Book Review – And the Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee

Book Review – And the Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee

by Julia Wilson 0 Comments

Book Review – And the Wolf Shall Dwell

by Joni Dee

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

4 Bloggers Reviews

Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
Rodney Strong
BookGobbler top reviewer
Brittany
Brittany’s
Pages
Maureen Carden
BookGobbler top reviewer

 


Book Review by Julia Wilson

Waiting. Watching.

And The Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee is a marvellous political thriller that will have you glued and guessing from the start. With the action twisting this way and that, backwards and forwards, the reader is in for a thrilling ride throughout the novel. This was not my usual genre But I really could not put it down. It’s great to explore something new that you then love.

And The Wolf Shall Dwell deals with spies, intelligence, counter intelligence, espionage and terrorism. It is a cleverly constructed plot that draws the reader in. I was questioning from the start. Joni Dee’s style engages the reader in the novel. I ‘felt’ included in the action. As I ‘met’ the characters, I found myself mentally assessing them and wondering – who could be trusted?

And The Wolf Shall Dwell has some fabulous themes including trust, power and greed. “All heading towards the City in an obsessive pursuit of money that would bring neither joy nor happiness” Joni Dee explores how people with a warped lust for money and power will do anything for self advancement. They care not for others, using and abusing them along the way, so long as their back is covered.

With the action hopping from 1990 to present day and across countries and evoking old alliances, the reader does well to keep up with the action. I absolutely loved it as I tried to join the dots along the way.

Joni Dee has a vivid imagination that not only entertains but also raises the question in the reader’s mind that fiction could possibly become fact in this strange world that we live in. This should strike terror into the heart of all.

The locations came vividly to life with descriptions that painted pictures in my mind. I found the main character charming in a very British way, and his side kick was likeable and lovable with his youth and naivety. He was a breath of fresh air. The villains drew a sneer from my lips as I participated in the novel – although at times I wasn’t sure who could be trusted.

And The Wolf Shall Dwell is a fantastic debut novel. It would make a fabulous BBC drama, having the ‘feel’ of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy to it. I picture Daniel Craig in the leading role!

This is a book that cries out to be read. Whatever genre you normally read, open your eyes and mind to something new, and read And The Wolf Shall Dwell today. And if political thrillers are your usually read – you do not want to miss this one. It’s appeal is for male and female, young and old – whatever you are in to, And The Wolf Shall Dwell is a fabulous read. I cannot wait for book two. More, more, more please Joni Dee.

I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


Originally Posted on The Christian Bookaholic Blog

 

And The Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee

 


Book Review by Rodney Strong

I look forward to seeing what’s next for him

And The Wolf Shall Dwell is a thriller set mainly in London.  John is unwillingly drawn into the world of espionage thanks to a chance encounter with a man moments before he is killed.  From there his life spins out of control as he encounters the world of spies, terrorism, and it’s clear he will never be the same.

The characters in the book are well written, and there are some really nice descriptive pieces through out.  You really get a sense of the world they live in, from the buildings to the people, everything is well fleshed out.

The book follows a number of characters as the action unfolds, and while that may suit some people, I personally found it distracting and difficult to know who the protagonist was.  If it was John and Adam then they were missing for long periods of time so it was hard to build up empathy for them when there was so much else going on.

There were some issues with tenses throughout which was a little distracting and a tendency by the author to tell the reader things rather than incorporating them into the story.  There was a lot of information to pass on and most of it important to the story, but too often the action stopped while the reader is given background on something, which I personally found frustrating, as I just wanted to get on with the story.

All in all it was a solid read, and I think the author has real potential in this genre.  I look forward to seeing what’s next for him.

3 out of 5 stars.


 

Britanny's Pages Book Review by Brittany

Overall And the Wolf Shall Dwell is such an exciting ride!

I haven’t read that many spy novels in my life, and since I cannot think of a single title at the moment the number must be on the low side. I’ve seen James Bond movies and the like over the years, so I know a bit of what to expect. My original thought going into this was how someone could bring all the secrecy and complexity of a spy story and bring it into a book was beyond me. But Joni Dee nailed it! I loved this book so much! If I didn’t have a full time job to keep me away from reading, I would have devoured this book in less than day.

Yochanan, or John, is a computer programmer living in London. His mind is focused on his company’s release of a new computer program that can help financial companies buy, sell, and trade stocks. John’s day suddenly turns unexpected when an older man plows into him at a subway station. Two men in dark coats come into the station after him. The man tells John a cryptic message before he gets up and takes off toward the trains. As John rights himself, he hears the sound of a train squealing on his breaks, the older man has fallen to his death in the subway.
The man turns out to be an old acquaintance of retired super spy, Adam Grey. Grey was to meet with his informant the day of his death. With the help of John, they discover a plot to bring a Russian nuclear professor out of hiding. With the fear of a new nuclear threat, Gray, John, and a whole cast of spy characters, must put a stop to corruption and destruction.

I love the way this book is written, it’s not too heavy with complicated politics and spy material. It seems light-hearted, but serious at the same time. There are some very difficult moments in this book. But it is all handled very well.
I love John. He is definitely a relatable character. He is excited to meet a real spy and then he discovered a hidden package all by himself! He brings it to Grey, but as soon as they know about it, Grey and John find themselves running from gun fire in Chelsea. John definitely wants nothing to do with anything now that his life is in danger. I can related to that. I would love to be a spy! But at the same time, I don’t want bullets flying at me, and let’s not talk about potentially jumping across a building.
I learned a bit more about the structure of English government. I am a historical, British Royalty junkie, but getting an inside look at how the modern government works and is structured is very interesting.
Overall And the Wolf Shall Dwell is such an exciting ride! It gets 4/5 stars.

