I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
A simple case of a seeming runaway teen turns into a deadly investigation for a PI in Tel Aviv as he faces threats when he gets too close to the truth and a sex worker is murdered that somehow connects to his missing person’s case in author Davidy Rosenfeld’s “Farewell, My Babylon: A Hardboiled Detective Novel”, the first book in the Erez Brown series.
Set against the fascinating background of modern-day Tel Aviv with its melting pot of diverse cultures and extremes, Farewell My Babylon is an engrossing, fast-paced PI thriller filled with unique, captivating characters and a mystery that will keep you guessing until the very last page.
Erez Brown is a private detective in Tel Aviv, Israel. He’s a busy man dealing in cheating spouses, small-time fraud and petty theft. Nothing dangerous. No one gets hurt. That’s until he takes on the case of a missing young woman. It’s been three years since Lea Rubinstein walked out the door, but only now her Orthodox Jew parents are suddenly interested in finding their daughter. Erez believes it’s an obvious case of a teenage girl escaping the confines of a strict religious upbringing and that Lea simply doesn’t want to be found. What should be a straightforward paperchase for a detective of Erez’s talents turns ugly when he’s savagely beaten for getting too close to answers, and then his discovery of a murder—a prostitute who specializes in dominance and sexual harm has been brutally killed. Is Lea Rubinstein responsible, or is she another victim?
Set against the fascinating background of modern-day Tel Aviv with its melting pot of diverse cultures, and the many religious norms and extremes, Farewell My Babylon is an engrossing, fast-paced PI thriller filled with unique, captivating characters and a mystery that will keep you guessing until the very last page.
The author did a remarkable job of crafting a visceral, gritty crime thriller that felt reminiscent of the pulp classics of the noir genre. The international setting and cultural impact of the setting and characters helped elevate the noir thriller to new heights, and the heavy atmosphere of the case itself really did a remarkable job of drawing the reader in further and further into the narrative.
For me, the heart of the novel was the character dynamics and growth that kept the plot shifting as time went on. The protagonist was a gruff, driven investigator who saw the worst humanity had to offer and still woke up to face the day. Yet it was the shocking secrets that the family of the missing girl had to hide that added depth and frightening new aspects to the case, keeping readers on the edge of their seats as the wonderful use of imagery played the scenes out like a noir thriller from the 30s era.
Shocking, gripping, and entertaining, author Davidy Rosenfeld’s “Farewell, My Babylon” is a must-read noir crime thriller and pulp literary novel of 2023. The mesmerizing setting both physically and culturally, as well as the dynamics between the cast of characters and the mystery itself will keep readers hanging off of the author’s every word as each twist and turn is delivered. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!
About the Author
Davidy Rosenfeld lives in Ra’anana, Israel with his wife, three children, and a clumsy cat. He graduated from Tel Aviv University with a BA in Eastern Philosophy and an MA in History and Philosophy of Ideas and Science, with honors. He is a teacher for at-risk high school students. His books, Farewell My Babylon and The Dreams That Killed Us are private detective novels and have received excellent critical reviews, while his children’s picture book, The Rabbit Who Wanted to be a Tree, won the Ministry of Education Prize.