Chosen People

Chosen People

by Robert Whitlow

Paperback

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Overview

Bestselling author Robert Whitlow returns with an international legal drama that speaks to critical issues of our day.

“Compelling, realistic, and inspiring.” —Randy Singer, bestselling author of Rule of Law

“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation . . .”

During a terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a courageous mother sacrifices her life to save her four-year-old daughter, leaving behind a grieving husband and a motherless child.

Hana Abboud, a Christian Arab Israeli lawyer trained at Hebrew University, typically uses her language skills to represent international clients for an Atlanta law firm. When her boss is contacted by Jakob Brodsky, a young Jewish lawyer pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of the woman’s family under the US Anti-Terrorism laws, he calls on Hana’s expertise to take point on the case. After careful prayer, she joins forces with Jakob, and they quickly realize the need to bring in a third member for their team, an Arab investigator named Daud Hasan, based in Israel.

To unravel the case, this team of investigators travels from the streets of Atlanta to the alleys of Jerusalem, a world where hidden motives thrive, the risk of death is real, and the search for truth has many faces. What they uncover will forever change their understanding of justice, heritage, and what it means to be chosen for a greater purpose.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780718083045
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 11/06/2018
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 120,063
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Robert Whitlow is the bestselling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. He received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. Website: robertwhitlow.com; Twitter: @whitlowwriter; Facebook: robertwhitlowbooks.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Hana sang a few soft words as she organized the contract documents into separate file folders. Sensing someone's presence, she turned around. In the doorway stood Janet Dean, the assistant she shared with two other associates at the law firm.

"How many times have I told you that you sing like an angel?" Janet asked.

"A lot." Hana smiled. "And every time I feel embarrassed and encouraged."

"Was that Arabic or Hebrew? I want to guess. Let me hear a few more words."

In a slightly louder voice, Hana sang the next line of the song and stopped.

"It's Hebrew," Janet said emphatically. "I could tell because you were making that noise in your throat. Even that sounds beautiful when you do it."

"Arabic," Hana answered. "But don't feel bad. There is some similarity between the two languages."

"I'll keep guessing if you keep singing," Janet replied. "In the meantime, take that voice and brain of yours to conference room A for a meeting with Mr. Lowenstein."

"I'm supposed to be meeting in ten minutes with Mr. Collins and his group."

"Where you'll be listening, not participating. Gladys Applewhite says it's imperative you join Mr. Lowenstein. I'll take care of Mr. Collins."

"Okay. Who is going to be in conference room A?"

"You, Mr. Lowenstein, and a lawyer named Jakob Brodsky. I don't know why Lowenstein demanded you come at the drop of a hat."

Hana had adjusted to the assistant's Maine accent but still occasionally stumbled when the cheery woman threw in idiomatic American terms. It took her a moment to figure out what "drop of a hat" meant.

Janet continued, "Gladys says Brodsky wants to associate the firm in some kind of international personal injury case."

"Personal injury?" Hana asked. "Did a ship sink and injure someone?"

Leon Lowenstein's admiralty law practice often involved insurance claims for millions of dollars if cargo was lost or a ship damaged.

"Gloria didn't say," Janet answered. She lowered her voice. "But it sounds like pirates to me, which would be supercool so long as no one was killed or anything. They're going to show a video, and Mr. Lowenstein wants you there to see it. You'd better scoot if you don't want to be late. Don't worry about Mr. Collins."

The idea of a lawsuit involving pirates wasn't far-fetched. Shortly after Hana joined the firm, Mr. Lowenstein settled a claim for damages incurred in a piracy incident off the coast of Somalia. Hana brushed her hands across her dark gray skirt and adjusted her white blouse. Slender and fit, she was five feet six inches tall with long black hair, light brown skin, and dark brown eyes.

The exterior wall of conference room A was a continuous bank of windows that gave a panoramic view of the affluent Buckhead area of north Atlanta. A long glass table sat in the middle of the room.

Stocky and gray-haired, Leon Lowenstein stood in front of a large video screen attached to the wall. Beside him was a tall young man with short, curly black hair who wore a blue suit with snug European styling and a bright yellow tie. Mr. Lowenstein smiled when Hana appeared.

"Thanks for coming on short notice," he said. "This is Jakob Brodsky, a lawyer with a personal injury practice in Sandy Springs."

"Call me Jakob," the younger lawyer said, extending his hand to her.

"Hana Abboud."

"And you're Israeli?" Jakob asked with a puzzled glance at Mr. Lowenstein.

"But not Jewish," Mr. Lowenstein supplied. "Hana can explain."

"I'm an Arab Israeli who grew up near Nazareth in a town called Reineh and graduated from law school at Hebrew University in Jerusalem."

"And for the past year and a half she's worked in the international transaction section of the firm," Mr. Lowenstein added. "I thought about her after we spoke about your case."

"Are you sure this is a good idea for her to be here?" Jakob asked.

"Yes," the older lawyer said with a dismissive wave of his hand. "Hana isn't a Muslim. She has a Christian background."

This was familiar territory for Hana, but she had no clue why it was relevant to the meeting with Brodsky. She'd spent much of her life unraveling her history for people who immediately jumped to a long list of erroneous assumptions when first meeting her. She faced Jakob Brodsky.

"I'm a Christian who served two years in the national service program in lieu of military duty in the Israel Defense Forces," she said in a matter-of-fact tone of voice. "I'm an Israeli citizen who can vote, pay taxes, and receive benefits available to any other citizen of the country."

"Okay." Jakob shrugged and turned to Mr. Lowenstein. "Do I have your agreement that what I'm about to show you is subject to attorney-client privilege?"

"Certainly, but you've not been secretive about your involvement in this case," Mr. Lowenstein responded. "My assistant showed me the request you posted on the trial lawyers forum."

"I've had to cast a wide net looking for help."

