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Death in Shangri-La

A Dotan Naor Thriller
By: Yigal Zur
Narrated by: Paul Stefano
Series: Dotan Naor Thrillers, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Perfect for fans of Nelson DeMille and Daniel Silva

Ex-Israeli operative turned private investigator, Dotan Naor - to settle a bet - agrees to locate the missing son of former acquaintance, now ruthless Israeli arms merchant, Willy Mizrachi. Willy, who does not hesitate to sell killing machines to the most heinous players in the world, is desperate to find his only son, Itiel, who has headed to an ashram in the Himalayas.

The Himalayas are also host to groups of young Israelis who have completed their mandatory military service - a sort of rite of passage. Now, those innocent kids are being hunted down by violent terrorists.

India and the disputed Kashmir region between India and Pakistan is familiar territory to Dotan, as he searches for Itiel and for the source of these heinous attacks on Israeli youth.

Unwilling to leave this quest in the hands of Dotan, Willy also travels to India, where he is murdered in Delhi, triggering international repercussions capable of ripping the world apart at one of its most dangerous flashpoints.

Nothing is as it seems in this region of the world. Betrayal reigns everywhere.

But love, in its purest form, does manage to shine through in this story of brutal international corruption.

©2013 Yigal Zur (P)2019 Yigal Zur

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  • Norma Miles
  • 12-18-19

Whatever happens is what's meant to happen.

Crammed full with snippets of philosophy and religious viewpoints, though without any specific adherance, the story, told in the first person, meanders through dubious areas of India, parts of Tel Aviv and the sordid lives of backpackers, drug and weapons dealers, terrorists, prostitutes and any other unsavory character not already mentioned. The story itself, seeking to discover why an old friend and wealthy weapons dealer had been found beheaded in Delhi, is more a vehicle to peer into the seedier side of the places visited than to tell a thrilling tale. And all the while, the theoretically sensitive and amiable Dotan Naor, ex Israeli military now turned into an international investigator, proficient in both meditation techniques and yoga, is idolized by all of womankind with whom he cannot but help himself from flirting, unless deciding that they are physically beneath his level of desire. Women, by insinuation, are there solely to serve the fantasies of men, so are either the most beautiful ever seen or fat, old, or repulsively ugly. The constant sexual innuendo was both tiresome and tacky.

Perhaps it is because this book is a translation, but none of the characters seemed more than partially formed. The basic plot was an interesting one: why had Willie, the very wealthy arms dealer, been murdered and Israeli tourists attacked in India? Willie had made a bet with Rotan that his son, who'd run away to join a Buddhist temple, would be back with him in Israel, settled into domesticity with wife and child within a year. And exactly one year had passed.... Intrigue, betrayal and some nasty confrontations, including an hysterical woman and a stolen baby - it's all there mixed in with the sordid travel guide. To be fair, this reader actually quite enjoyed it, but that was mostly down to the fine narration by Paul Stefano, whose pleasant timbre and fast paced delivery, combined with excellent intonation and individual character voicings, moved the story along swiftly. A good performance, without which the book would probably have remained unfinished.

My thanks to the rights holder of Death in Shangri-la, who, at my request, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy. Not a book I would recommend, however.