Roger L. Simon first introduced the detective Moses Wine in the highly acclaimed novel THE BIG FIX. Since then, Wine has evolved into a less rebellious individual. He has less hair and more money. He does not believe that he has all the answers anymore; and what he has learned about people has come through some tough experiences. Nothing, however, has properly prepared him for the case he has to solve in RAISING THE DEAD. He is hired by Arab-Americans to discover who murdered one of their leaders. No matter how he tries, the case cannot be solved on the streets of Los Angeles; Wine must travel to Israel in search of a young Jewish activist who disappeared after the killing.
Once Wine arrives, he comes in contact with numerous eccentric characters, some of whom are religious fanatics who spark violence with their vehement speeches. Simon paints a picture of contrasts that exist in the Middle East: religious and secular, Arab and Jew, male and female. The sights and sounds of an area in turmoil are brought to life in Simon’s precise style. The danger is all too real, and the circumstances are very timely. Wine also must come to terms with his roots. Because he is in Israel and surrounded by religious shrines, Wine is forced to take stock of where his faith has gone.
RAISING THE DEAD may sound deadly serious, but no Simon book could exist without a healthy sprinkling of peppery humor. Simon melds all the diverse elements together into a thoroughly satisfying mystery. It is a sensitive and truthful tale that holds the reader’s attention all the way to the last page.