Gladys Applewhite entered the room carrying a tray that held water, a pot of coffee, glasses, and cups. She placed the beverages in the middle of the table.

Jakob held up a flash drive. "The video footage is on here."

Mr. Lowenstein inserted the drive into a USB port. Hana poured a glass of water. The video contained a date and the names "Gloria and Sadie Neumann" alongside a frozen image that looked vaguely familiar to Hana. The senior lawyer handed the controller to Jakob.

"I'll run it through once without stopping," Jakob said. "We can back it up and do sections later. There's no audio." He pressed the play button.

"I know that place," Hana said after less than thirty seconds had passed. "It's Hurva Square in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem."

"Correct," Jakob replied. "The video is from a surveillance camera outside a shop that sells snacks and ice cream. It was recorded in late May four years ago. The shop is located at the southwest corner of the square."

Jakob had memorized every second of the eleven-minute video, yet it still had the irresistible power to draw him in. The black-and-white images were captured late on a Friday afternoon. People filled the square. Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men with beards and side curls, wearing long black coats and old-fashioned hats, walked quickly through the camera's line of sight. The religious men wore similar but not identical black garments, and varied black hats identified their rabbinic allegiance. Jakob had seen Haredim in Brooklyn, but his connection with any form of faith was tenuous, and he'd never attended synagogue. During the five years since he'd moved to Georgia from New York, he'd built his practice handling difficult cases other lawyers wouldn't touch. What got him out of bed in the morning was the chance to tackle a tough legal challenge.

The camera tracked scores of other people who looked no different from those getting off a subway in a major city. Six young Israel Defense Forces soldiers appeared: three men and three women, all with machine guns slung over their shoulders. Jakob looked at the Arab lawyer, whose face didn't change expression at the sight of the troops. A few seconds later a group of fifteen to twenty teenagers stopped in front of the shop.

"Is that a Nefesh B'Nefesh group?" Hana asked.

"What?" Jakob replied.

"A birthright tour for young Jews to visit Israel."

"Maybe, I'm not sure."

Two young Arab men, one in his late teens, the other several years younger, watched the young people. One of the group's chaperones turned sideways and revealed a handgun in a holster strapped to his waist. Four young people emerged from the shop with ice cream. The entire group moved away. The two young Arab men disappeared, too. Three other figures approached the ice cream shop.

"That's the Neumann family," Jakob said. "Ben, Gloria, and three-year-old Sadie. They're going into the store."

As the family moved out of sight, a second group of younger ultra-Orthodox men came by with their arms linked together.

"Was this on a Shabbat evening?" Hana asked. "The Haredim look like they're on their way to the Kotel, the Western Wall."

"Yes," Jakob replied, impressed with the lawyer's obvious familiarity with what they were watching. "The Western Wall is only about a quarter mile away."

The Neumann family reappeared. Gloria sat down and held an ice cream cone in front of Sadie, who licked it. Her husband walked away.

"Ben is going into a nearby shop to buy a necklace Gloria saw earlier but wouldn't let him purchase because she said it was too expensive," Jakob said.

"Stop!" Hana suddenly exclaimed, standing up. "If this is what I think it is, I don't want to watch it!"

Jakob pressed a button on the controller, and the scene froze with Sadie's mouth open as she leaned toward the ice cream. He looked at Hana, who continued to stare at the still images on the screen.

"Is this a terrorist attack?" she asked.

"Yes, and you should see it for yourself," Jakob said in a voice that sounded more callous than he intended. "It's compelling."

"I agree with Hana," Mr. Lowenstein interjected, shaking his head. "It's one thing to talk about events like this on the phone, but another to witness them so directly."

"Do you remember this attack?" Jakob asked the Arab lawyer.

"Only that it involved an American tourist. I was living in the UK at the time. There were multiple terrorist incidents in Israel during the few months I was away."

Hana's willingness to use the terrorist label caught Jakob's attention.

Mr. Lowenstein turned to Jakob. "If you'll excuse us for a few minutes," he said.

Suspecting that he'd wasted a trip, Jakob stepped forward to retrieve the flash drive.

"Would you leave the flash drive?" Mr. Lowenstein asked.

"I went through a lot to get this," Jakob replied. "I have copies, of course, but I'm not going to risk —"

"After I talk with Hana, I'll ask Gladys to bring you back in for a chat."

Jakob hesitated, then shrugged. "Okay," he said.

Jakob poured a cup of coffee to take with him. Mr. Lowenstein pressed a button on a conference station in the middle of the table.

"Gladys, please take Mr. Brodsky to conference room D for a few minutes."

CHAPTER 2

The conference room door closed.

"Mr. Lowenstein, I'm sorry, but —" Hana began.

"No," the senior partner interrupted, holding up his hand. "I apologize for not advising you about the purpose of the meeting. A close friend who knows the Neumann family called last week and asked me to meet with Brodsky. Bringing you in didn't cross my mind until Gladys told me he was in our reception area."

Mr. Lowenstein had always been courteous to Hana and made her feel welcome at the firm. The older lawyer and his wife had invited her to dinner at their beautiful home within a week of Hana's arrival in Atlanta. Later, Mrs. Lowenstein insisted that Hana sit next to her at a lavish catered dinner for one of the firm's biggest clients. Hana looked at the screen. The image of the child and the ice cream disappeared as the video went into sleep mode.

"Who died?" she asked.

"Gloria Neumann was killed by a terrorist."

Hana pressed her lips together for a moment so she could regain her professional composure. "What does Mr. Brodsky want?"

"To associate Collins, Lowenstein, and Capella as cocounsel in the case. This firm doesn't normally take on personal injury claims, and we have no experience in suits brought under the US antiterrorist laws. But we have a lot of expertise in piercing the corporate veil to uncover hidden assets. Do you remember the Harkins litigation? We unraveled three dummy companies, one that was offshore, and recovered over five million dollars for our client."

