Maror by Lavie Tidhar [8/10]

Who can forget the savage, musical James Ellroy prose circa the L.A. Quartet books? Now we have a successor and fittingly, the action takes place in modern Israel. Lavie Tidhar, a marvelous multi-genre author who never fails to delight, has now penned his noir opus, “Maror.” Spanning over three decades from the early seventies, it is the amoral tale of the underbelly of Israeli society, sitting on the shoulders of the nation’s cops (always corrupt), thieves, drug runners, whores, and assassins. Written with a relentless rhythm (allied to disparate music of the times) and scabrous, tough-as-nails prose, different parts of Israel feature, as well as Mexico, war-riven Lebanon, steamy Colombian jungles, and elsewhere. And every story features the enigmatic kingpin Cohen, a senior policeman pulling the strings while quoting flowery sayings and exerting a charismatic pull on all around him. Maror is a heady, nonstop brew of terror, violence, and mayhem, while also exuding swathes of coursing humanity. Deserves to be a cult classic, if not an award winner.

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