Sunday, February 14, 2010

Matt Beynon Rees' “The Fourth Assassin,” the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: The Fourth Assassin by Matt Beynon Rees.

The entry begins:
I didn’t need to think of an actor. Not until I’d finished my book. Then the thinking really started.

The Palestinian detective hero of my books, Omar Yussef, is based on a real Palestinian friend of mine who lives in the Dehaisha Refugee Camp on the edge of Bethlehem in the West Bank. I had no problem visualizing him when I wrote about Omar, because I saw him most days. We spent a lot of time together and, with a gentleman as frequently cantankerous as my real-life chum, believe me, I got the full tour.

Then came publication of the first of my Palestinian crime novels, The Collaborator of Bethlehem. The estimable Marshal Zeringue invited me to write a post for this blog. Instead of having a famous actor always in mind, I had to run through potential candidates.

My wife insisted Pacino was just right for Omar. But I preferred the quiet, gentle Swiss actor Bruno Ganz – who proved he could do cantankerous when he played Hitler a few years ago in Downfall.

At the Leipzig Book Fair last year, my Berlin-based film agent chatted with me about some negotiations with a German tv channel which wanted to make a series based on Omar. As we talked, crowds of local kids dressed in “Manga” costume milled about (apparently this is some Japanese animation thing that has cult dressing-up status among people young enough to make me feel very old.) He asked if I had an actor in
mind for Omar. I mentioned...[read on]
Watch Matt Beynon Rees read the first chapter of The Fourth Assassin.

Rees has lived in Jerusalem since 1996. He covered the Middle East for over a decade for the Scotsman, then Newsweek, and from 2000 until 2006 as Time magazine's Jerusalem bureau chief. He published his first novel featuring Palestinian detective Omar Yussef, The Collaborator of Bethlehem, in 2007, which won the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger award. A Grave in Gaza and The Samaritan's Secret followed in 2008 and 2009. The Fourth Assassin is the fourth book in the series.

Visit Matt Beynon Rees' website and blog.

Read--Matt Rees's top 10 novels set in the Arab world.

Writers Read: Matt Beynon Rees.

The Page 69 Test: The Collaborator of Bethlehem.

My Book, The Movie: The Collaborator of Bethlehem.

The Page 69 Test: A Grave in Gaza.

The Page 69 Test: The Samaritan's Secret.

The Page 69 Test: The Fourth Assassin.

My Book, The Movie: The Fourth Assassin.

--Marshal Zeringue