Hana recalled the firm-wide celebration and bonus checks issued when the case was resolved. She'd been in Atlanta only three weeks, yet she received an extra $1,000.

"Yes, sir."

"That's where this case will end up — uncovering a murky money trail. Brodsky wants to bring in a law firm that can finance the litigation in return for a percentage of recovery. Whether he's willing to admit it or not, he doesn't have the skill set to pursue complex litigation. Today is a preliminary step. I've not mentioned it to the partnership committee, which would have the final word."

Hana knew little about firm politics, but she suspected Mr. Lowenstein would have his way no matter what the other partners desired.

"And I'm not sure it would be approved even if I want to do it," Mr. Lowenstein continued.

"Really?" Hana asked in surprise.

"My name at the top of the letterhead counts for something," Mr. Lowenstein said, "but there are eight equity partners who would share the loss if we agreed to underwrite the litigation and didn't recover any damages. Taking on risk is not in their nature."

Hana suspected Mr. Collins would fall in the risk-averse category. Frank Capella, who worked in the securities law area, was more of a gambler.

Mr. Lowenstein checked his watch. "I don't want to leave Brodsky in the conference room too long," he said.

"Are you going to watch the video?" Hana asked.

"I have to review it in order to make up my own mind about presenting the case to the rest of the firm. But there's no need for you to see it. The last thing I want to do is give you bad dreams."

"Thanks," Hana said.

"And again, please accept my apology for not notifying you in advance about the purpose of the meeting."

"That's not necessary, Mr. Lowenstein. Terrorist attacks can occur anyplace in the world, but Israel is such a small country that when it happens there it feels close to home for everyone."

The senior partner pointed to the screen with the controller. "And this one reached all the way from Jerusalem to Atlanta."

Hana stood to leave the conference room as the image of Sadie Neumann about to enjoy the ice cream cone reappeared. She glanced at Mr. Lowenstein and hesitated. She looked again at the mother and daughter.

"How old was Gloria Neumann?" she asked.

"Thirty-one when this took place."

Hana's thirty-first birthday was only four months away. To celebrate, she was flying to Israel so she could spend ten days with her family and friends.

"And Sadie is their only child?"

"Yes," Mr. Lowenstein said. "Brodsky sent over a written summary if you'd like to read it."

Hana's jaw tightened. Either through watching the video or conducting a quick online search, she'd know the pertinent details in a few minutes.

"I don't want to watch it, but I can't get away from the thought that I should," she said, slowly sitting down.

Mr. Lowenstein raised his bushy eyebrows. "Are you sure?" he asked.

"Yes," Hana replied and nodded grimly.

She gripped the arms of the chair as Mr. Lowenstein pressed the play button. The video resumed. Hana held her breath as Sadie leaned in for a lick of ice cream. Several more bites followed. Hana forced herself to breathe. A man walked quickly past mother and daughter. Hana flinched. Nothing happened.

There was movement as several people ran past the place where Gloria and Sadie sat. Gloria suddenly stood up, and the ice cream fell from her hand to the ground. Two dark-clad figures, one taller than the other, flashed into the picture. The taller man raised his right hand in the air and brought it down toward Sadie. Gloria was able to turn her body enough to absorb the blow. From the angle of the camera, Hana couldn't see what the man had in his hand. But when he raised it again, it was clear that he was holding a large knife. He slashed it down from right to left. Gloria bowed down as it raked across her neck. The man quickly stabbed her again and she fell to the ground with Sadie beneath her. Grabbing the knife with both hands, the man raised it high, but before he could plunge it into the mother or the daughter, he crumpled to the ground on top of Gloria.

The shorter male figure standing beside the taller man during the attack spun around so that his face came into clear focus. He was an Arab boy, a teenager. Hana suddenly realized he was wearing a coat even though the temperature in Jerusalem in May could be sticky-hot. "He's wearing a suicide vest!" she cried out.

The boy reached inside the coat with his right hand and raised his left hand in the air. Nothing happened, and in a split second three soldiers wearing border patrol uniforms appeared with their weapons drawn. The boy dropped to the ground and lay flat with his arms extended above his head. One of the soldiers pulled Gloria Neumann from beneath the body of the man who'd stabbed her and another picked up Sadie, whose mouth was open in a silent scream. Mother and daughter were both covered in a dark substance that Hana knew was blood. She wanted to look away but couldn't. The images abruptly ended.

"That's all," Mr. Lowenstein said in a somber voice. "Gloria died three hours later at Hadassah Medical Center. There's no doubt she sacrificed herself to save her daughter."

"Was the girl hurt?" Hana asked.

"Sadie suffered a cut to the right side of her face. Brodsky included a photo of Sadie in the packet he sent for my review. You can still see the scar. It was a deep wound."

