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The Missing File Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 19, 2013

3.7 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Inspector Avraham “Avi” Avraham is a veteran cop in Holon, a quiet suburb of Tel Aviv. Experience tells him that crime in Holon is pretty simple: no serial killers, and murder and rape are rare. So, when a distraught mother reports that her 16-year-old son didn’t return from school, Avi assures her that the boy will turn up. But he doesn’t, and Avi, a man filled with self-doubt and perhaps numbed by his town’s lack of unusual crime, agonizes as the investigation lurches on. A primary source of his discomfort is a high-school teacher who had previously tutored the missing boy and proceeds to insert himself into the investigation in a way that seems inexplicable. The sense of place here is fascinating (Tel Aviv’s suburbs seem both familiar and exotic), and the focus on Avi’s state of mind, which is plumbed continuously, brings psychological depth. Procedural details are intriguing, too, suggesting that policing, at least in Holon, is a more humane enterprise than in the U.S. Armchair-traveler crime aficionados will welcome Mishani’s debut and look forward to Avi’s return. --Thomas Gaughan

Review

“Impressive! . . . Dror Mishani writes with profound originality. . . . A truly interesting story.” (Henning Mankell)

“THE MISSING FILE is a wonderfully satisfying detective mystery, with a heartbreaking finale. A tense, gripping page-turner that I devoured in two days—it’s hard to believe it’s a debut.” (S.J. Watson, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Go to Sleep)

“[A] solid brainteaser…. satisfying…. a thoughtful character study of a good man deeply troubled by issues of innocence and guilt. ” (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times)

“An outstanding first novel. . . . Mishani puts his expertise in the genre to good use in combining the procedural and the puzzle with artful misdirection.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“The sense of place here is fascinating, and the focus on Avi’s state of mind, which is plumbed continuously, brings psychological depth. Procedural details are intriguing, too. . . . Armchair-traveler crime aficionados will welcome Mishani’s debut and look forward to Avi’s return.” (Booklist)

“A compelling debut in a complex case aimed straight at the reader’s heart.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Mishani weaves a densely complex psychological mystery…[and] provides a stunning and surprising conclusion.” (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)

“[A]very well-written and well-plotted story.” (Daily American)

“[A] promising debut…[that] examines issues of truth, lies and perspective…. Raders of edgy mysteries set in unusual places will eagerly await his planned sequel.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

“[Mishani] has created a new…memorable…protagonist, Israeli detective Avraham (‘Avi’) Avraham. The translation is smooth, and the twist at the end is so unexpected that it is worthy of a more seasoned novelist. … Recommended (Theodore Reit, Spinetingler Magazine)

“D. A. Mishani’s The Missing File is the first installment of a gripping new crime series.” (World Literature Today)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (March 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062195379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062195371
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,167,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Cathy G. Cole TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First Line: Across the desk from him sat a mother. Another mother.

A teenage boy has disappeared from a sleepy suburb of Tel Aviv, Israel, yet when the boy's worried mother goes to the police station and asks Detective Avraham for help, he tells the woman to wait until the morning. It's been one of those days for Avraham, and this woman is the third one to talk to him about her child. When faced with her emotional appeal, Avraham can only ask her, "Do you know why there are no detective novels in Hebrew?" In reply to her puzzlement, he goes on to say, "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."

Mrs. Sharabi takes her fear and worry home with her, just as she's been told. But when morning comes and young Ofer Sharabi still isn't home, Avraham must begin an investigation into his disappearance-- an investigation where clues are few and far between. It's not long before the police detective wishes he hadn't been quite so glib with the frantic mother-- and he wonders just what part helpful schoolteacher Ze'ev Avni has to play in what's happened.

Most of your enjoyment of this book is going to hinge on your opinion of the main character, Avraham Avraham (no, that's not a typo). I found it almost impossible to like or even to respect him. He suffers from low self-esteem, is lonely and insecure. He doesn't even have confidence in his own abilities, resenting being overshadowed by others in the department who know how to "play the game." The only real pleasure he seems to have in life is to pick holes in the detective novels he reads and the cop shows he watches.
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Format: Hardcover
Police detective Avi Avraham has to investigate the disappearance of a teenage boy, Ofer Sharabi. The Sharabi's neighbor, Ze'ev Avni is a writer, and creepily interested in this case, interfering in strange ways. As Avi ventures into the search for Ofer, NOTHING is as it seems!

The Missing File by D. A. Mishani was awesome. I don't usually pick up mysteries, but I received this book from TLC Book Tours and was hooked immediately. The story is told from alternating perspectives, with every other chapter being told from the police detective's point of view or from the POV of Ze'ev (the creepy neighbor).

And when I say NOTHING is as it seems, it's so true. When I thought I figured it out, there was another twist. There were honestly twists until almost the last page!

My only complaint was the title. The Missing File? At one point, the police detective takes the file home with him. But that's it. It's more about a missing person. This book was translated into English from Hebrew, so maybe there is a double meaning that doesn't translate properly, but don't be deceived by the title. This book has nothing to do with a search for a missing file.

The Missing File is the first part in a series of books and I would read more in a heartbeat. However, you can read The Missing File and still feel like you have read a complete story, because basically, you have.

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

What's your favorite mystery novel that you enjoy?

Thanks for reading,

Rebecca @ Love at First Book
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As the main character, Israeli police detective Avi Avraham, likes to observe:

"Do you know why there are no detective novels in Hebrew? . . . Why doesn't Israel produce books like those of Agatha Christie, or `The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'? . . . I'll tell you. 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."

So when they're confronted with a real mystery, it's a switch. A teenage boy, Ofer Sharabi, goes missing; at first, Avraham tells his mother to go home and wait for him, the boy is sure to return home that night.

When he doesn't, Avraham must work a crime with virtually no clues. Ofer has seemingly taken nothing with him. He hasn't tipped off intentions to his friends. He hasn't signalled any turmoil in his life. A search for a body after a phone tip yields nothing.

Meanwhile neighbor Ze'ev Avni takes an extraordinary interest in the case. He's an English teacher who has tutored Ofer and gives tantalizing hints, both to the reader and to police, that he knows more than he's telling.

It's a story of three nebbishes (Yiddish expression, means a guy who is a nothing in the personality and competence department. Think Woody Allen's character in his early comedies.) The chain-smoking Avraham is lonely and insecure. He lacks confidence in his own police abilities and resents being overshadowed by flashier colleagues who know how to play the game.
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