In This Thriller, an Israeli Doctor Can’t Escape His Irresponsibility

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By Ayelet Tsabari

WAKING LIONS
By Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
Translated by Sondra Silverston
341 pp. Little, Brown & Company. $26.

Eitan Green, the protagonist of the Israeli author Ayelet Gundar-Goshen’s novel “Waking Lions,” is a respected neurosurgeon who has been forced by a professional dispute to relocate from Tel Aviv to Beersheba, a desert town where dust is everywhere, “a thin white layer, like the icing on a birthday cake no one wants.” Speeding through a remote area in his S.U.V. late one night, he hits an Eritrean man walking by the roadside. And when he decides that the victim is beyond help, he impulsively flees the scene.

The next morning, the victim’s widow shows up at Eitan’s doorstep, holding his wallet and demanding not his money but his expertise. Soon she has blackmailed him into treating illegal immigrants from the northeast of Africa at an abandoned garage that has been turned into an underground hospital. The novel that follows — part psychological thriller, part morality play — takes readers through the wilderness of the Negev desert and its underworld of Israeli drug dealers, Bedouin gangs and desperate refugees. Read more

Source: The New York Times

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