4 Terrific Books to Read

Since I finished writing my forthcoming novel, A Death in Jerusalem, I’ve had a bit more time to indulge in my favorite pastime: reading.

Here are four books I read recently and very much enjoyed.
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1. The Killing Crew by Murray Bailey

As a fan of my Adam Lapid series, British author Murray Bailey knows how fascinated I am by the early days of the State of Israel. So when he suggested sending me his new thriller, The Killing Crew, which is set in Israel in 1948, I was excited.

The Killing Crew is part of the Ash Carter series of historical thrillers. It features British army officer Ash Carter and involves a search for a group of British deserters called The Killing Crew, who deserted their posts when Britain pulled out of the Land of Israel in May 1948.

Readers of the Adam Lapid series will likely find the historical setting of this book familiar, but there’s plenty of new history to immerse in, and the book moves at a rapid, almost unrelenting pace, all the way to the unexpected ending.

Go here to get a copy of The Killing Crew

Spies of No Country2. Spies of No Country by Matti Friedman

Sticking with Israel’s War of Independence, I recently read this fascinating non-fiction historical account of four Jewish spies during 1948, as Israel fought for its very existence.

The four heroes are all Mizrahi Jews, all fluent in Arabic, who became part of The Dawn, an intelligence unit that sent spies into Arab countries and territories seeking the information Israel needed to triumph over its many enemies and gain its independence.

For those interested in early Israeli history, spies, and the Mossad, I heartily recommend this novel. It is brilliantly written and intriguing.

Go here to get a copy of Spies of No Country

3. People Love Dead Jews by Dara Horn

The disturbing title of my next recommendation is apt. It’s a disturbing book, but that’s part of what makes it a worthwhile read.

In People Love Dead Jews, Dara Horn explores the often disconcerting fascination people have with the relics of destroyed Jewish communities and the dead Jews of yesteryear everywhere from the United States through Europe to China.

Horn contrasts this veneration of dead Jews with a subtle indifference or worse of contemporary Jews and the challenges they face, whether in Israel or elsewhere.

People Love Dead Jews is a winner of the National Jewish Book Award, and I can see why. This is a thought-provoking and important work.

Go here to get a copy of People Love Dead Jews

4. Stranded by Sarah Goodwin

Stranded is a terrific modern thriller. The setting is a small island off the British coast, where a group of men and women are stranded as part of a reality show.

They’re supposed to live for a year in primitive conditions, getting their own food, building their own shelter, etc., while filming their interactions.

The problem is that soon things take a bad turn, as the participants begin to clash. To make matters worse, it becomes apparent that something has gone wrong with the production of the TV show in which they’re all supposed to take part, and now their very survival is at stake.

Tense, suspenseful, and propulsive, Stranded is a thriller you don’t want to miss.

Go here to get a copy of Stranded