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Chosen People"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Robert Whitlow.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
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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Chosen People 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Cynthia181 5 months ago
I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild, I was not required to give a favorable review. This was a well written story, it tells of a Father & Daughter that lost their wife/mother in a terrorist attack while they were on vacation in Jerusalem. When they got to home they decided to file a lawsuit to help take care of medical expenses that the daughter will have to done to repair both the emotional & physical trauma she indured. This lawsuit brings together so many different religions together from the legal community. You will cry, believe and want to fight beside the lawyers and people trying to get the information they need. This was a beautifully written story and I am glad I was able to read it.
Angie Fehl 9 months ago
During a terrorist attack near the Western Wall area of Jerusalem, Gloria Neumann sacrifices herself to save her four year old daughter. Though the daughter survives, she is left disfigured and requiring psychological therapy in the aftermath. Later, in Atlanta, Georgia, lawyer Hana Abboud is contacted with an offer to possibly represent the family of Gloria Neumann. Under the US Anti-Terrorist laws, Gloria's husband would like to pursue a lawsuit. Hana teams up with Jewish lawyer Jakob Brodsky and Arab investigator Daud Hasan to find justice for the family. Though adult Hana identifies as Christian, she has a personal connection to this case because she had a Middle Eastern upbringing and studied law at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. If you're familiar with Robert Whitlow's novels, you likely know he's pretty much the John Grisham of the Christian Fiction genre. No surprise then when I tell you that there is a heaping helping of legalese in this story. The plot gets an extra layer of complexity as well with Whitlow incorporating discussion of international laws. Personally, I struggle with Whitlow's writing style. His writing reads a little dry for my taste, so I often have a hard time connecting with characters. This books was no exception, though I will say that Sadie, the little girl, was a very cute character to get to know. The adults though.... a little stale. While the topic was a decent one to write a novel around, I felt the scenarios the characters were put in were often a little too contrived, their reactions to their environments or experiences even a little silly at times. FTC Disclaimer: TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.
luvnjesus 12 months ago
“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation....” Hana Abboud, a Christian Arab Israeli who practices law in Georgia is asked to represent a family whose wife and daughter were killed by terrorists in Jerusalem. When her boss is contacted by Jakob Brodsky, a young Jewish lawyer who is pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of the women’s family under the US Anti-terrorism laws, he calls on Hana’s expertise to take the case. The case involves finding parties involved in terrorism and bringing them monetarily to accountability. They must dig into the past of the terrorist and find connections. The plot deals with the realistic, gritty and horrifying world of terrorism, but shines a light on the importance of faith and hope. I’d recommend this book to suspense and romance lovers. I fell in love with the characters, little did Hana and Jakob know the impact this case would have on their own lives. Jakob finding his life in danger, find’s Christ and Hanna knowing the gospel finds grace. BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review
NadineTimes10 More than 1 year ago
This was my first time reading this author who's been on my radar for a few years. The mix of heritages and ethnicities drew me to this legal drama, Jakob being Jewish and Hana being a Christian Arab Israeli living in America. I once read an enlightening memoir written by an Arab Orthodox Christian and Israeli-Palestinian-Arab citizen, so I was as interested in learning more about Hana's character as I was in finding out about the case at the center of the novel. The reading was slow going for me, taking a few tries and about half the book before I really got into it. I didn't find the plot development as tight or gripping as I would have liked. The writing style isn't quite as sharp as I'll admit I expected, and certain explanations throughout the book are like little info-dumps. One of the romantic storylines is rather rushed and trite, developed through clichés. It also seems to force (rush) the romantic characters into their ending. Unless a book is a romance novel where a certain kind of ending is mandatory, I think love stories are sometimes more poignant and believable when they're left a bit open-ended, without major, permanent commitments or a happy wrap-up that seems like it should have at least taken more time. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the international legal suspense in this novel. I'll likely read more by this author in the future. ___________ BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
connywithay More than 1 year ago
“I had to convince Anzor there was nothing between us to keep him from becoming suspicious of my loyalties and killing you,” Hana is told in Robert Whitlow’s novel, Chosen People. ~ What ~ This four-hundred-and-forty-eight-page paperback targets those interested in fiction that combines international law and terrorism. With no profanity, the topics of physical abuse, torture, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The New International Version of the Holy Bible is referenced. The ending includes acknowledgments, ten discussion questions, advertisements, and the author’s biography. Set mainly in current day Atlanta and Jerusalem, the tale has Hana Abboud as a Christian Arab Israeli lawyer who is asked to help search for a non-governmental defendant to sue for damages when a young mother is killed in a terrorist attack. Trying to understand American idiomatic terms, the single, self-determined attorney hires a private investigator in Israel to help her and her law partner track down the killer and potentially uncover the terrorist cell involved. The three have to work together to learn the who and why of the attack that leaves a little girl scarred physically and emotionally. ~ Why ~ This progressive story explains the legal side of international terrorism while exposing a women’s belief and trust in the true God to protect her and those she cares for while uncovering the truth. I enjoyed reading about the differences between Israeli Jews and Arabs and details of the Western Wall and one of the supposed sites of the Garden Tomb. Weaving in the emotional distress the protagonist has toward her client’s daughter is well written and touching, focusing on the tragedy and effects of terrorism. Including romantic and bantering tones among the three characters helps keep the brevity of the horrible topic of murder. ~ Why Not ~ Those who do not like espionage, terrorism, and Christian morals and viewpoints will not appreciate this read. Others who promote pro-Arab terrorism may find it offensive to their beliefs. Some may not enjoy books with law and justice overtones. A few may not like the glory encounters and dream interpretations. ~ Wish ~ Including a map and list of characters may help some readers. I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. ~ Want ~ If you are fascinated with how Arabs, Israelis, and Americans deal with terrorism, this is an engaging read that has twists and turns. With it being the first book I have read by the author, I will be looking forward to reading more of his works. Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.
