Title: Chosen People
Author: Robert Whitlow
Series: Chosen People, book 1
Major Themes: Israel, Legal Fiction, Romance, Terrorism, Mystery
Synopsis: When Hana Abboud is asked to represent a family who was injured by terrorists while visiting Israel, she must decide whether it’s worth the risk—and if the Lord wants her to step into a potentially dangerous situation.
I heard about Chosen People several times, and while I thought the book looked interesting, I never took time to really look into it closely. Then, when BookLook bloggers advertised it, I had a bit more brain-space to think about it, and after reading the back cover copy, I was quite interested. Modern Israel? A terrorist case? A legal story? And from a Christian perspective, too? I was intrigued, to say the least. Didn’t really have any idea what I was getting into, but I thought I’d take a shot at it—even though it wasn’t in one of my preferred genres, it ticked all the other boxes. And wow, am I ever thankful I decided to do that!
Hana Abboud, an Arab Christian, grew up in Israel. Training as a lawyer, she eventually moved to Atlanta, where she practiced for several years. Now, she has been approached by an interesting case. An American woman was killed while on holiday in Israel, and her husband wanted to press a court case against the perpetrators. By helping him out, Hana may be able to help out her beloved Israel as a whole, by discovering another arm of a terrorist group. She is tempted by the idea, and especially so when she meets the young daughter of the woman who had been killed. Falling in love with the girl, Hana wants to make sure the wrongdoers are brought to justice—but when things in America start going wrong, and her trips to Israel become increasingly dangerous, will they be able to catch the terrorists in time, before they are attacked themselves?
One genre I would avoid with all my might, if possible, is the horror genre. I did not appreciate the one “horror” story I did listen to one time—Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, but mysteries are things I can handle. I did wonder, though, what I’d think of a mystery involving terrorists. Situations like that can be pretty sticky, too! However, from the first page, I was drawn into the story AND impressed by the lack of a very intense plot. I love intense plots at times; the ones that suck me in and just make me finish a book even when I have work the next morning. I also appreciate the ones that I can spread out over a bit longer of a time, digest a bit more, and yet not go so slow with them that I get bored and move on to a different book. For me, this book was like that. And I loved it.
One of my favorite parts of the whole book was the way the suspense concerning loyalties was handled. One person was presented as an ally to the cause, but I never quite believed it, and near the end my belief that this person wasn’t actually an ally seemed to be confirmed pretty clearly. But I didn’t know until the very end exactly which way things would fall. That part was amazingly well done!
Chosen People is a very complex book, but I came away from it with a greater appreciation for modern Israel and what the situation there might be like currently, at least to some extent. I feel like there is a lot one could learn from a story like this, but I only really scratched the surface. Even so, if you are interested in a story about Israel, or think you might like reading a legal story from a Christian perspective for a change, this might be worth a shot.
I requested a free review copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers, and this is my honest opinion of it.
WARNING: In chapter 2, there are details told about the terrorist attack, as someone is watching a surveillance video of it. In chapter 23, someone is looking at pictures of the aftermath of the terrorist attack; somewhat gruesome. In chapters 24, 37, 43, 44, and 45, two unmarried people are touching. In chapter 32, someone lies in order to gain information. In chapter 36, people watch an execution film, and someone takes God’s name in vain. In chapter 37 and 45, there is kissing. In chapter 40, someone blesses someone else in Allah’s name, and someone curses (two instances). In chapter 40, people are attacked, they are threatened with death and tortured, a man hits a woman, someone lies. In chapter 41, there is an explosion, someone has blood on their shirt, and someone has been killed. In chapter 42, someone talks about having to kill other people.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults