way of life. Arafat ordered the deaths of many people he considered to be in positions to be his rivals. Who had an opportunity was a much smaller list because he was isolated in his compound by the Israelis for a couple of years before his death so access to him was somewhat limited. But DeltaFourth does name names and provide reasons.
Matthew Kalman and Matt Rees are award winning journalists and novelists who have worked in for newspapers and magazines in many countries, usually covering stories from the Middle East, especially Israel and the Palestinian territories. Together, they form DeltaFourth and, as such, interviewed insiders and observers in Ramallah, Gaza, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem to research this book.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By db on January 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The "real story" of what's behind murder of Arafat. It reads like a thriller, but has the "facts" we never hear about. Thank you Delta Fourth!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Braunschvig on March 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book shows in plain light how fundamentally corrupt was (and still is) the Palestinian Authority after Arafat was brought back from Tunisia. This situation is compounded by the power struggles between the different factions and the thugs that made them.
With Arafat, corruption was an art form and an end to itself and, as with all totalitarian and self-serving regimes, it was turned upon him who fostered this way of life. Those who suffered most from it were the people.

Too bad that there were so few who called a shovel a bloody spade.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This will go down in history as uncovering one of the great conspiracies in history. Paul McCartney isn't dead, Kennedy was probably not assassinated, but Arafat indeed was murdered. Beyond cliches of journalism and praise of people afraid to write the truth, this on-the-ground reporting reAds like fiction, but is sadly not. Hopefully, this investigation will matter to anyone interested in world affairs, the Middle East and justice.
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I have found Matt Rees books, including this one, enlightening, and eminently readable. This particular book is a must read for anyone who wants to know more about this critical area of the world. The conclusion I got from reading the book was one I had not thought of before, that Arafat, who won the Noble Peace Prize, secured his power base by keeping up hostilities with Israel.
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By Jonathan Rosen on February 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book that sheds light on the ins and outs of Palestinian politics under Arafat. Insightful and shrewdly written, it contains quite a lot of information that even presumably "informed" people will find to be new to them. Buy it!
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