GrandaddyA More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed every Robert Whitlow book that I have read, which includes every one I have been able to get my hands on. I watch for his new releases because I know the story will be good. In this case, the title also captured my imagination. Knowing that the Bible refers to the Jews as God’s chosen people, I checked the back cover to see how that played into this story. The author did not disappoint as he wove a beautiful story of a young Christian Arab Israeli lawyer and her work with a Jewish lawyer and an Arab investigator to search out the truth behind the murder of an American woman in Jerusalem. She was visiting there with her husband and young daughter when two terrorists attacked her and her daughter. The mother lost her life while protecting her daughter who was seriously injured. Was it a lone-wolf attack, or were there some deep pockets somewhere funding the terrorists? The goal was to find the deep pockets, if they existed, and make them pay dearly in reparations for the loss of life and the anguish and pain to the family. Beyond the powerful suspense, the aspect of the story that had the greatest effect on me was the impact that the trips to Jerusalem had on the main characters. Although he was not one of the main characters, my favorite was Uncle Anwar. He only appears in the story a few times but each time, his appearance seems to be for a specific purpose. Watch for him as you read this inspiring story.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Another winner from Robert Whitlow... Chosen People By Robert Whitlow Anyone who has read Robert Whitlow's books in the past (or seen one of the movies based upon them) knows that he doesn't shy away from the issues of the day. Well, Chosen People is no exception and it is an emotionally engaging read from the cover to cover. From the cover, you can tell that there is something a little different as Jerusalem is the featured image. This book transitions between Atlanta, Georgia, and Jerusalem as a nearly four-year-old terrorist attack is the subject of a lawsuit. When Hana Abboud's law firm is approached by Jakob Brodsky, a young Jewish lawyer, to be co-counsel in a lawsuit for the family of an American woman killed in a terrorist attack at the Western Wall, Hana has reservations. But upon meeting the woman's young daughter Sadie, Hana feels lead to take part in this suit. But before they can proceed they need the investigative services of someone who calls the region home and using her connections from home Hana is able to secure the services of Daud Hasan. With seemingly random events in Atlanta having a link to their investigation in Jerusalem Jakob and Hana find their lives in danger before leaving the country. And what they find in Jerusalem will change their understanding of everything. I really liked Hana's insights into being a Christian Arab Israeli it offers a view into this world that is often overlooked in the media hype stories. I also liked Jakob and his growth as a person as a direct result of his time in Isreal and his interactions with Hana and Daud. There are times when it becomes hard to know just who can be trusted and who has ulterior motives where this case is concerned. But overall I highly recommend this newest offering from Robert Whitlow. It would make an excellent book club selection as there is much worth discussing. If you are a fan of legal fiction and don't want to jump into a series Robert Whitlow is perfect as most of his books are stand-alone titles. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher through BookLook Bloggers with no expectations but offering my honest opinion - all thoughts expressed are my own.
PianoLady831 More than 1 year ago
Chosen People is the first of Robert Whitlow’s books that I’ve read, and it is impressive. I obviously can’t compare it to his previous books, but I understand that with its backdrop of Islamic terrorism, the theme and pacing are different. Chosen People is well written, suspenseful and entertaining, but also relevant and compelling. I was intrigued by Hana Abboud, a Christian Arab Israeli working in an Atlanta law firm. That combination of faith and nationality is something I had never thought about. In Hana’s words, “More and more Christian Arabs, especially in my generation, identify as Israelis even though we’re not Jewish.” Whitlow’s passion for the subject matter and knowledge of the Middle East is off the charts, and one of this book’s strengths is all that I learned. I thought I had a decent understanding of the Middle East, but Whitlow’s writing opened my mind up to a new awareness and clarity. From that standpoint alone, I’d like to read this book again, just to see what I might have missed and take in even more. The idea of bringing a lawsuit to hold the perpetrators of terrorism accountable is also intriguing, and might also be a dangerous undertaking. The danger started on American soil, then picked up dramatically once the characters reached the Middle East. Suspense runs high and it’s not obvious who can be trusted. Young Sadie, daughter of a victim who sacrificed her life for Sadie, captured this reader’s heart. There’s also a romantic thread that I enjoyed. The diversity of faith and cultures – Christian, Jewish, Muslim – made the story so realistic. Hana’s love for the Lord and her spiritual witness is truly inspiring. And in thinking of God’s chosen people, Whitlow imparts so much to reflect upon. Even if this book isn’t in the style you usually enjoy, it is well worth reading. Highly recommended. I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this suspenseful story that takes place in Atlanta and Jerusalem. There were many twists and turns before we know if there is someone that can be sued for a terrorist killing of a mother. I loved the characters and liked the bit of romance in the story. I enjoyed also learning a bit of different culture. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Ourpugs More than 1 year ago
Chosen people This is fast reading book where Hana is a lawyer that speaks several languages and is from Israel. There was a terrorist attack on a mother and her young daughter, the daughter is left without a mother. Sadie the young girl was my favorite part of the book and also the puppy that Hana finds. To me the book kinda left me wandering if there if there was going to be more in a future book but I don’t believe it is a series. There was one guy in the book that wasn’t sure if he was a bad guy or good guy. This is a type of a thriller book, not really one I normally read but it did keep me interested. I received an advanced copy of the book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write an positive review. This is my own opinion.
annelr More than 1 year ago
