New York homicide detectives pursue a serial killer in this apocalyptic thriller.
When James Manning and Covina “Dewey” Duwai are called in to investigate a string of murders, their investigations take them from the headquarters of the Russian mafia in Brighton Beach to a sweltering maze of shops in Little Hong Kong, with scant leads on the killer. But when Manning and Dewey apprehend a womana disgraced but brilliant rabbinical scholarfleeing one of the crime scenes, they’re brought face-to-face with the shocking truth: the Jewish legend of the hidden Righteous Men, the 36 who protect the world from destruction, is no legend at all. They are real, and they are being murdered.
As the bodies pile up and the world tilts further into chaos, Manning and Dewey must protect the last of the Righteous Men from a ruthless killer able to beguile his victims and command them against their will. Plunged into a deadly game of cat and mouse, the detectives find their arsenal of bullets and blades of little use against a foe who knows their every move.
Joining forces with the rabbinical scholar and a renowned anthropologist, Manning and Dewey set off on a perilous quest from New York to Gehenna in Israel to confront a murderer who won’t stop until he’s killed every one.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Steven Pressfield is the author of the best-selling novels Gates of Fire and Tides of War, as well as The Legend of Bagger Vance. He is also the author of the cult classics on creativity The War of Art, Do the Work, and The Artist’s Journey. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Thought provoking. I was a First Read Winner of this book and my first book by this Author, and I was super excited to get started on the read. I found the style of writing interesting, though I did not find it to be a fast read. Some of the subject matter seemed real relevant to our current climate dilemma, though I really hope it won't reach those levels. I found the characters interesting, but one never really gets to know them very well, one is just along for a race against time. It's really hard to put the book into a specific category, it is set in the near future, has some paranormal elements, religious, action, suspense and lots of horrible weather. I did not like the ending very much, I had really hoped for a different outcome, perhaps that is the reason why the book left me sad when I was done. Well written and a crazy ride for sure.
In New York City circa 2034, the city has been devastated by climate change. Coastal areas have been nearly leveled by massive storms. Refugees from low-lying areas have congregated in slums sporting their own money. On the morning of April 19, it is 114 in the shade. Down these mean streets, old-school detective Manning and his junior, and our narrator, female detective Dewey are looking for a massively strong and invisible killer of the 36 Righteous Men. With two victims in NYC and two in Russia, the killer’s MO is the same. Hold the victim up with one hand by the neck strangling the victim. Toss the victim aside. Somehow cause a branding from the inside on the victim’s forehead. Not appear on any surveillance cameras while doing so. The branding mark is an LV, which is Hebrew for the 36 Righteous Men. Part science fiction, part hard-boiled detective story, part Christian fiction and part paranormal tale, this book is a near-perfect example of the blending of multiple genres into a coherent and compelling tale. However, I enjoy all these genres on their own. If you only like one or two, the world-building details may just slow down the pace rather than be fascinating in their own right—or vice versa. The Christian paranormal aspects may feel unbelievable. Therefore, I would only recommend this book to people who enjoy all four genres. 4 stars! What a fine movie this would make! The world could be shown rather than described speeding up the mystery’s pace. Someone, with more money than I have, should scoop up the movie rights quickly. I, for one, can’t wait! Thanks to W.W. Norton & Company and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Most everyone knows the basics of the Noah's Ark story: God decides humans are wicked and plans to wipe them all out and start over with those saved on Noah's ark. Most everyone probably does not know the story of the 36 Righteous Men. In Jewish legend, the 36 Righteous Men are God's promise to prevent another apocalypse. As long as there are 36 righteous men alive, humanity is safe. If those 36 should die, all bets are off. Detectives Manning and Dewey are led to clues that suggest the serial murders they are investigating could be the work of someone killing the 36 in order to hurry along armageddon. Is 36 Righteous Men a moral story warning that humans have choices in life that lead to unseen, and perhaps catastrophic, consequences? Is it a suspense/thriller of a police procedural and the hunt for a serial killer? Is it a thinly veiled screenplay waiting to be turned into a movie with lots of special effects and no character development? The answer to me seems to be: yes to all of the above. Pressfield makes it clear that humans are doing their best to bring in armageddon without any help and the further into the book you go the less delineation there is between natural disasters and possible divine intervention. Not only do you think by the end that it's probably the same thing, you also know that it doesn't matter. The police procedural part was thin and mostly focused on Manning being the grizzled veteran following the facts while others run around chasing Russian mafia for no obvious reason. Dewey, as the narrator, is the young green detective trying to learn from a legend. Men is best when it focuses on the legend of the 36 and explaining it and surrounding Jewish beliefs to the two gentile detectives- something it manages to do in a natural, non-preachy way. Fans of Steven Pressfield's traditional historical fiction (Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Last of the Amazons) will be surprised by Pressfield's latest work. Instead of historical fiction, Pressfield enters a sci-fi futuristic version of the world as it could be in 2034. Instead of a 'traditional' style of writing, Pressfield experiments with a first-person narrative told through memos and one of the characters points of view in an odd combination of prose and screenplay-style dialogue. The writing style was distracting to me and greatly hampered any character development, though it did finally work for the ending. Or maybe by then I was used to it? The climactic scenes at the end managed to be fast-paced and clunky at the same time. The very ending, without giving everything away, managed to be both shocking, stunning, and simultaneously probably exactly what I should have seen coming. 36 Righteous Men gets a bonus star for Pressfield's unique world building of the almost-apocalyptic world of the near future, but loses a lot of points for me for the ending. I hate books(or movies) where I get to the last page and am left wondering: then what was the point? I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review