Death in Shangri-la 

Death in Shangri-la is the first of the Dotan Naor series to be translated into English. It is somehow more than a mystery, more than a thriller. It is simultaneously a lesson is philosophy, geography, differing religions and customs, as well as being a geo-political thriller. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and recommend it to all lovers of mysteries and thrillers.

Dotan Naor is a former Israeli security operative who has made a new career as a private investigator, and excels at finding missing persons. Previously, Dotan had visited Southeast Asia, gained a new perspective on life, and left with a growing spirituality. This new outlook on life led him to work to help Jews throughout the world.

Following their military service, many young Israelis travel to India. So many do this, it seems to be almost a rite of passage, searching for spirituality, and philosophical and spiritual enlightenment in a place of great beauty – the valleys of the Himalayas. Some of them are being attacked by Muslim terrorists. On his search for the killer of his friend, Willy, Dotan assists with rescuing some of the Israeli kids.

While reading Death in Shangri-la, I was taken into some of the hidden spots in India, where I learned a bit about Hindu and Buddhist beliefs and philosophy. Through the voice of Dotan and the narrator, Zur takes us on a tour of parts of Southeast Asia. I was glad to see Zur mention AK-47s as “the terrorists’ weapon of choice”. That is, not a gun for hunters – my words, not the author’s.

What Makes This Reviewer Grumpy?

I suspect there is a problem with the publishing software that should have been caught by the editor or proofreader:  There were multiple places with line breaks half-way across the page, followed by a blank line before the sentences were completed. It appeared to be starting a new paragraph, but was actually the remainder of a sentence.

Aside from that there were the usual mistakes:

  • misplacement of the word “only” within sentences;
  • “on to” should be “onto”;
  • split infinitives;
  • “try and” rather “than try to”;
  • spelling a brand-name with a lower case letter (for example, “jeep” should be “Jeep”).
  • verb tense disagreement:  “come” vs. “go”;
  • beginning sentences with conjunctions.

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