Chosen People by Robert Whitlow is an intriguing legal thriller. Having read a number of this author's books I was very interested in reading this one and was not disappointed. Mr. Whitlow knows how to write legal fiction with action, intrigue, and a number of twists to the plot that increase the suspense and keep a reader's interest high. The premise of the book could be taken right from news headlines as the focus is on a terrorist incident that happened in Israel and how to hold the terrorists accountable, to bring justice and closure to the American family involved. The characters are a diverse mix--a secular American Jewish lawyer, a Christian Arab Israeli lawyer working in the United States, and an Arab Israeli private investigator; young children and old uncles; American Uber drivers and Israeli taxi drivers. The mix of nationalities and religions add depth to the story and the author gives good insight into those differences and the impact those differences make on the every-day lives of Arabs and Israelis living in Israel. Readers are given a glimpse of Israel as the characters travel there to begin their investigation into the incident and Whitlow describes well a number of places in Israel. Having recently traveled to Israel, I found his descriptions to be accurate and able to draw me back into the scenes. I liked how throughout the story Hana's faith is strong as she turns to God for wisdom and guidance. She recognizes that her heritage and ethnicity is not what defines her but her relationship with God transforms everything about who she is and how she relates to others, regardless of their heritage or ethnicity. A good lesson for each of us to learn. Chosen People is a great read as it weaves together a story of terrorism, the intricacies of international justice, and personal faith. I received a complimentary copy of this book via CelebrateLit. A favorable review was not required and opinions are my own. This review is part of a CelebrateLit blog tour.
BMace More than 1 year ago
What an introduction to a new author! As one who normally reads historical fiction, I loved the details of history in Hana's family, all the wonderful details from Israel and the Biblical truths thrown into the mix. Terrorism is real in our world, even if we feel safe in our cities and towns here in America. I can't imagine visiting an ice cream shop and watching someone be attacked and killed. The intrigue, romance, mystery and spiritual warfare kept me at the edge of my seat. Was it even possible to find out who was behind the attack in Hurva Square and thus seek damages for those left behind? A mugging, car bomb and abduction all create questions about who really is involved and are international players included. I loved the fact that redemption happens wherever you are regardless of who you are. I received this ARC through CelebrateLit and this review gives my personal impressions and opinions.
BMace More than 1 year ago
What an introduction to a new author! As one who normally reads historical fiction, I loved the details of history in Hana's family, all the wonderful details from Israel and the Biblical truths thrown into the mix. Terrorism is real in our world, even if we feel safe in our cities and towns here in America. I can't imagine visiting an ice cream shop and watching someone be attacked and killed. The intrigue, romance, mystery and spiritual warfare kept me at the edge of my seat. Was it even possible to find out who was behind the attack in Hurva Square and thus seek damages for those left behind? A mugging, car bomb and abduction all create questions about who really is involved and are international players included. I loved the fact that redemption happens wherever you are regardless of who you are. I received this ARC through CelebrateLit and this review gives my personal impressions and opinions.
nfam More than 1 year ago
Legal Compensation for a Terrorist Attack Hana Abboud is an Arab Christian from Israel practicing international law in Atlanta, Georgia. Jakob Brodsky, a secular Jewish lawyer, takes on cases no one else will touch. Ben Neuman comes to him about an incident that happened six years ago. His wife was killed in a terrorist attack in Israel and his daughter severely injured. No other attorney wants to take the case, but Hana’s law firm is big enough to bank roll some of the expenses. They agree to be co-counsel on the case if Hana accepts the lead. Hana is convinced by Ben’s daughter. She wants to see the girl get justice. Hana and Jakob travel to Israel to research the case. They hire Daud Hasan, an Arab Christian investigator. Daud seems to know all the right people. The trio works well together, but the danger is everywhere. Jakob learns about it first hand when he is severely beaten outside a friend’s apartment in Atlanta. This is a fast paced international legal thriller. The plot is compelling. Getting compensation for people killed or injured in a terrorist attack is an interesting idea. The legal aspects are presented in easily understandable language. The best part of the book is the description of life in Israel under the constant threat of terrorist attacks. The descriptions of areas around Jerusalem are excellent. The characters are compelling. I particularly liked Hana. She is brave enough to tackle the case although she fears the terrorists. She is supported by her faith which she lives everyday The story has romance, but it’s not the driving force in the narrative. It’s nice to read about romantic love without the sexual advances. I highly recommend this book. It’s timely and well worth a read. It makes you think about the effects of terrorism on ordinary lives. I received this book from BookLook Bloggers for this review.
Deana0326 More than 1 year ago
This has been one of the most intriguing books I've read. It starts innocently about a law firm wanting to sue for the death of a woman. What entails is a much more in depth look at Islamic terrorism and details of a culture we very rarely get a peek into. The author is very versed in his description of Jerusalem. I walked beside the characters as they visited the empty tomb. I could feel the overwhelming peace as they each took a turn going into the room where the tomb was. The author has always been a gifted writer, but this book has shot him to the top of master story telling. The story is very detailed and I loved following alongside Hana as she investigated a tragedy that we only hear about on the news. The details of the crime were vivid and it enhanced the brutality of the murder. Hana is a very determined woman who impressed me with her faith. I usually talk about the different characters in my review , but for this book I want to concentrate on the story itself. The author is very gifted in weaving a story about terrorism that involves a lawsuit that reaches far across the waters. There is definitely danger in the story and I wasn't sure who to trust. The twists the author puts in makes the story suspenseful and one that keeps you on your toes. I have to say I felt like I was watching a movie because the authors words are so powerful and vivid. The saying " A picture is worth a thousand words" would be almost perfect to describe the book. However the story is many more words that took me away to a realistic view of what terrorism and betrayal looks like. I have often wondered what it would be like to visit Jerusalem and with the help of the author I felt like I was there placing my hand on the wall. I could hear the prayers that wailed from the people as they placed their hands upon the wall. Yes, I loved the book not so much for the characters, even though they were well written. I loved the book because the author doesn't sugar coat anything in re guards to Jesus. He is not in your face about Jesus, but in a compassionate way, reveals how much Jesus loves all people. Yes I said all. The story is a good suspenseful book which keeps the tension going. The author has gotten my full attention with this outstanding story of deceit, loyalty, terrorism, compassion and chalked full of interesting facts about a country we all need to pray for. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
FHlady More than 1 year ago
