Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Reckoning: Death and Intrigue in the Promised Land


Today's review is on The Reckoning: Death and Intrigue in the Promised Land by Patrick Bishop. It is 352 including notes and an index and is published by HarperCollins publishing. The cover has a picture of the victim on it circled in red. The intended reader is someone who likes detective stories, and historical nonfiction. There is no sex, some mild language, and lots of violence in this book. The story is told journalistically with interviews, letters, and reports to add favor. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Militant Zionist Avraham Stern believed he was destined to be the Jewish liberator of British Palestine. As the ringleader of the infamous Stern Gang, also known Lahi, he masterminded a series of high-profile terrorist attacks in the pursuit of his dream. On the run from British authorities who'd put a bounty on his head, Stern was hiding in an attic in Tel Aviv when he was killed by Assistant Superintendent Geoffrey Morton, a British colonial policeman assigned to capture him.
Morton claimed Stern was trying to escape. But witnesses insisted he was executed in cold blood. His controversial death inspired a cult of martyrdom that gave new life to Lehi, helping to destroy hopes of a d├ętente between the British, the Arabs, and the Jews.
The Reckoning is the story of Patrick Bishop's quest to discover the truth. Based on extensive research- including access to Morton's private archive and eyewitness interviews- it recounts this seismic event in full, without bias, placing it within the context of its turbulent time. Bishop's gripping, groundbreaking narrative brings to life two men similar in ambition and dedication, chronicles the events that led to their fatal meeting, and explores how the impact of Stern's death reverberated through the final years of British rule and birth of Israel.

Review- This book was okay. It never really grabbed me and I disagree with some of the claims of the blurb. I do not feel that this book is unbiased. I could be wrong but I felt from the very beginning all the way to the end of the book that Bishop believed that Stern was murdered and he was out to prove it. Now that said, Bishop does talk about all the problems with the witnesses, researching this fifty years on, and other problems. I do not know what happened in that room. I think that Morton could have shot him but I also think that Stern could have tried to run. Stern was not a brave man, as everything in the book will tell you but Morton was no killer either. The writing style is not bad but it is not easy to read. As I was reading it I needed to in a place where I had little to no distractions around me or I could not concentrate on the story. If you know something about this story I am sure that you will enjoy this book and will learn more about it. But if you do not then I really not think that this book is interesting enough to attract the casual reader.

I give this book a Two out of Five stars. I get nothing for my reviews and I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review by HarperCollins.