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Henning Mankell (2004) The Fifth Woman.

In one of the best thrillers of the Kurt Wallander series the Swedish detective is trying to cope with the death of his father, while he struggles to make sense of a series of seemingly unrelated, brutal killings in southern Sweden. He uncovers the ties that bind these murders to killings in Algeria, many years ago.

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Yasmina Khadra (2007) The Attack.

A shocking book set in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Amin Jaafari, a hard-working surgeon at a busy Tel Aviv hospital, gets between the fronts of this bitter conflict. His world falls appart when he begins to suspect that his wife is behind a suicide bombing that killed 19 people including children in Tel Aviv.

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Yasmina Khadra (2005) Double Blank.

A dark tale about a leading Algerian intellectual, who has criticized the military regime. When the book seems to have triggered a series of murders, Inspector Llob investigates the trail of corpses that seems to lead to a gang of religious fundamentalists. But the story gets more complicated when gang members also turn up dead. A gory thriller by someone who knows contemporary Algerian politics first hand.

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Robert Irwin (1997) The Mysteries of Algiers.

Disturbing psychological study of a fanatical Marxist in French Algiers during the war of independence from France in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This portrait of a true Marxist believer is highly unsettling.

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Copyright 2012 by Claudia Heilig-Staindl. All Rights Reserved.