Scribner, $24.00, 229 pages, ISBN 978-1-4767-4009-6
There’s times when a novel comes along that is so meaningful, so packed with lessons for living, and yes, so moral in tone, that I wish everyone in the world would read it and draw their own conclusions about it. This week’s MBR number 164 is such a one. I can only hope that with your help, this book report will go viral. So please . . . read this review . . . seek out and read the book, get your own take. Then send this review to all of your friends and together, maybe we can start to make a difference in the world . . . a world in which perhaps, we are all more alike than dissimilar.
The Lie is written by Hesh Kestin, “a former foreign correspondent in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa reporting on international terrorism, war, arms dealing, espionage and shadowy global business dealings.” He is also an eighteen-year old veteran of the Israel Defense Forces. He is a man who has been there, seen much and has exceptional stories to write.
The Lie takes place in Israel, and focuses on an attorney named Dahlia Barr. She’s a sabra, a native born Israeli, who makes her living defending Palestinian terrorists in court. She’s a brilliant attorney, controversial, beautiful . . . about to be divorced and has a lover who’s an American television correspondent. Her life takes an extreme—and fundamental—change when she’s asked to join the Israeli security forces and become the nation’s arbiter with regards to torture. She will be the sole decision maker as to when and how the harshest methods of interrogation will be used. She accepts, having no intention of ever letting ‘enhanced interview techniques’ be used. But then, shortly after accepting her new position, her son Ari, a lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Forces, is captured by Hezbollah sappers and taken into captivity in Lebanon. Frantic, she looks to Edward al-Masri, an Israeli-Arab citizen living in Canada who’s currently being held in an Israeli jail for currency-smuggling, and with whom Dahlia has a long and complex history. He may hold the key to her son’s release, but he’s refusing to say anything . . . and may have to be questioned more ‘vigorously.’ This novel is jam-packed with moral dilemmas and political intrigue before leading to a stunning conclusion that you’ll never see coming. Given the recent events between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, this superb novel should be read by everyone and the sooner the better, for it’s message is a moral one that will leave you thinking and talking about it long after you finish reading it.