The Righteous Men [NOOK Book]

Overview

The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth. . . .

A teenage computer prodigy is mortally strangled in Mumbai. A far-right extremist is killed in a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest. A wealthy businessman is murdered in Thailand. A pimp in Brooklyn is found stabbed to death and mysteriously covered by a brown shroud. What connects the victims is an ancient prophecy that leads to the end of the world, and...

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The Righteous Men

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Overview

The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth. . . .

A teenage computer prodigy is mortally strangled in Mumbai. A far-right extremist is killed in a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest. A wealthy businessman is murdered in Thailand. A pimp in Brooklyn is found stabbed to death and mysteriously covered by a brown shroud. What connects the victims is an ancient prophecy that leads to the end of the world, and it's up to Will Monroe, a fledgling reporter at the New York Times, to stop it.

But Monroe's investigation quickly makes him some shadowy enemies, who kidnap his wife and hold her hostage in Crown Heights. Desperate to find the link between the killings and to save his wife, he enlists his college sweetheart, TC, an eccentric artist and Kabbalah expert. As the death toll rises, they follow a trail of clues that seems to lead inexorably to a set of ancient texts containing a prophecy that promises to save the world—or to destroy it.

What will happen when the one secret that has kept the world safe for thousands of years is revealed to all? In The Righteous Men, a blistering thriller filled with mystery, romance, and suspense, Sam Bourne takes readers deep into the hidden worlds of fundamentalist religion, mysticism, and biblical prophecies. This is a visionary tale that is as frightening as it is entertaining. Readers won't stop turning the pages until the very end.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bourne's first novel, with a jacket that promises ancient secrets and mysterious manuscripts, has all the obligatory religious-thriller elements. Unfortunately, his hero, fledgling New York Times reporter Will Monroe Jr., is clueless, the structure unoriginal, the code-breaking boring, the earth-shattering threat unbelievable and the writing often clumsy ("Will felt his eyes soaking with tears"). Will, while investigating his first murder story, discovers that the victim, a pimp with multiple stab wounds, has a heart of gold and is indeed a "righteous man." After Will writes about another righteous man's murder, Will's wife, Beth, is abducted. Will's search for Beth leads him to the insular Hasidic community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where he undergoes a bit of torture while learning the history of Judaism. Eventually, Will unearths a vast conspiracy whose goal is Armageddon, the end of the world. Bourne, the pseudonym of British journalist Jonathan Freedland, has done his homework, but the heavy breathing one senses is not the sound of captivated readers whipping through the pages but rather that of an anxious author frantically attempting to hammer his extensive research into the mold of bestselling fiction. Rights sold in 24 countries. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Will Monroe, a young and ambitious New York Times journalist investigating the seemingly unrelated deaths of men with widely disparate backgrounds on opposite ends of the country, becomes ensnared in a nightmare when his wife is kidnapped. Desperate to save her, Will enlists the assistance of computer genius Tom Fontaine, a former college friend, and Will's brilliant ex-girlfriend, T.C. Lieberman. Tracing the computer threats to an Internet caf located in an ultraorthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, Will and T.C. uncover an assassination plot to kill 36 righteous men mentioned in an obscure biblical legend. Their race to save these men leads to a shocking revelation. Bourne's swiftly moving plot is hampered by awkward characterization, but the multiple action scenes and shocking twist at the end are sure to please readers. Offering a new take on the religion-based thriller, this fiction debut by Bourne (a pen name for British journalist Jonathan Freedland) is recommended for popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/06.]-Joy St. John, Henderson Dist. P.L., NV Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A kitchen sink of arcane elements-twisted biblical prophecy, Oedipal complex, computer-hacker sabotage-together with such thriller staples as kidnapping and serial-killer psychodynamics makes this one messy whodunit. But it's a riveting mess. The concept's hot: One-by-one, three dozen are targeted for killing, each corpse to be laid out carefully, swaddled in a purple blanket. Bourne, a London journalist aka Jonathan Freedland (Jacob's Gift, 2005, etc.), cribs from Dan Brown's well-thumbed manual on mystic atmosphere, and creates a nefarious sect, the Church of the Reborn Jesus, who madly masterminds the murders. Those homicides are head-scratchers for the police-among them, a Manhattan pimp with a heart of gold, a Wild West, right-wing militiaman who's also a kidney donor, and a Baptist pastor in Brazil. Will, a New York Times reporter, is drawn into this blood-spattered web when his pregnant wife, Beth, is abducted by Hasidic zealots. What connects Beth's disappearance and the dead men, dropping nearly daily like dominos? Even Will's adored dad, a federal judge, can't seem to aid his son, who turns to a Jewish ex-girlfriend to penetrate the heart of Hasidism. Together, they decode the Torah passages the kidnappers send and negotiate a maze that leads, shockingly, back to Will's own father. Turns out he's none other than "The Apostle," high priest of the Reborn Jesus cult. Their mission? To bring the End Times, the Rapture, by knocking off the 36 righteous men Jewish tradition maintains are necessary, at any given time, to keep life on this dark planet alive. Turns out, too, that the Hasidic perps are actually good guys, and the Reborn vicious anti-Semites, adherents of theultra-fundamentalist doctrine of "replacement theology"-that the Jews, as chosen people, have been replaced by Christians. Murder mystery meets conspiracy theory meets theological commentary.
Esquire (UK)
“more readable than the Da Vinci Code - the sense of menace is darker...the characters more believable.”
The Times (London)
“Good clean fun...with real tension and drama.”
Booklist
“A dramatic, full-throttle adventure”
Mirror
“READ IT. Sam Bourne has spun a highly-charged, theologically accurate tale.”
In Style
“A turbo-charged thriller.”
Jeffery Deaver
“a sweaty-palm roller-coaster ride through the dark side of religion and mysticism.”
Mirror
“READ IT. Sam Bourne has spun a highly-charged, theologically accurate tale.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061859656
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 72,129
  • File size: 678 KB

