Reviewed by: Suzanne Gattis, Pacific Book Review
The sequel to Avraham Azrieli’s The Jerusalem Inception, The Jerusalem Assassin keeps readers on the edge of their seats as the author navigates through the twists and turns of religious zeal, political missteps, intense human emotions, and complicated personal relationships. The beginning of the book finds Jerusalem Gerster living as a Swiss banker; the life he began living as a lie has become his reality that creates turmoil between his dedication to his past and his love for his new family. Abraham Gerster still lives as a rabbi, strictly following the laws of the Torah despite his disbelief in God and remorse over the shunning of his son. Meanwhile, Tanya has risen in Mossad, as she continues to live with the regret and guilt from her past. The puppet master, Elie Weiss, tries to fulfill his lifelong personal mission while exerting control over the lives and destinies of the other characters. Other new characters, from secret agents to an inquisitive journalist, add an additional depth to the story and intricate characterizations.
In a story with so many lies and deceptions, inevitably the truth must come out. As the plot deals with the complex struggle for peace between Israel and Palestine, the characters navigate through the web of lies that had been created over the past few decades and find what really is important to them; love of country and love for each other. As the reader follows the world of secretive international organizations, assassinations, and political unrest, the story of human suffering and redemption shines through as the ultimate theme of the novel.
With each unexpected turn in the novel, readers are drawn into the story, questioning who to trust and anticipating the next insight they will get from the characters in the story. Azrieli has a unique ability to interweave fiction and fact that not only intrigues but also educates the reader. Through the author’s careful attention to every last detail, readers find themselves building a relationship with the complex characters, strongly feeling their emotions, while contemplating even larger themes that affect the world around them. While the story is entertaining, it is also a thought-provoking look into a world that many would otherwise not be exposed to.