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The Convert's Song: A Novel Hardcover – December 9, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books (December 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316324698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316324694
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Convert's Song is that rare thing, a rousing thriller with heart and heartbreak. . . . An affecting drama of human ties, raising big themes of loyalty, obligation, loss and love. . . . [Rotella's] prose is vivid and precise, his sense of setting sharply illuminating. . . . He's also a thoughtful writer, treating the loaded topic of Islamic terrorism with commendable subtlety. . . . A skillfully layered thriller"—Steph Cha, Los Angeles Times

"I read like a zealot, following Valentine as fast as I could into the thick of Argentina's criminal justice system and into the thicket of international terror. . . . The story got me in a chokehold as the characters grew more and more complex and Rotella's style thickened and boiled and bubbled."—Alan Cheuse, NPR

"Excellent . . . Rotella ratchets up the action with an absorbing look at international politics."—
Publishers Weekly (starred)



"The Convert's Song is a revelation. Sure, it's a smart, gripping thriller that will have you turning the pages at high speed. But it's also a deep, emotionally resonant story of identity, friendship, and faith. . . . I loved it."—
Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street



"The Convert's Song hooked me from its opening scene and kept me hooked to the very end. Sebastian Rotella has written a novel filled with suspense and intrigue, as well as real-world insights into those who commit terrorist acts and those who try to stop them."—Ron Rash, author of Serena and The Cove

About the Author

Sebastian Rotella is the author of Triple Crossing, which the New York Times Book Review named its favorite debut crime novel of 2011, and the nonfiction book Twilight on the Line. He is a senior reporter for ProPublica, a newsroom dedicated to investigative journalism in the public interest. He covers international security issues. He worked for twenty-three years for the Los Angeles Times, serving as bureau chief in Paris and Buenos Aires and the correspondent at the Mexican border. His honors include a Peabody Award; Columbia University's Dart Award and Moors Cabot Prize for Latin American coverage; the German Marshall Fund's Weitz Prize for reporting in Europe; five Overseas Press Club Awards; The Urbino Prize of Italy, and an Emmy nomination. He was a Pulitzer finalist for international reporting in 2006.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Josh M. on December 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Can't put this book down! Rotella hits the ball out of the park with his new novel. His writing style, character development and genuine feel for the streets, back alleys, the good and bad guys who work the shadows - makes The Convert's Song a sure best seller! I have Followed Rotella's early writing and more recent ground breaking investigative reporting on the Mumbai terror plot, this great writer knows his subject matter and its subjects well. Bravo! - Josh M.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The Convert's Song
Sebastian Rotella
Mulholland Books/Little, Brown, Dec 9 2014, $26.00
ISBN: 9780316324694

Having worked the dangerous crossing between San Diego and Tijuana as a U.S. Border Patrol field operative (see Triple Crossing) Valentine Pescatore quit to begin a less harrowing job as a private investigator in Buenos Aires. To Pescatore’s delightful surprise, he meets his at one time BFF Raymond Mercer the singer who he has not seen in a decade since their teen years in Chicago. Shocking the P.I. is his buddy cleaned up his act when he became a Muslim.

Not long afterward, terrorists kill hundreds at the El Amacen mall in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood. The Buenos Aires police suspect Mercer and Pescatore were the keys behind the highly complex assault. While Mercer has vanished, Pescatore teams up with French agent Fatima Belhaj in pursuit that eventually leads to Western Europe.

The second Pescatore intrigue is a great action-packed suspense that entertains throughout yet also enables the audience to better understand the diverse variety of terrorists and their overall impact on international relations and politics. Fast-paced from the moment Mercer says hi to the final confrontation yet filled with graveyard humor and musicology in which both enrich the outstanding storyline, The Convert’s Song will be on the short lists as a top five espionage thriller of 2014.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Kindle Edition
I'm only a third of the way through my first Sebastian Rotella and already he's at the top of my list! This was supposed to be a thriller and it is, but Convert's Song is much more: a literate piece of work that appeals to more than the thrill-seeker.

There's nothing lazy about Rotella's work. He knows language. What may be an annoyance to monolingual readers is a joy to travelers and language junkies and close followers of geopolitics. There's also plenty here for those who are happy with just the action, plot, and deft character development.

The generosity and intelligence of Rotella's work sets a whole new standard. I'm "reading" the Audible version, narrated by the author. Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like the realistic story and the astonishing details. And when I'd finished the book, Pescatore the protagonist had become part of the household, left me wanting for more.
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