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THE BOOK: Murder Over the Border
PUBLISHED IN: 2013
THE AUTHOR: Richard Steinitz
THE PUBLISHER: Ravenswood Publishing
SUMMARY: Yossi Abulafia, an Israeli policeman, is on reserve army duty, and is photographing antelopes instead of watching the border. His post collapses suddenly, injuring him seriously. After recovering, he discovers that during the collapse he has unwittingly taken a picture of what appears to be a murder – on the other side of the border. As part of his duties he meets with the Palestinian delegation and discovers a connection to the shooter in Amsterdam, and to the murder in Jordan. A series of incidents, shootings and diplomatic activity eventually lead to the unexpected solving of the crimes.
THE BACK STORY: I had the good fortune to do Reserve service one summer at a small outpost near the triangle border – the junction of Israel, Jordan and Syria, at the meeting of the Jordan and Yarmukh rivers. The physical location was beautiful, and nature stepped in with a band of gazelles that wandered around the base. They were small enough and light enough so that they didn’t set off the mines that were scattered outside the barbed-wire fencing, and so they could come very close to where we were. One of our jobs was to sit in a little bunker on the side of the hill, with a tin roof over our heads to keep the sun off, and a huge telescope inside it. The job was to watch the movement of Jordanian rmy vehicles, going up and down the road that parallels the border on the Jordanian side, and write down in a notebook every one that drove past. The job was boring, to say the least, since only half a dozen or so army vehicles drove down that road in a given day (and not many more civilian ones). The telescope was for us to be able to see whether they were military or civilian vehicles, and if possible, to identify the units they belonged to, by the flashes painted on them.
So I spent a bit more time watching the gazelles than I probably should have, and really regretted not having a camera with me to photograph them. This combination of gazelles, telescope and boredom rattled around in my mind for a long, long time – probably five years or more. It seemed to me to be a great idea for a story of some kind, even though I had no experience in story-writing and no intentions of doing any writing.
One day the seed germinated and I started to write – without any real plan or outline. It took me seven years to write what became Murder Over the Border, though I did do a few other things too.
WHY THIS TITLE: The story concerns a murder that is seen by the ‘hero’ from inside Israel, but occurs in Jordan
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Great murder mystery, with Middle Eastern flavor and full of surprises.
REVIEW COMMENTS: (can be found here: http://richard0999.wix.com/richard-steinitz#!latest-book-reviews/cslb)
- Breathtaking suspense and mystery drive this overseas thriller. My complete concentration and attention got lost in this alternate realistic world, which most of us never get a chance to experience. The author sparked my imagination allowing me to dive into the elaborate and rich storyline to thoroughly enjoy. (S.K. Thomas)
- This is an exciting novel of intrigue and terror. Murder over the Border by Richard Steinitz reflects the author’s knowledge of Israel and Palestine and a fine sense of what it takes to keep a reader turning the pages. (Tower Lowe)
- There is only one thing I can find wrong with the book, `Murder Over the Border.’ What is that? It’s too good, I couldn’t lay it down. Normally I write most of the day, spend a few minutes each night reading and then go to sleep. Not so with this one. (James M. Copeland, Novelist)
AUTHOR PROFILE: Born in New York City of German-Jewish immigrant parents, Richard Steinitz studied at the State University of NY at Buffalo, and has been living in Israel since 1968. When not writing novels, he reads them in great quantities, and works for a multi-national educational publisher. He and his wife Naomi are the parents of two grown children and have two grandchildren. Though his own parents escaped the Holocaust, it has had an enduring effect on his life, and his writing. Researching the background for his books is his favorite activity, after reading mysteries!
AUTHOR COMMENT: “The one thing that helped me get started on this was my first portable computer. It was a local, Israeli invention – a development of an electronic dictionary, and had a tiny screen that held four lines of text! However, it was a computer, it could save files, and I could even transfer them to my main computer. For me, the big advantage of using this to write on, was that I could avoid the physical act and effort that is involved in writing by hand or by typewriter, and I could do it anywhere – on the train, on my balcony, while attending boring conferences, and so on. To this day, when I write anything by hand – be it a grocery list or a note to myself to do something, I write very fast (to get it over with as quickly as possible) and as a result, it is totally illegible – sometimes even to myself. I still have this little computer, and I keep it to remind me of where it all started, since without it, I would never have written the book. Digitally, I was now an author; mechanically, I would have remained a dreamer.”
SAMPLE CHAPTER: (Provide link). http://richard0999.wix.com/richard-steinitz#!my-books/cnec (scroll down to find the download)
WHERE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository
PRICE: $11.71 paperback, $4.99 Kindle