Robert Whitlow is known for his legal thrillers, and his newest release certainly doesn't disappoint. He always seems to write about things that are current topics. This book focuses on compensation for those killed or injured in a terrorist attack. Whitlow's writing is fast paced and includes amazing characters. With twists, turns, and unexpected surprises the suspense doesn't stop. His characters are masterfully woven into the plot line and each one plays an important part in the story. Faith also plays a key role in each of their lives. Hana Abboud is an Arab Christian international law lawyer practicing in Atlanta Georgia. Jakob Brodsky is a non practicing Jewish lawer who handles personal injury cases. Daud Hasan, an Arab Christ, is an Israeli private investigator. The three find themselves working together on a case that Jakob has taken on. Ben Neumann has lost his wife and his 6 year old daughter sustained facial injuries during a terrorist attack in Jerusalem, and he is now pursuing reparations. Little did Hana, Jakob and Daud know what lengths terrorists would attempt in order to stop their investigation and prosecution. High paced, riveting read definitely for those who like action packed suspense. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
KimPotter More than 1 year ago
Chosen People by Robert Whitlow is a stand-alone legal novel. Gloria Neumann is killed during a terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Now, Jacob Brodsky, a Jewish lawyer, is pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of the family and needs help from Hanna Abboud, a Christian Arab Israeli lawyer based in Atlanta. The case quickly takes them from Georgia to the streets of Jerusalem where the risk of death is everywhere. I loved being able to travel along to Israel, a country I’ve not had a chance to visit. The encounters with all the secret organizations in Israel kept me interested to see what happened next. The spiritual content was expertly woven in with the story. The legal aspect of the lawsuit/storyline was handled very well. I was afraid that with this being a legal thriller that there would be a lot of legal talk, but there wasn’t. I wasn’t bored at all. It is a very well-written story. I received this book from the Celebrate-Lit in exchange for my honest review.
SBMC More than 1 year ago
This is the first book by Robert Whitlow that I have read and now I completely understand all the buzz surrounding his books. Though not my go-to genre, I have enjoyed well-written legal thrillers and Robert Whitlow certainly knows how to write an intriguing story full of suspense and plot twists, stemming from a horrible crime and a pending lawsuit. The narrative is somewhat matter-of-fact and slightly detached but the dialogue is funny and genuine and leads to development of the main characters. The plot and the setting take main stage in the book and you will be transported to a completely different world where each clue that is unearthed during the lawsuit investigation will leave more questions until the end. The characters in the book are quite unique - Hana is a Christian Arab Israeli lawyer who is temporarily working in the US and Jakob is a first-generation Russian cultural Jew who works as a lawyer for the underdogs. They are both passionate about helping those who have no one to help them and get involved in trying to find justice and resolution for the family of a woman who was killed in a terrorist attack while visiting Israel. The author tackles the serious issue of terrorism as well as racism in this book. Hana’s faith is real and tangible and Jakob’s journey to faith is admirable and touching. If you enjoy legal drama, you will definitely enjoy this book. I was given a copy of the book from Thomas Nelson via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
magnificentk More than 1 year ago
This is the first novel I have read by Robert Whitlow, so I guess Chosen People has made me an instant fan. I enjoyed the fast-paced tension-filled drama, but fell in love with the characters. Hana Abboud’s journey to seek justice for a little girl created a touching story line. The setting of the story comes alive to the reader as Hana and Jakob Brodsky seek to find the truth about a terrorist incident in Israel. The novel’s plot deals with the realistic, gritty and horrifying world of terrorism, but shines a light on the importance of faith and hope. I’d recommend this book to suspense lovers (with a bit of romance too.) I received an ebook review copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
directorgirl11386 More than 1 year ago
As many of you know I have been receiving some amazing books. A few days ago I was Chosen People touches on a variety of topics including terrorism, crime, sex trafficking, lawsuits, culture differences, religion, relationships. Robert Whiltow takes you on the journey of two lawyers, Jakob Brodsky and Hana Abboud representing the Neumann family. They are hoping to find enough evidence so they can pursue the lawsuit under the US Anti-Terrorism statues. Hana was born in Reineh in Jerulsuam and moved Atlanta to hone in on her legal skills. The plot has lots of twists some I predicted others surprised me. There was a good about of backstory and depth to the characters sometimes too much. There was a lot of repeated information. I couldn't help but feel for each character. However, I found this book to move a little on the slow side and at times confusing. I believe it is because there was a lot lecturing about the differences between America culture vs. Jewish and Arab cultures. As well as Christianity and Muslim. This made me really want to skim the pages, but every time I did skim a page or two I got lost. For instance, individual pet ownership was less common in Isreal than in the US, and there were no domestic animals in the large house in Reineh where Hana grew up. Most of the dogs she saw as a child were half-wild animals that foraged on household garbage. Unlike American, Arab families members didn't own separate houses they all live in the same house by adding rooms and floors to the existing structure. It got me thinking about how fortunate I am to be an American citizen. Chosen People gets you thinking about Christianity and Muslim Religion. Robert Whiltow stated in the fact that the only country with a rise in Christianity is the Middle East. The concept of God's mercy was common in Islam, but the Qur'an contained only a few references to divine love, all linked to the performance of religious duties. God's unconditional love didn't exist in the Islamic World. I found this book to be more about forcing Christianity than about the story itself. The idea of lawyers trying to investigate a terrorist attack is a great concept, I just wished it focused more on the story and less on the preaching religion, culture, and languages. I can't help but also think this is a powerful book in the fact it does get you thinking about what people go through in other cultures. The most important topic it expresses is even though bad events happen there are people out there who are full of hope and love especially when you put God in your life. I wanted to love this book, but I didn't love this book, however, I did like this book. If I read this book from the library I would not go out and buy it to add to my bookshelf. If you are a pastor, professor or any careers you want people to think about cultures this would be a great book for that.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
A lot of times I will request to review a book and it’s a couple of months until I actually do review it. Such was the case with this book. As I read the backcover copy to remind myself what this book was about I wondered why I wanted to read it. But I opened it up and began reading…and didn’t put it down for a long time. This book is very good. I appreciated all of the diversity in cultures in the characters. That was a driving component of this book. I will say sometimes I felt like it was pointed out redundantly but it didn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of this book. It is very timely, with the issues our world is dealing with but brings it to a much more real level as it relates to one family. Overall, I highly recommend this book, a very interesting read. A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.
