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The Blue Widows (Ben and Danielle) Hardcover – March 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Series: Ben and Danielle (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765305992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765305992
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,527,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Like its predecessors, this sixth entry in Land's thriller series (Blood Diamonds, etc.) featuring Palestinian-American detective Ben Kamal is action-packed, if not always plausible. Kamal teams up with his on-again, off-again lover, Danielle Barnea, the head of Israel's National Police, to stop a post-September 11 terrorist plot. A group of terrorists infiltrates the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Maryland and makes off with the entire supply of smallpox virus-enough to destroy the U.S. population. Unaware of this, Ben, now working for a Boston private security firm, is hired by the State Department to investigate his brother Sayeed's involvement with a young Palestinian student known to have al-Qaida connections. Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, Danielle raids the Gaza compound of Palestinian terrorists and finds that someone has beaten her to the punch: Hamas leader Akram Khalil and his guards lie dead, near a pile of charred papers. Finding a scorched fragment written in Arabic, she faxes it to Ben asking him for a translation. They discover that the fragment is a religious edict granting permission to bring about the fulfilling of the apocalyptic biblical prophecy, "the end of all things." The trail leads Ben and Danielle to Islamic zealot Layla Aziz Rahani, the eldest daughter of a powerful Saudi Arabian industrialist who has sworn vengeance on the U.S. The main story lines, some of them straining credibility, spin off into a multiplicity of minor subplots. Forgive the digressions and plot contrivances, and this is a fun read.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Praise for Jon Land

"Sweeps along at mach-Ludlum speed."-Kirkus Reviews on Blood Diamonds

"Blood Diamonds couldn't be timelier. [Land] deftly weaves a complex plot involving Palestinians, Israelis, Russians, South Africans, and none other than the world's number one terrorist, Osama bin Laden, into a fascinating thriller."-Providence Journal

"Land packs a load of info and action into his fifth thriller. . . . Kamal and Barnea [are] touching and accessible characters. . . . There are also some sharp political insights into how prospects in the Middle East have deteriorated."-Publishers Weekly on Blood Diamonds

"Jon Land shows a true feel for detective work and the irony of pursuing elusive principles of justice in a region torn by ancient strifes. . . . But Land has grander designs for his story, which whisks off to Rome and turns into a full-bore thriller involving secret armies and a 2,000-year-old conspiracy. Land is comfortable on this turf, too, bringing a terrible conviction to the religious war he envisions."-The New York Times Book Review on A Walk in the Darkness

"Ben Kamal is rapidly becoming one of the best and most unique crime serial characters in all the genre. . . . A Walk in the Darkness is even more slick and tight than its predecessors."-The Boston Book Review

"The trail is as a torturous as a John LeCarré tale. . . . Land's writing is slick and the action is swift."-The Denver Post on The Walls of Jericho

"Better than anything by Tom Clancy."-The Hartford Courant on The Walls of Jericho

"The fuse is burning, and the Middle East is ready to explode in this gripping roller-coaster ride of crime and intrigue . . . has the impact of a punch to the solar plexus."-Stephen Coonts on The Walls of Jericho
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
Fast action and strong characters.
C. K. Stannard
Readers, load these books on your Kindle AND buy the printed ones - they are keepers!!
Dianna R. Dennis
This is definitely a book that is hard to put down.
Melvin Hunt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. J Kamlani on August 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've read a few of this series which started with the Walls of Jericho, and after reading just the outline of this story, I can tell right away, it is just another rehashment of the first two books in the series. Too bad, because he used to be one of the best action thriller writers in the business.

His formula writing uses very little imagination, and after a reading just a few pages, you get the feeling that you've read the story before, with very few differences in action scenes, and story line. The only thing he changes is the names of the villains, and title, from book to book.

I guess he just got tired of using his God given imagination, like so many great authors before him, who rewrite the same story, over, and over again, expecting the readers to buy his books.

Though Cussler has become formulaic, at least he varies the plot line, and action scenes enough to make the story interesting for the reader. And at 77, at least he has an excuse for formula writing, where Jon Land is no more than his late 40s.

Maybe he's not too old to redeem himself, if he gets away from writing serials, and gets back to the way he used to write when he was a young aspiring author, and wanted to thrill his reading audience with new, and interesting stories with each book.

