Author: Richard North Patterson
The topic of this book did not interest me at all: I don’t remember how I ended up with it but I wouldn’t have chosen it if I’d known. It’s all about Israel-Arab conflict and that stuff is so confusing and depressing and overdone I can’t stand listening to any of it. It’s like listening to kids squabbling over who sits where in the back seat of the car on a five thousand year drive. Makes you want to leap out the window or crash the car. This book certainly made me feel that way at times, for it is excruciately detailed and proceeds at a snail’s pace. However, I endured it, and the payoff was decent. I learned a lot of fascinating things about the Israel-Arab conflict I didn’t know, some of it helpful in understanding the conflict. The story is intricate: an American of Jewish descent has everything: an Ivy league law degree, a successful San Francisco career, is about to be married to a weathly Jewish family, and will soon be a candidate for senator. But then the Israeli prime minister is blown up in San Francisco and the key suspect is Palastinian Anna Ariff, the lawyer’s former lover at Harvard. Prosecutors think she leaked the prime minister’s route to the bombers, but she claims it’s a frame-up. The lawyer still loves her and takes on her defense even though it costs him his engagement and his political career, for everyone wants to see the terrorists pay for their crimes and he’s defending an obviously guilty Arab. The defense takes months as the lawyer visits Israel and uncovers bits of information, but all the pieces of the plot aren’t put together until the very end. Unfortunately, I saw this ending on about page 100, so having to sit through the rest of the book for something so obvious was tedious and frustrating. The payoff is good, but overall I see this book as more educational than entertaining. I wish I’d gotten the abridged version.