Amnon Dankner`s detective novel is not only a superb thriller that affords great intellectual pleasure, but also a sophisticated literary creation, rich in fascinating insights into contemporary Israeli society. Furthermore, it is a book that connects events in Jerusalem of the late 1990s with those in Paris of the end of the 19th century, on whose streets walked the man considered to be the founding father of Zionism, Theodor Herzl.
At the time, Herzl was a Viennese journalist who was sent to France to cover the Dreyfuss trial, but was he also a dastardly murderer, one of whose victims was Valentine le Dיsossי (Valentine the Boneless), a dancer at the Moulin Rouge?
Modi, an Israeli post-Zionist historian is convinced that he was, after a document signed by Herzl comes into his hands which apparently contains a confession to the murder. But Modi is himself murdered after he and his lover, Gaia the anarchist, complete their sensational book about their amazing historical discovery. And he is not the only one. The novel is filled with bodies. The first body found is that of Prof. Amos Aronson, a noted Jerusalem historian who owns a priceless collection of manuscripts. He died in what seems to be a domestic accident, but his beautiful daughter, Noa, suspects that her stepmother murdered him for his money. The police have their doubts and simply wonder where the professor`s assistant, Elazarov, has disappeared. But when someone tries to strangle Noa and a family friend, Amnon Yogev, a well-known Jerusalem figure, is murdered, an investigation headed by the sharp-witted and sensitive Inspector Kozlov is launched. The key to the truth is an 1892 Toulouse-Lautrec painting, "At the Moulin Rouge", a reproduction of which Aronson bequeathed to Yogev. Kozlov and Noa solve the riddle (and fall in love). It turns out that Herzl was not the murderer - it was an unknown Jew - while Yogev and Elazarov were murdered by Gaia.
Partial English translation available (for publishers only)