I’ve lived in Israel for several stretches, beginning in 1968, soon after The Six Day War. Wonderful time, wonderful place, fabulous country. I was especially entranced by Jerusalem, one of the great cities of the world. For nearly two decades, the notion of writing a crime novel set in the Israeli capital appealed to me. By 1986, I finally built up the confidence to give it a try.

When I wrote BUTCHER, Jerusalem was virtually devoid of violent crime, despite all the religious and political passions boiling beneath the surface. The what-if was irresistible. After some wrangling, I was afforded access to Israeli police headquarters. My Hebrew’s fluent enough to enable me to interview street cops in their homes, so I also got the unofficial picture.My beloved readers responded well to a new hero, Police Chief Inspector Daniel Sharavi, and the book received special notice internationally. When an FBI agent/serial-killer profiler told me, “You scared the hell out of me,” I knew I’d done my job decently.

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