When five members of a religious family are found dead in their apartment, victims of a murder-suicide, Israeli police detective Hadas Levinger is put in charge of the investigation. An atheist rebel from a religious family, Hadas is a person who insists on being independent in a society that demands conformity. During the course of her investigation of the case, she not only reveals the painful truth about the dead family, but hard and painful truths from her own life.
Hill of Secrets by Michal Hartstein is a slow-paced mystery that delves into modern-day Israeli society while at the same time telling a riveting mystery story. The author writes with a deft hand as she describes not just the surface of a society struggling with modernity versus tradition while also striving to survive against many challenges both internal and external.
For fans of the more fast-paced mysteries with American or British detectives, this story might seem a bit too slow. But, that very slowness is its beauty. The author allows the reader time to get under the skin of the protagonist until he or she becomes one with the character. Don’t miss this book from an author who shows promise.
Four stars for a stellar second book.