Meet the Author

Sam Bourne is the literary pseudonym of Jonathan Freedland, an award-winning British journalist and broadcaster. He is a weekly columnist for the Guardian (UK), having served as that paper’s Washington correspondent. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, and the New Republic. He is a regular contributor to the Jewish Chronicle (UK) and presents BBC Radio 4’s contemporary history series The Long View.

Bourne is the author of the New York Times and number one UK bestseller The Righteous Men, which has been translated into twenty-eight languages, and The Last Testament. He has also written two nonfiction works, Jacob’s Gift and Bring Home the Revolution. He lives in London with his wife and two children.

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Read an Excerpt

The Righteous Men


By Sam Bourne

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Sam Bourne
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0061138290

Chapter One

Friday, 9:10 p.m., Manhattan

The night of the first killing was filled with song. St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan trembled to the sound of Handel's Messiah, the grand choral masterpiece that never failed to rouse even the most slumbering audience. Its swell of voices surged at the roof of the cathedral. It was as if they wanted to break out, to reach the very heavens.

Inside, close to the front, sat a father and son, the older man's eyes closed, moved as always by this, his favorite piece of music. This may have been a preview, a warm-up for the Christmas season, but that did not lessen its power. The son's gaze alternated between the performers--the singers dressed in black, the conductor wildly waving his shock of gray hair--and the man at his side. He liked looking at him, gauging his reactions; he liked being this close.

Tonight was a celebration. A month earlier Will Monroe Jr. had landed the job he had dreamed of ever since he had come to America. Still only in his late twenties, he was now a reporter, on the fast track at the New York Times. Monroe Sr. inhabited a different realm. He was a lawyer, one of the most accomplished of his generation, now serving as a federal judge on the second circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. He liked toacknowledge achievement when he saw it, and this young man at his side, whose boyhood he had all but missed, had reached a milestone. He found his son's hand and gave it a squeeze.

It was at that moment, no more than a forty-minute subway ride across town but a world away, that Howard Macrae heard the first steps behind him. He was not scared. Outsiders may have steered clear of this Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville, notorious for its drug-riddled streets, but Macrae knew every street and alley.

He was part of the landscape. A pimp of some two decades' standing, he was wired into Brownsville. He had been a smart operator, too, ensuring that in the gang warfare that scarred the area, he always remained neutral. Factions would clash and shift, but Howard stayed put, constant. No one had challenged the patch where his whores plied their trade for years.

