Asy­lum City: A Novel

  • Review
By – January 20, 2015

Liad Shoham’s lat­est mys­tery, Asy­lum City, has a riv­et­ing plot — but it’s not a typ­i­cal thriller. Asy­lum City is engrossed not only in the crime plot but also in a major social issue fac­ing Israelis, a prob­lem that is in many ways sim­i­lar to the US immi­gra­tion prob­lem: what should be the role of bor­der secu­ri­ty; what to do with those in the coun­try ille­gal­ly, and what about the human rights issue? The prob­lem in Israel has arisen from the Eritre­an Africans, who are try­ing to escape per­se­cu­tion by migrat­ing to Israel through the Sinai Peninsula. 

The sto­ry begins with the mur­der of activist Michal Poleg in her Tel Aviv apart­ment. The police­woman assigned to the case, Anat Nach­mias, won­ders which of the pos­si­ble sus­pects could be the per­pe­tra­tor. Was her killer a dis­grun­tled African immi­grant? Or the lawyer she filed a com­plaint against for caus­ing so many migrants to be deport­ed, or The Banker” extort­ing from the migrants as he lends mon­ey to them ille­gal­ly at exor­bi­tant inter­est rates? The book brings the read­er inside to be part of the inves­ti­ga­tion, as Anat must decide if an asy­lum seek­er” actu­al­ly com­mit­ted the crime, despite his confession. 

Anat is a smart, moti­vat­ed, attrac­tive police­woman armed with a law school degree, who han­dles her­self well in a male-dom­i­nat­ed pro­fes­sion, rely­ing on her intel­li­gence and train­ing to suc­ceed. There are oth­er well-devel­oped char­ac­ters, although the abun­dance of char­ac­ters and the sim­i­lar­i­ty of names are at times a bit confusing. 

Liad Shoham, the author, is a prac­tic­ing attor­ney who uses his job expe­ri­ences in this fast-paced, riv­et­ing nov­el with engag­ing charac­ters and an infor­ma­tive storyline.

Relat­ed Content:


Read Elise Coop­er’s inter­view with Liad Shoham about Asy­lum City here.

Elise Coop­er lives in Los Ange­les and has writ­ten numer­ous nation­al secu­ri­ty arti­cles sup­port­ing Israel. She writes book reviews and Q and A’s for many dif­fer­ent out­lets includ­ing the Mil­i­tary Press. She has had the plea­sure to inter­view best­selling authors from many dif­fer­ent genres.

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