From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Patterson's new thriller with its focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been overtaken by events (there's no mention of Israel's unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 or the recent fighting across the Lebanese border), but the underlying political issues may be enough for most readers to put the real world aside and suspend disbelief. Harvard-trained attorney David Wolfe, a San Franciscan on the verge of a congressional campaign, has his plans derailed when his law school classmate (and one-time lover), Palestinian Hana Arif, asks him to defend her from charges that she led a conspiracy that assassinated dovish Israeli leader Amos Ben-Aron. Inspired by idealism and lingering passion, Wolfe jeopardizes his political future by taking the case. His suspicion that the suicide bombers who attacked Ben-Aron were aided by a security breach leads him to Israel and Lebanon. While Patterson (Conviction
) attempts to portray the issues fairly, the introduction of a soap-operaish subplot undercuts his intended high purpose, and the resolution of the mystery is too predictable to surprise. 10-city author tour. (Jan.)
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Patterson, the author of 13 previous best-selling novels, turns his focus to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis in this overly long novel. The characterization is cardboard, with lawyer-hero David Wolfe cast as a golden boy of good looks and keen intelligence, whose well-planned life comes apart with the reappearance of a Palestinian woman with whom he had a passionate love affair more than a decade ago. The writing is schmaltzy and stiff, but there is probably enough in the plot to hold Patterson fans. The prime minister of Israel, while visiting the States, is blown up by a suicide bomber. Wolfe's lover, the Palestinian Hana Arif, is suspected of orchestrating the bombing. The novel delves into Wolfe's past and Hana and her husband's history in Palestine, and it involves Wolfe traveling to Israel and the West Bank. Action abounds, culminating in courtroom drama. This novel would be much more gripping, however, if Patterson kept a tighter rein on his prose; his tendency is to overexplain his characters and overwrite every scene. But those excesses haven't deterred his fans yet, and they aren't likely to do it this time, either. Connie FletcherCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved