One Mile and Two Days Before Sunset by Shimon Adaf
Translator: Yardenne Greenspan
At age thirty, Elish Ben Zaken has found himself in a life he never imagined. As a university student, Elish was an esteemed rock-music critic for local newspapers; now, disenchanted with an increasingly commercialized music scene, he has joined a private investigation agency where he is content to be a “clerk of small human sins”―a finder of stolen cars and wayward husbands. But when a disconcertingly amiable detective asks him to look into the suicide of an infamous philosophy professor―and the police file contains an unexpected allusion to Dalia Shushan, a celebrated young rock singer whose recent murder remains unsolved―Elish’s natural curiosity is piqued. And when violence begins to dog the steps of his investigation, he knows that dangerous secrets are at hand. Haunted by the ghost of Dalia, a true artist with a transformative voice whose dark brilliance Elish was one of the first to recognize, he must face the long-buried trauma of his own past in order to unravel the intertwining threads of two lives, and their ends.
In Elish, Shimon Adaf has created an unforgettable protagonist. A former philosophy student with a questing mind, born to Moroccan parents and raised in an outlying town, he is an eternal outsider in cosmopolitan Tel Aviv. Equally, One Mile and Two Days Before Sunset is a detective novel unlike any other: an incisive portrait of a man and a city, and a meditation on disappointment, on striving for beauty and for intensity of experience, and on the futile desire to truly know another person.
Year first published: 2022