Joy Hunt More than 1 year ago
3 Confessions of a Biased Reviewer Confession #1: I almost didn't sign up to review Chosen People Let me 'splain.    My background is in Middle Eastern studies. My heart is for Christians to build better friendships with Muslims. I love Jewish people and I love Muslim people.  But when Christians talk about modern Israel, we tend to...make the complex too simple.  There. That's what it is.  These are usually wonderful, loving, well-meaning people, and I love them a lot.  Usually they just don't have the right tools in their toolbox, because I've watched some of these people open their eyes and learn to love their Muslim neighbors over the course of just a few weeks in a class.  But when they make the complex too simple, sometimes it gets in the way of building good relationships with Muslims OR Jews OR Christians from the Middle East.  I've even seen some things in Christian fiction that made me cringe. And so when I saw a title like Chosen People, well, you can guess what I thought.  This was going to be another one of those.  I didn't want to sign up to review a book that I knew I would disagree with, so I didn't sign up. And then I got curious, and read the back cover copy.  I saw that the leading lady was an Arab-Israeli (some people don't realize those exist!), and I got curious.  A story told from her perspective could go in some interesting directions.  So against my better judgment, I signed up to review it. Confession #2: Robert Whitlow "Got Me" at Least Twice Did you get "gotten" by any gotchas around Halloween?  I did.  Not many. I don't scare easily, and I don't really do Halloween.  But I logged into my OhmConnect account and something screamed I think.  I was alone and just about jumped out of my skin. But books don't usually surprise me.  I  just...well, I read a lot, and I kind of know how the stories go.  But this Whitlow guy that wrote Chosen People?  He succeeded in making me go back and forth on whether one character was a "good guy..." and just when I had made up my mind one way, everything flipped around again. As a suspense, it "got me," and as a romance, it wasn't what I expected.  I think in a good way, though I'm still not sure if I wanted it to go a different way.  I can't say more without those icky spoilers.  I will say this...the romance that did happen?  I really liked most of the way it happened.  It has a different flavor with all the cultural bits that come up in this book.  It felt familiar in a good way to my Middle-Eastern-people-loving heart. Confession #3: Chosen People was nothing like I expected. Especially the treatment of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  He didn't make the complex too simple.  He didn't swing to extremes that don't leave room for the truth (or JESUS).  He didn't sweep things under the rug.  He let the crunchy stuff be crunchy and real.  Which is actually MY style. To my surprise, I have to recommend this book. If you like suspense, it'll get you too.  If you like romance, it's there, but if you don't, the romance element is not too thick or feely.  But regardless of what you like to read, you should read this book because you'll start to see the world through someone else's eyes.  And that, my friend, will make you a little more like Jesus, who stepped into our world, not just with his eyes, but with his whole being. Also, I really loved eavesdropping on Hana's prayer life.  Just saying. I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Christianfictionandmore More than 1 year ago
Robert Whitlow's legal suspense stories never fail to intrigue. His knowledge of our country's legal system adds credibility to his novels. In Chosen People Whitlow demonstrates that his knowledge is not limited to our country's borders, as this book is set in both the U.S. and the Middle East. Whitlow confronts the need to hold those who fund terrorism accountable. He also gives his readers a glimpse into the complexity of being a Christian of Middle Eastern heritage. Hana Abboud, a Christian Arab Israeli, practices law at a firm in Atlanta, Georgia. Because of her knowledge of the languages and cultures of the area, Hana is asked to represent the firm in a case involving the death of an American woman killed by terrorists in Jerusalem. Hana would be working with an attorney from a small firm, Jakob Brodsky, a secular Jew from a Russian background, who had approached a senior partner of the larger firm about being co-counsel in the case. Their first order of business would be to uncover connections between the terrorists and a funding entity who would then be sued. Little did Hana and Jakob know the impact this case would have on their own lives. I would recommend Chosen People, and indeed any book by this author, to fans of mysteries and suspense. Whitlow's work appeals to both men and women. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
susanwalkergirl More than 1 year ago
Chosen People by Robert Whitlow – Intrigue, Suspense & Interesting Characters – A Story That Kept Me Guessing to the End One of my favorite authors that I’ve discovered in recent years is Robert Whitlow. If he writes a new book, I want read. I’m so glad that I was able to read Robert’s newest release Chosen People. This book is a little different than other novels I’ve read by Robert Whitlow. Like his other books, it involves attorneys and law, but Chosen People is set against the backdrop Islamic terrorism. It includes characters that are from the Middle East and shows the impact of terrorism at a personal level. Hana Abboud, an attorney working at law firm in Atlanta, is from Israel and is of Arab descent and a Christian which adds some interesting dynamics and cultural views to the storyline. Jakob Brodsky, a secular Jewish attorney has agreed to help Ben Neumann and his daughter Sadie bring a lawsuit against any organization or company that funded the terrorists that left his wife Gloria dead and their daughter Sadie seriously injured. With her background and experience in Israel, Hana is the right attorney to handle this case, if she’s willing. Jakob is going to batt for a family that may not have much of a case to stand on, much less the deep pockets necessary to handle the comprehensive research and to track down people who funded these morally reprehensible murderers. Will there be any justice for the Neumann family? Will the big law firm be willing to take a risk on this case which may go no where or run into many costly obstacles along the way? Will Hana be willing to take on a case that will bring up ugly savage images that will never leave her memory? How will she be able to handle this case long distance from Atlanta? Who will she be able to trust to be her boots on the ground in Israel to investigate the terrorists who perpetrated this savage attack? Was Jakob’s attack related to the investigation, or was it just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Mixed into the storyline is faith, Christian, Jewish, Islamic and agnostic. I enjoyed the likable characters, found the storyline intriguing and suspenseful as people put their lives on the line to investigate and bring terrorists and those that support them to justice. I give Chosen People a big thumbs up and recommend it highly. Robert Whitlow knows how to write great fiction, from interesting characters to a storyline that weaves together intrigue, suspense and faith. This one kept me guessing to the end. I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Robert Whitlow’s new book Chosen People in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.