New York Times best-selling author WILLIAM BAYER has written numerous crime novels. His books have won several prizes, including the "best novel" Edgar, have been published in fifteen foreign languages, and his Janek series novels have been made into seven television movies all broadcast on CBS. He and his wife, cookbook author, Paula Wolfert, lived in the Sonoma Valley in Northern California.
Pattern Crimesby William Bayer
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It begins when the strangely marked body of a young prostitute is found just outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. A similarly disfigured corpse of an American nun turns up. Then an Arab boy. As the list of victims grows, their only apparent connection is the bizarre markings on their bodies, it appears that Israel is facing its first serial murder case.
David Bar-Lev, chief of the Pattern Crimes Unit of the Jerusalem police, is not so sure. A tough yet sensitive investigator with a powerful intelligence and a querying mind, he begins searching for a pattern that will explain the apparently random killings.
At first the disorder is overwhelming, the case unfathomable. But then, as David probes deeper into this particular pattern crime, he is not so sure he wants to understand it. Pieces emerge that suggest that this time the key may lie within his own life. During the course of his investigation he must uncover and confront many painful secrets:
• The mysterious behavior of his father, Avraham, a retired psychoanalyst;
• The tragic suicide of his brother, Gideon, a talented fighter pilot;
• The hidden past of his beautiful Russian lover, the cellist Anna;
• The possibility of corruption within the Jerusalem police and the ultra-secret General Security Services(Shin Bet).
But despite the pain of these and other revelations, David probes on until he finally glimpses his astonishing solution—for, as one cop says of David Bar-Lev, "It is not enough for him to investigate. David has to understand."
The Jerusalem of Pattern Crimes is not the idealized Holy City of the guidebooks. Depicted as the capital of an angry, anguished, torn-up nation, a city of prostitutes, narcotics dealers, lusting journalists, ruthless politicians and zealots of every stripe, it becomes here an arena for a remarkable story of crime and punishment.
This is a book about patterns – in love, in relationships, in politics, in art, in death. And always at the center is David Bar-Lev, one of the most memorable characters in recent crime fiction, relentlessly searching for the pattern that will unlock his case – the pattern he must uncover in order to clarify his vision … of himself, his family, and the country that he loves.
With Pattern Crimes William Bayer raises the detective novel to a new level of excellence. In the best-selling tradition of his previous novel, Switch, he has created a powerful story of psychological suspense and one of the strongest, most intriguing novels of recent years.
PRAISE FOR PATTERN CRIMES:
New York Times: “William Bayer has the reader panting to keep up with the pace he sets in ‘Pattern Crimes.’ The novel’s virtues: its intriguing intellectual hero, the multi-layered humanity he encounters in his investigations, and his fascinating observations on a Jerusalem no casual tourist gets to see.”
San Francisco Examiner: “Bayer has got the real stuff: a pounding narrative line; real people you can identify with; dialogue that snaps with authority even as it advances the exposition; a riveting sense of locale. Bayer is the new king of the crime fiction heap. At a minimum he has written one unputdownable book.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review): “A richly dramatic and thoughtful police procedural, a sort of ‘Gorky Park’ set in Jerusalem. Provocative and intelligent entertainment.”
Newsday: “’Pattern Crimes’ is a surprise from beginning to end¼. Bayer takes us on a psychological roller-coaster of a trip that is harrowing yet always controlled.”
Washington Post: “There is an electricity to Bayer’s writing - rich design, crackling fabric - that sets it apart from the usual competent thriller. Bayer is a bona fide novelist, you first think to yourself, but it is really the combination of the two, formula writer and writer-writer (not unlike Dashiell Hammett) that puts Mr. Bayer in a special niche.”
Library Journal: “Incisive prose, memorable characterization, a carefully orchestrated sense of place, and an intricate and lucid plot enhance this superlative, masterfully rendered police procedural. Excellent and provocative fiction.”
Chicago Sun-Times: “From the first page of William Bayer’s stunning ‘Pattern Crimes,’ you will be hooked. It’s the freshest, most original police procedural to appear in many months. There aren’t many novels I’d guarantee that you’d enjoy through and through. This is one.”
Cleveland Plain dealer: “Ingenious and entertaining.”
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The plot was good but taking place in a forign country w/ a foreign detective, the author should have either explained more of terms...there were too many historical, religious, political terms which made it confusing & thus a slow & difficult read
Stumbled across this book at a yard sale. It's taken some time to get around to reading a quite interesting novel. Author Bayer has written a novel that not only pleases but intrigues. Set in the Holy City of Jerusalem, Dective David Bar-Lev finds finds himself confronted by a ritualistic series of murder and subsequent dumping of the bodies of the victims. Soon they are wondering if they havea serial killer on their hands. Follow David and his squad as they slowly put together the intricate pieces of the very damaging plot. A hearty recommemdation. J M Lydon
The author has a clear understanding of the setting - bringing a foreign city to life with complex relationships and interesting characters. The crime, and the perspective of solving it from the very different methodology and political intricacies of Israeli politics made this particularly satisfying.