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Literature / Kamal and Barnea

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The Kamal and Barnea books are a series of thrillers revolving around Palestinian Ben Kamal and Israeli Danielle Barnea by Jon Land. When they first meet, they must set aside their differences to stop a serial killer threatening peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis before the peace talks fall apart. Over the course of the series, they continue to team up to solve different cases. The series has seven books: The Walls of Jericho, The Pillars of Solomon, A Walk in the Darkness, Keepers of the Gate, Blood Diamonds, The Blue Widows, and The Last Prophecy.

Contains examples of:

  • Alternate History: Though the series is not explicitly about this, it quickly becomes so. It started as being set in some near future where the Israelis largely pulled out of the West Bank, and Yasser Arafat was President of the Palestinian state. After this was written, Israel eventually did pull out of Gaza, but Arafat died in 2004 and the West Bank remains occupied. Nor unfortunately is peace any closer more than twenty years on, contrary to what these books show.
  • Badass Israeli: Danielle, a former member of the Sayaret and the youngest woman to attain the rank of chief inspector in Israel's National Police.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Danielle and Ben make a habit of being this.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: Danielle loses two pregnancies.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Ben's wife and children were murdered by a serial killer in Detroit.
  • Evil Stole My Faith: Ben's belief in God died with his family.
  • Eye Scream: The victims in Walls of Jericho are found with their eyes gouged out.
  • Glorified Sperm Donor: Subverted. When Danielle tells Ben she's pregnant, he's excited about being a father again and having a family with her, but she wants to raise the baby alone, convinced that a child with a Jewish mother and Palestinian father would be an outcast.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Jake Fleming, in The Last Prophecy hacks into the FBI's servers.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Danielle meets both her biological mother and her half sister in The Blue Widows.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Ben and Danielle's relationship - one between a Palestinian and an Israeli - is met with disapproval by just about everyone. Similarly, Ben's brother never approved of Ben marrying an American woman before the events of the first book.
  • Middle Eastern Terrorists: Danielle was promoted to Shin Bet after arresting a wanted terrorist. Also, the Jericho victims in the first book turn out to be members of Hamas.
  • My Greatest Failure: Ben considers his arriving too late to save his family this.
  • Relationship Revolving Door: Ben and Danielle end each book together... only to usually be broken up by the beginning of the next book.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Ben and Danielle end up fugitives on a regular basis because they're constantly disobeying orders to solve cases.
  • Two Dun It: In Walls of Jericho.
  • Vigilante Execution: Ben arrests three police officers for killing a cab driver who had been accused of being an Israeli informant (he wasn't). Most of the Palestinian police loathe Ben as a result.
  • Western Terrorists: Many of the villains throughout the series are Russian.
  • Working with the Ex: Ben and Danielle frequently break up, only to have to team up to solve another case. After which point they get back together.