So he was not too worried by the sound behind him. Still, he found it odd that the footsteps did not stop. He could tell they were close. Why would anybody be tailing him? He turned his head to peer over his left shoulder and gasped, immediately tripping over his feet. It was a gun unlike any he had ever seen--and it was aimed at him.

Inside the cathedral, the chorus was now one being, their lungs opening and closing like the bellows of a single, mighty organ. The music was insistent:

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Howard Macrae was now facing forward, attempting to break into an instinctive run. But he could feel a strange, piercing sensation in his right thigh. His leg seemed to be giving way, collapsing under his weight, refusing to obey his orders. I have to run! Yet his body would not respond. He seemed to be moving in slow motion, as if wading through water.

Now the mutiny had spread to his arms, which were first lethargic, then floppy. His brain raced with the urgency of the situation, but it too now seemed overwhelmed, as if submerged under a sudden burst of floodwater. He felt so tired.

He found himself lying on the ground clasping his right leg, aware that it and the rest of his limbs were surrendering to numbness. He looked up. He could see nothing but the steel glint of a blade.

In the cathedral, Will felt his pulse quicken. The Messiah was reaching its climax; the whole audience could sense it. A soprano voice hovered above them:

If God be for us, who can be against us?
Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?
It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth?

Macrae could only watch as the knife hovered over his chest. He tried to see who was behind it, to make out a face, but he could not. The gleam of metal dazzled him; it seemed to have caught all the night's moonlight on its hard, polished surface. He knew he ought to be terrified: the voice inside his head told him he was. But it sounded oddly removed, like a commentator describing a faraway football game. Howard could see the knife coming closer toward him, but still it seemed to be happening to someone else.

Now the orchestra was in full force, Handel's music coursing through the church with enough force to waken the gods. The alto and tenor were as one, demanding to know:

O Death, where is thy sting?

Will was not a classical buff like his father, but the majesty and power of the music was making the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Still staring straight ahead, he tried to imagine the expression his father would be wearing: he pictured him, rapt, and hoped that underneath that blissful exterior there might also lurk some pleasure at sharing this moment with his only son.

The blade descended, first across the chest. Macrae saw the red line it scored, as if the knife were little more than a scarlet marker pen. The skin seemed to bubble and blister: he did not understand why he felt no pain. Now the knife was moving down, slicing his stomach open like a bag of grain. The contents spilled out, a warm soft bulge of viscous innards. Howard was watching it all, until the moment the dagger was finally held aloft. Only then could he see the face of his murderer. His larynx managed to squeeze out a gasp of shock--and recognition. The blade found his heart, and all was dark.

The mission had begun.

Continues...


Excerpted from The Righteous Men by Sam Bourne Copyright © 2006 by Sam Bourne. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Recommend

    Very good book. Main Characters could have been stronger but all in all, very good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2007

    I now have a new author:

    This is a good book, no doubt in my mind. The 1 thing I didnot like is his 'Will' is so much like Preston&Child's William Simthback. Even the same news paper.I would like them to let their charters meet and work togeather on a story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2006

    Read it yourself. Ignore reviews.

    The book I admit is a little different than that of the Da Vinci Code which I loved. This book however does deal with a mystery that has has it's roots based in some facts. The story reads very well the characters are sympathetic and the story moves very fast. I read this in two days and was pleased with the ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2006

    Slow Start, Great Finish

    If you want to know what the book is about, read it your self. I read it because it said it was comparable to the Da Vinci Code, which it was. The beginning was slow, but it set up for a great ending. After page 300, you will not, and can not put it down. I recommend it to everyone. PS Da Vinci Code is second to Angels & Demon¿s I rate this book in the Top 10

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Amazing

    Kept on the edge of my seat although slightly repetitive. Amazing story, so muchbresearch and time was invested into it as you can tell. Great read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2011

    Loved it!

