Matt on Israel tv talks about polonium in Arafat’s bones
Website of award-winning crime novelist Matt Rees. His series about Palestinian sleuth Omar Yussef won a CWA Dagger. His latest novels are "Mozart's Last Aria", a historical thriller about the composer's death, and "A Name in Blood", a portrayal of Italian artist Caravaggio and his mysterious disappearance. His books are published in 25 countries. Follow his podcast and posts, and read new short stories here.
Matt on Israel tv talks about polonium in Arafat’s bones
Net closes around Palestinian president’s killers
It’s 11 months since I published The Murder of Yasser Arafat with co-author Matthew Kalman. We reported that Palestinian leaders in the immediate circle of the president had fed him poison, leading to his death nine years ago next Monday.
Swiss scientists reported this week that they had found unusually high levels of radioactive polonium in Arafat’s exhumed bones. While some have tried to pooh-pooh the science behind the Swiss report, a leading UK nuclear physicist told the BBC that he agreed with the Swiss statement. In particular he cited the Swiss assessment that they’d give a “5 out of 6″ chance Arafat died of polonium poisoning.
If you want to find out what really happened to Arafat, you could wait around for the leaders of the Palestinian Authority to clear it all up…..(I couldn’t find the infinity symbol on my keyboard…) Or you could download our ebook and read the truth.
Exciting true crime from a top FBI investigator
Jerry Clark is a retired FBI Special Agent who now teaches at Gannon University in Pennsylvania. He was lead investigator on one of the most fascinating FBI cases of recent years. A case which became known as “the Pizza Bomber.” With local investigative reporter Ed Palattella, Jerry wrote an account of his biggest case that at once lays out the intricacies of FBI investigative process and reads like a thriller. I asked Jerry to introduce Pizza Bomber: The Untold Story of America’s Most Shocking Bank Robbery:
The crime was like none the FBI had ever witnessed. On August 28, 2003, in the suburbs of Erie, Pennsylvania, a pizza deliveryman named Brian Wells had a bomb locked to his neck and was sent off to rob a bank. After taking the money, Wells was supposed to go on a scavenger hunt to collect clues that would allow him to disarm the bomb.
The plot did not go according to plan. [...]
Journalism needs a new way to handle a world run by corrupt oligarchs, megacorporations and others who’ll just lie through their teeth
Along with my The Murder of Yasser Arafat co-author Matthew Kalman, I’ve written an op-ed for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz explaining why journalism isn’t the best way to find out what’s going on. The article’s behind a paywall, but for the elite readers of this august blog there’s always a way and this is it. Old-fashioned types can even buy the book.
The first English translation of Israel’s top crime novelist
Liad Shoham has been the most successful Israeli crime writer for some years now. Lineup, the first of his books to appear in English, has just been published in the US. Liad guest posts here about how he came to write his novels.
Several years ago, I was studying for my master’s degree in law at the London School of Economics. A few days after the beginning of the term, we had a departmental cocktail party. The school dean went around the room from one student to the next asking each where he or she came from and what they intended to study. When I said I was Israeli, and before I had had a chance to tell the dean what fields interested me most, he gleefully announced that the school had an “excellent course on the laws of war”. [...]
Master of techno twists and turns dead. Or is he?
It’s hard to imagine that Tom Clancy, who died this week, was only 66. He had been at the top of the thriller game for so long. The Hunt for Red October was published almost 30 years ago.
The time I met Clancy was longer ago than I’d care to acknowledge, too. I was a reporter for Forbes magazine. It was 1992, and as is the wont of that magazine of Mammon I was preparing an article about the biggest earners in various fields. That sent me off to chat about Wall Street with Christie Turlington (who giggled a lot) and Michael DeBakey, the heart transplant pioneer (who didn’t giggle at all.) [...]
Middle East chaos and a cool retro sound
Take Shaft, Hawaii Five-Oh, and the theme from Mission Impossible, add a nutso Israeli Prime Minister and a murdered Palestinian president — and you’ve got the DeltaFourth Theme. DeltaFourth is my alternative news publishing venture, featuring two ebooks Psychobibi: Who Is Israel’s Prime Minister and Why Does He Want to Fail? and The Murder of Yasser Arafat. They’re so exciting we just had to put together a cool retro theme tune for them.
Pontiff cites Caravaggio’s finger of Jesus pointing at him
The painting that first truly made Caravaggio‘s reputation was The Calling of St. Matthew, one of three works about the saint he completed for the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi in central Rome. The latest declared fan of the work is Pope Francis, who said in his important interview last week, “That finger of Jesus, pointing at Matthew. That’s me. I feel like him. Like Matthew. This is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze.” [...]
On the run Caravaggio painted a work that’s now on FBI Most Wanted list
Caravaggio’s Nativity with St Francis and St. Lawrence is one of the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted works of art. It was stolen from a church in Palermo in 1969, probably by the Mafia. Various mafiosi have since then claimed it was destroyed before it could be sold to private collectors. Well, they would, wouldn’t they. [...]
Late Caravaggio tells story of a biblical scene with a few gestures
In his later paintings, Caravaggio was a master of suggestion, letting the story of the scene emerge from the darkness in its most telling gestures. The Denial of St. Peter, which is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, is the finest example of this shadowed storytelling. In my Caravaggio novel, I have the artist’s old patron Cardinal del Monte figuring out the messages behind the gestures. [...]