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The Investigation of Captain Erez

Yishai Sarid has written an unusual thriller―without bodies, good guys or bad guys. The narrator is an unsuccessful Tel Aviv lawyer. He has only one client, a loser like himself, who tries to commit suicide; he shares a seedy apartment with a lazy, penniless alcoholic who dreams of being an actress; and to top it all he has a strong, opinionated “Jewish mother.”

By comparison, the case that our lawyer is given on reserve duty in the army is a challenge: A young woman named Almog has accused an elite officer of rape. The girl comes from an underprivileged family in the south, while the officer, Captain Erez, is considered of “the best”―a young man with values, motivated to excel and to contribute to society. The narrator and Kobi, his homosexual assistant – whose personal life is also complicated – discover that the situation between victim and accused is unexpected. And the further the investigation proceeds, the harder the picture is to pin down. Was it rape or a misunderstanding? And if it was rape, how to explain Erez’s reaction when the narrator tells him that Almog is pregnant? Erez, who so far has denied the charge, reacts joyfully. He is even willing to marry Almog! Thus the accused confesses and the narrator closes the case, but without any sense of satisfaction

Title The Investigation of Captain Erez
Writer's Last Name Sarid
Writer's First Name Yishai
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth
No. Pages 292pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Teref Kal
  • “ Introduces us to the core paradoxes of Israeli society…a vision both incisive and kindly of a country with many identities. And Sarid marches courageously on ambiguous terrain.”

  • “He captivates us with his way of opening up a world under constant tension, that seeks a stability we feel is beyond their grasp.”

  • “This book belongs to the genre that in its cinematic version is called “film noir.” … When you’ve finished reading it, something lingers in your soul… Most of the enjoyment derives from Sarid’s ability to write, describe and move the heart… There is so much strength here that you really must not miss it… Sarid must write more. It is a long time since I have read such a promising work by a new writer.”

    Amnon Dankner, Maariv
  • “Yishai Sarid builds the image of a modern moral hero struggling with Israeli reality, whose clichés he dismantles…This dual focus on the national and the personal gives the book an authentic aura [with]a fascinating protagonist who is also reader-friendly… There is something in the whole book of the Knut Hamsun-like model that Hamsun called “the Genius.”… The tempo is fast, and the focus of attention shifts from the investigation to [exploring] the characters, their motives and their world.”