    I read it for a book review in a british literature class. I picked it based on the requirement of the author being british... i couldnt put it down! It surely is not the davinci code, but it is a great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2008

    A reviewer

    From the moment that I picked up the 'Righteous Men' I was intrigued by the unique story line. I read it in a matter of days, and felt that every minute of my time was time well spent. Since I completed the book, I have passed it on to my entire immediate family and now it has moved on to my extended family. It is getting rave reviews from all age groups and lifestyles. Sam Bourne has done a great job as a fiction writer! I have to question whether the 'reviewer' read the book based on her review, and paltry one star.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2007

    A reviewer

    I am not an avid reader. The last book I read was The Firm about 15 years ago, and needless to say I do not like to read much. I happened to pick this book up by chance and once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. It kept me interested the whole time and I didn't think there was any 'filler' information at all. I can't see how anyone would not like this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2006

    A reviewer

    The book sounded really interesting, however it is just very disappointing. It is so boring, I can't even bring myself to finish it. Maybe the ending is great, but it's just not worth wasting the time trying to get there. This is an emotionless book. No humor, energy, fear...I mean nothing. There is absolutely NO suspense in this story at all. The only thing this book inspires is sleep.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2006

    Not good.

    I think this books sucks, and the only reason I bought it was because it was said to be comparable to the davinci code. This book shouldn't be on the same shelf as the davinci code.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2006

    Murder, Religion and Code Breakers.

    Will Monroe, a rookie journalist for The New York Times, is trying his best to impress his superiors and his colleagues. His first assignment, ¿your garden variety gangland killing¿ will not make the front page unless he makes it into a bigger story. Will digs deeper in an effort to find something interesting, something newsworthy, and something that will get Will¿s name on the front page of The New York Times. Will Monroe gets his front page, but at what cost? Howard Macrae, the person who is now the corpse lying, covered in a blanket, on the dirty streets of Manhattan is not what he seems. To everyone who was acquainted with him, he was a pimp, an exploiter and a user of women. But to one woman, perhaps the one who knew him better than anyone else, he was a saviour, a righteous man. Will Monroe is intrigued by Howard Macrae¿s story, but does not think much more of it. Howard Macrae was only his means of getting that front-page slot. His next assignment, the death of Pat Baxter, considered by most to be a Unabomber, seems similar to the previous case Pat Baxter, a man who had a dangerous and militant reputation was not what most people perceived him to be. He was another righteous man. Will Monroe stumbles across more and more of these `Righteous Men¿ and becomes buried deeper into a world that is dangerous for him and all who care for him. The Righteous Men is a wonderfully fast-paced tale set, in a well-researched religious backdrop. Every character that emerges is pivotal to the plot and their own predicaments usually only add to what turns out to be, for Will Monroe, a race against time to solve the clues and save the person most dear to his heart. Of course, books of this type will inevitably be compared to The Da Vinci Code (I am sure The Righteous Men will do as much for the Hassidic religion as its counterpart has done for Opus Dei). But The Righteous Men stands on its own as a very enjoyable thriller that may not have you guessing to the very end, but will certainly let you to enjoy the ride.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This kosher Da Vinci tale is refreshing and very enjoyable

    British expatriate Will Monroe is a reporter for the New York Times who sees a nebulous link between two murders in which both victims were described as righteous by those who knew them even Will assumes the deaths are a weird coincidence, but digs a bit deeper. As more similar deaths occur that baffle police around the globe, Will follows the trail to Washington State.------------- However, while he is there, he receives an electronic message that his pregnant wife Beth has been kidnapped. He rushes home in a panic and realizes neither the police nor even his influential dad can help rescue his wife. Through a friend he learns the message came from an Internet café in Crown Heights Brooklyn, home of the Hasidic Jews. Will goes there to try to find Beth, but runs into trouble with the Rebbe who wonders who the outsider is working for. Soon the clues send Will searching for answers in the Torah, which begins to enable him to connect his spouse¿s abduction to the murders of THE RIGHTEOUS MEN once the thirty-six are dead life on this planet as we know it will end, but why Beth remains a mystery until Will completes the shocking circle that engulfs him.------------------- Dan Brown meets Hasidic Jews in this somewhat convoluted religious End of Days conspiracy thriller that uses the Jewish Kabala as the focus. The story line starts straight out straight forward with an interesting murder mystery in which no motives seem to surface and the only tie is that those killed were considered righteous. The tale soon spins into a wild all over the place religious thriller that is exciting, but also difficult to follow with too many religious themes taken from the apocalypse to the messiah to the kabala, etc. Still this kosher Da Vinci tale is refreshing and very enjoyable especially when the reporter crosses the Bay to Brooklyn.---------------- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2011

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews

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