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The Double Head

In this book, the first of a series, Lapid`s protagonist, Josh Shirman, is almost 40 and overweight. But he`s a tough guy who despises cops on the take. He was dismissed from the police some years ago and now makes a living as a private detective. One day a good-looking woman comes to his home-cum-office, and asks him to tail her cheating husband. Josh takes the job and discovers that the husband plus another man are involved in a robbery from a diamond polishing firm. Josh does not find the husband`s lover, but in the course of his investigation he discovers a young girl lying unconscious in the street. It soon turns out that the girl, who is ultra-Orthodox, has been raped by unknown assailants. Josh takes her home while he considers the possibility of a connection between the rape and the robbery.

Thus begins a thrilling plot with numerous twists and turns, in which corrupt cops, cops who are friends, hookers, criminals, rabbis and yeshiva students are all involved. Josh has to act quickly because his fingerprints have been found at the scene of the robbery and the police believe he is involved in the crime. Along the road to clearing his name and solving the crime, he is beaten, shot, almost run down, and his apartment is broken into and trashed. He takes Relly, the ultra-Orthodox girl, to his sister`s home, but the criminals find her and murder his sister. Now nothing will stop Josh, and he enlists the aid of a few elderly journalists who provide him with useful information on the ultra-Orthodox community and its customs. Relly`s father, a rabbi who heads an important yeshiva, is exposed as a financial swindler, while Relly`s fiance turns out to be a hoodlum. It appears that the rabbi and a dirty cop planned to frame Josh for the robbery, but the missing piece of the puzzle is found at the end. Relly, with whom Josh has fallen in love, is also an accomplice and not the rabbi`s daughter at all.

French, Greek, Russian
Title The Double Head
Writer's Last Name Lapid
Writer's First Name Yair
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Zmora-Bitan
No. Pages 175pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Rosh Ha-Kaful
  • “ Lapid has the gift of putting his pen where it hurts… The piquant aspect of this thriller is his sensitive, precise description of Tel Aviv... There are many hot pursuits, a little blood and lots of trouble for this funny detective who is immature but very clear-headed... Let us hope that Fayard will publish the sequel.”

    Le Monde
  • “ Lapid, a TV host and the son of Shulamit Lapid, great author of detective novels, proves that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. ”

    Nouvel Observateur
  • “ Yair Lapid reminds one of Raymond Chandler... Lapid conveys particularly well the ambiance of Bnei Brak (an Orthodox town)… I recommend it to you as vacation reading! ”