Matt Rees is a Welsh author of historical fiction and crime novels. He is the award-winning author of nine books published in 25 languages. Rees is most known for The Palestine Quartet, a series of crime novels about Palestinian sleuth Omar Yussef.
Matthew Beynon Rees was born in Newport, South Wales. He grew up in Cardiff and South London.
Rees worked for a long time as a foreign correspondent. He covered the Middle East and lived in Jerusalem for 20 years for The Scotsman and Newsweek. During the Palestinian intifada, he was TIME's Jerusalem bureau chief from 2000 until 2006.
His first book was nonfiction, Cain's Field: Faith, Fratricide, and Fear in the Middle East (2004), about Israeli and Palestinian societies.
His first crime novel, The Collaborator of Bethlehem (UK title The Bethlehem Murders), was published in 2007. The Bethlehem Murders won the UK Crime Writers Association New Blood Dagger in 2008. The novel was also named one of the Top 10 Mysteries of the Year by Booklist.
The Palestine Quartet novels approach the Middle East conflict from an often unexpected path. There are almost no Israeli characters, and the focus is on Palestinian society.
Reece wrote that this viewpoint was motivated by his dissatisfaction with news reports about the conflict that focused on stereotypes about Palestinians as terrorists or victims. Instead, Rees writes, the diversity of Palestinian society awakened him creatively and made him look at the Middle East from a different angle.
Matt Rees has also written historical novels about the mysterious deaths of the composer Mozart and Caravaggio, the Italian artist.
His latest is the international thriller China Strike (2017), the second in a series about an agent with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Matt Rees is married to the American humorist and author Devorah Blachor.
Photo credit: www.mattrees.net