At least let's hope so!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Palestinian-American detective Ben Kamal and former Israeli police official Danielle Barnea work in America for Security Concepts. A powerful Arab businessman hires the duo to extract his kidnapped son from the People's Brigade. The mission goes terribly wrong and to save Ben's life, Danielle is forced to kill a number of men including a FBI agent. Unable to stay in the country after that debacle, she accepts the post of Commander of Israel's National Police.
Leading a raid on a terrorist enclave in Gaza, she discovers a document written in Arabic that she faxes to Ben in America for translation. They learn that it is a plan to bring about the bible prophecy to cause the end of all things. meaning the destruction of America. A supply of small pox is stolen from a military fort and ends up in the hands of the leader of the People's Brigade. Layla Aziz Rahani who is the daughter of a Saudi Arabian billionaire is the mastermind behind the plot to destroy America. Her plan is even more diabolical than what it first seems because she plans to unleash a biological weapons a million times worse than smallpox. When Ben and Danielle realize what her fiendish ploy is, they vow to stop her or die trying.
Jon Land is an insightful, creative and colorful storyteller who has a grasp of the politics and the divisiveness that exist in the Middle East. Readers also gain a fascinating glimpse into the culture of Saudi Arabia as seen from the perspective of the women. THE BLUE WIDOWS is an action-packed provocative tale that has more curves than a twisted pretzel. The plot is action-pack and the two protagonists are easv to admire.
Harriet Klausner
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Indeed this novel is formulaic. It is predictable; it covers no new territory in the world of political mystery/thriller. But who cares? If you want Dostoevsky, read Dostoevsky! This book delivered exactly what it promised -- a rolicking good story full of suspense. This story would make a fine action movie, actually, with the opening sequence of Ben and Danielle infiltrating the compound of a homegrown American group of fanatics, the fine touch of Ben's family's involvement, to the surprise about Danielle's family. I thought it was a fine summer day's read. I recommend this book to anyone who has a few hours to spend at the beach reading.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Melvin Hunt on November 1, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is another good book about the adventures of Ben and Danielle.Danielle has moved back to Israel to become the head of

the National Police.Ben works for a security firm in America.A

group breaks into a American compound and steals a supply of smallpox.In the meantime Danielle leads a raid on a Hamas compound and discovers that the terrorists have all been killed.

She finds some burned pages in a waste basket written in Arabic

She sends the pages to Ben.He discovers that the pages are a fatwa(a religious edict) known as the end of all things.They

discover a conspiracy to destroy America.They also discover that behind this plot is Layla Aziz Rahani,daughter of a Saudi

billionaire.This turns into quite an adventure.There is also a

shocking revelation about Danielle.This is definitely a book

that is hard to put down.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By carole young on June 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Ben and Danielle books are the best! The Israeli-Palestinian pair accentuate the differences and the similarities of the two cultures with international intrigue in the Blue Widows. Definitely a page-turner!
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More About the Author

Since his first book was published in 1983, Jon Land has written twenty-eight novels, seventeen of which have appeared on national bestseller lists. He began writing technothrillers before Tom Clancy put them in vogue, and his strong prose, easy characterization, and commitment to technical accuracy have made him a pillar of the genre.

Land spent his college years at Brown University, where he convinced the faculty to let him attempt writing a thriller as his senior honors thesis. Four years later, his first novel, The Doomsday Spiral, appeared in print. In the last years of the Cold War, he found a place writing chilling portrayals of threats to the United States, and of the men and women who operated undercover and outside the law to maintain U.S. security. His most successful of those novels were the nine starring Blaine McCracken, a rogue CIA agent and former Green Beret with the skills of James Bond but none of the Englishman's tact.

In 1998 Land published the first novel in his Ben and Danielle series, comprised of fast-paced thrillers whose heroes, a Detroit cop and an Israeli detective, work together to protect the Holy Land, falling in love in the process. He has written seven of these so far. The most recent, The Last Prophecy, was released in 2004.

Recently, RT Book Reviews gave Jon a special prize for pioneering genre fiction, and his short story "Killing Time" was shortlisted for the 2010 Dagger Award for best short fiction and included in 2010's The Best American Mystery Stories. Land is currently writing Blood Strong, his fourth novel to feature Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong--a female hero in a genre which, Land has said, has too few of them. The second book in the series, Strong Justice (2010), was named a Top Thriller of the Year by Library Journal and runner-up for Best Novel of the Year by the New England Book Festival. The third, Strong at the Break, will be released this year, and the fourth, Blood Strong, will follow in 2012. His first nonfiction book, Betrayal, written with Robert Fitzpatrick, tells the behind-the-scenes story of a deputy FBI chief attempting to bring down Boston crime lord Whitey Bulger, and will also be released in 2011.

Land currently lives in Providence, not far from his alma mater.