The Trials of Zion

The Trials of Zion

4.1 13
by Alan M. Dershowitz
     
 

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"No one knows more about Israel's existential dilemma than Alan Dershowitz-or writes about it better. From its explosive beginning to its startling climax, THE TRIALS OF ZION excites and intrigues, even as it depicts the unique dangers of a lethal part of the world. This is a terrific novel."
-Richard North Patterson

"For a legalist, mired for years in… See more details below

Overview

"No one knows more about Israel's existential dilemma than Alan Dershowitz-or writes about it better. From its explosive beginning to its startling climax, THE TRIALS OF ZION excites and intrigues, even as it depicts the unique dangers of a lethal part of the world. This is a terrific novel."
-Richard North Patterson

"For a legalist, mired for years in towers of ivory not even hewn from the teeth of endangered elephants but constructed, indeed, and solely, of the casuistic and notional, Mr. Dershowitz writes a real good rip-snorter."
-David Mamet

"A thought-provoking thriller set in two of the world's most gripping arenas of conflict, the Middle East and the courtroom."
-Steven Pinker, author of The Stuff of Thought,and Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction

"As in all his essays, in his novel also, Alan Dershowitz demonstrates his great love for Israel as well as his inspired passion for Jewish memory, justice, and storytelling."
-Elie Wiesel

A shocking act of terror brings the Middle East to the point of explosion. As the resulting political conflict threatens to erupt, a young Jewish-American lawyer joins the defense team of an arrested but possibly innocent Palestinian. Soon the lawyer's father, a famed criminal attorney, must win the Palestinian's case or risk losing his daughter forever. To do so, he must take into account the tormented history of the Holy Land from every possible angle. THE TRIALS OF ZION combines the tension of the greatest courtroom dramas with the action of a fast-moving thriller, all set against the colorful backdrop of one of the most complex cultural settings in the world. Filled with memorable characters, this novel offers readers not only compelling suspense, but a panoramic view of the history of a beloved and bitterly contested land, and a sharply controversial perspective on the sources of--and the possible solutions to--the world's longest and most crucial international crisis.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the start of Dershowitz's earnest third novel (after 2000's Just Revenge) featuring celebrity lawyer Abe Ringel, whose quirky, sometimes quixotic career resembles the author's own, Abe's 26-year-old daughter, Emma, goes to Israel despite Abe's misgivings. Emma, a recent Yale law school graduate, plans to help defend a terrorist bomber accused of setting off an explosion that has killed several of the world's leaders. Deadly complications force Abe to step in and get involved in trials whose outcomes could threaten the lives of those who are nearest to him. Besides showcasing the differences between the Israeli and American systems, these trials raise ethical questions that are, as always in this series, the real heart of the matter. Those looking for a read that offers interesting legal issues and clever courtroom action and don't mind clunky dialogue and perfunctory thriller plotting might enjoy the result. (Oct.)
Booklist
"Dershowitz has constructed a thriller based on current events that combines exciting action with courtroom drama and a lesson in the history and politics of the Middle East. A thought-provoking page-turner."
The Mystery Gazette
"[TRIALS OF ZION] is a fabulous tale that enables the reader to see how different the Israeli jurisprudence system is from that of the United States. The courtroom scenes are especially superb as Alan M. Dershowitz takes the audience inside the Israeli legal world...The Trials of Zion is an entertaining novel that highlights how convoluted reaching peace in the area has been."
Woodbury Magazine
"Trials of Zion is an exceptional, action-packed book with the perfect mix of drama, romance, and political insight. Addressing the difficult situation in the Middle East with the rare ability of evenhandedness, Dershowitz proves, once again, his mastery of whatever job he decides to tackle."
From the Publisher
"[TRIALS OF ZION] is a fabulous tale that enables the reader to see how different the Israeli jurisprudence system is from that of the United States. The courtroom scenes are especially superb as Alan M. Dershowitz takes the audience inside the Israeli legal world...The Trials of Zion is an entertaining novel that highlights how convoluted reaching peace in the area has been."—The Mystery Gazette"

Trials of Zion is an exceptional, action-packed book with the perfect mix of drama, romance, and political insight. Addressing the difficult situation in the Middle East with the rare ability of evenhandedness, Dershowitz proves, once again, his mastery of whatever job he decides to tackle."—Woodbury Magazine"

Dershowitz has constructed a thriller based on current events that combines exciting action with courtroom drama and a lesson in the history and politics of the Middle East. A thought-provoking page-turner."—Booklist"

Dershowitz has constructed a thriller based on current events that combines exciting action with courtroom drama and a lesson in the history and politics of the Middle East. A thought-provoking page-turner."—Booklist

Library Journal
Abe Ringel, a Dershowitz-like lawyer/celebrity, returns (after Just Revenge) in this legal thriller set in Israel. A fictional Palestinian state is the site of a bombing that kills its newly elected leader, the U.S. President, and the Israeli prime minister. Ringel's daughter Emma, a recent Yale law school grad, joins the team defending the suspected bomber, who wants to be convicted and die a martyr. Ringel is forced into the situation when Emma is kidnapped by the suspect's brother, who threatens to kill Emma unless his brother is acquitted. There is also some subterfuge going on with Ringel's wife, a former spy, and her friend, a former Secret Service agent. Dershowitz uses a forbidden romance between the Jewish Emma and her Palestinian boss as a teaching vehicle to shed light on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. VERDICT One-dimensional characters and awkward dialog mar an engaging premise, but legal fans will enjoy learning about the differences between American and Israeli law. Fans of Richard North Patterson's Exile might also like this.—Stacy Alesi, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., Boca Raton, FL
Kirkus Reviews

The fictional alter ego for famed lawyer Dershowitz (The Case for Moral Clarity, 2009, etc.)takes on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in this busy, sometimes preposterous thriller.

The third novel starring Dershowitz-like defense attorney Abe Ringel opens with a jaw-dropping terrorist act: The U.S. president, Israeli prime minister and Hamas leader are all killed by a bomb at a public ceremony intended to commemorate the creation of a Palestinian state. With any hope of Middle East peace literally blown apart, Abe is understandably anxious about his daughter, Emma, who's moved from Boston to Jerusalem to work for a human-rights group. His worries are quickly justified: Not long after her arrival, she's kidnapped by pro-Palestinian Marxists led by a man whose brother, Faisal, is being held on suspicion of planting the bomb. To save his daughter from execution, Abe must successfully defend Faisal in an Israeli court without letting on that he's being blackmailed. The novel's courtroom scenes give Dershowitzan opportunity to wax legalistic on the differences between the American and Israeli judicial process, and there are occasional glimpses into forensics labs, terrorist safe houses and interrogation rooms. But the author's interests are more broadly sociological: He wants to make clear how difficult it is to detect true intentions among the region's Jews, Muslims, Communists and Christians. (Double-crosses are abundant.) The author's style is clean and forceful, built on tight, clipped paragraphs, but his handling of the broad cast of characters isn't always graceful; a sudden appearance of a key bit of evidence seems overly convenient, and a serious predicament for Emma is explained away with little drama. Though the novel opens with thoughtful considerations of the Middle East conflict that shed light on why it's so intractable, Dershowitz is ultimately compelled to keep the story moving, which leads to a climax that not only feels slightly cartoonish but sidesteps addressing the divide between Israelis and Palestinians. Chapters that delve into family back stories are mainly distracting, and a thin romantic subplot only proves that love stories aren't the author's bailiwick.

A solid display of Dershowitz's legal chops, if not always his narrative ones.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446558518
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
10/01/2010
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,011,635
File size:
1 MB

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