*Thank you Book Gobbler and Joni Dee for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review


Originally Posted on Britanny’s Pages


 

Book Review by Maureen Carden

A Welcome New Voice

I have a weakness for spy thrillers. I have a weakness for English spy thrillers and Israeli spy thrillers. So imagine my delight when I was handed a book that combines elements of both; new author, new series even better.
An old source contacts his retired handler, Adam Grey. Later, while running for his life, the old source knocks over an Israeli computer maven working in London leaving him a garbled message. Through the wonders of CCTV and facial recognition software the Israeli, John Daniel, is identified and contacted by the former SIS agent, Adam Grey. Grey has been tasked by internal security elements of SIS to discover the meaning of the out- of- the- blue contact and later the message he leaves behind. It looks like some elements of SIS have gone rogue and embarked on a dangerous game of their own.
This is a concisely told story, with not too much extraneous detail, the type of detail that can bog down a story. However, Dee took a few trips back into the past to remind of us a history where hope was actually possible, first in Russia when Yeltsin and the citizenry stood up against the Gang of Eight and to Ramallah in the West Bank in the period between the Oslo Peace Accords and the second Intifada. A time when both peace in Russia and prosperity in Ramallah were on the rise. A heartbreaking reminder, but so necessary to help show why Western Europeans are now experiencing what Israelis have experienced most of their lives.
Dee tells a complete tale, slowly building the tension while developing his characters, enough of the characters that I was left intrigued and wanting to know more about them. I will say every now and then the John Daniel character seemed just a bit wimpy now and then, even for a civilian.
The story switches back in time from 1990 to present day. Sometimes I had a bit of trouble following the time switches.
I am fascinated by detail Dee gives at the workings of Britain’s government and their security services. Ad a Yank I am still confused at the Parliamentary system. As to the accuracy of his SIS scenes, I don’t know, but they sure sound accurate to me.
I had to smile when one of the characters was bemoaning the lack of secrecy concerning Vauxhall Cross, the SIS HQ. Umm, that ship has sailed, it’s been blown up in a Bond film and had been shown in a million other TV shows and movies.
An enjoyable book, a terrific new voice in the espionage canon. I hope I soon see follow ups to it.


 

 

 
Defender (The Voices #1) by G.X. Todd

Defender (The Voices #1) by G.X. Todd

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Defender (The Voices #1)

by G.X. Todd

A few words about the plot of this book:
the novel takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, in which self-aware voices have manifested inside most of the population’s heads, causing the vast majority of humans to go insane and to commit suicide. This world is one of anarchy and chaos: no government, no electricity, no facilities and no gas, just relics of old cities in ruins and the occasional vehicle or food scavenged. Literally the end of human civilization as we know it.
In this world, a stranger called Pilgrim agrees to give a young girl a ride, Lacey, set out to try and find her sister and her daughter, in Vicksburg.
They will be passing through the remnant of the world as we know it, in which the game is ‘survival of the fittest’. They face a gang led by vicious man, in the shadow of an urban myth of a flitting man who’s rounding up the remaining people “who hear”. Oh, and the mysterious biker Pilgrim hears one of these voices, who he refers to as “Voice” himself.I enjoyed “Defender”. For starts it’s not another “zombie book” but portrays a truly different take on the apocalypse. Second, behind the gory scenes, the characters are believable and their interrelations are sincere and interesting. I especially liked the relationship between Pilgrim and witty ‘Voice’
The book painted a universe that would raise many more questions, which were not answered throughout the story line, heck – half way through you realize that these questions will never be answered in the limits of this novel’s length, and for me that somewhat diminished the experience. The story is good, but the loose ends are being tied up in a hurry, and the plot line is left with an elaborated groundwork for a second book and possible a saga. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – but I craved more from the current novel. Practice what you preach and worry about the future later 😉

A rightful 4 stars though, with a nice and accurate writing, not too heavy on the gory descriptions, and an overall good scene-setting. Very good job for a debut novel.

 
Unpunished (Gardiner and Renner #2)  by Lisa Black

Unpunished (Gardiner and Renner #2) by Lisa Black

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Unpunished (Gardiner and Renner #2)

by Lisa Black

I’ve been given the chance to review Unpunished – Lisa Black’s second book in the Maggie Gardiner series. I have not read the first book, so this review may benefit people who are looking at the novel as a whole, rather than part of a series.
The plot is one of a classic detective novel, only the hero is a rather grey police worker and not an all mighty DC or DCI: Gardiner is a forensic expert who studies the crime scene and handles the post death technicalities. The other main character is Jack Renner, a homicide cop who’s a vigilante serial killer “at night”, but one with an ethical code of disposing only of the bad guys. If you had read “That Darkness” you would have known this by now as well as the fact that Gardiner is the only living soul who shares Jack’s secret.
The mystery revolves around the murder of a copy editor at the Cleveland Herald, who is found hanging above the grinding wheels of the newspaper assembly line. When more newspaper employees are killed, Maggie and Jack continue their unholy partnership, in an effort to uncover the eluding killer.

I liked “Unpunished”. It has the elements of a classic thriller, and Albeit it is secretly an exaggerated editorial advocating for the dying American news industry, it was still fun to see murders taking place above and under the printing press wheels. Sure, the journalistic facts (told mainly by the suspects) were tedious and all too lecture-y, but the story is well written and like any good thriller you’ll find it nearly impossible to guess who is the culprit.

The one thing that I thought the book had lacked, and that’s something I tend to look for in a series within the crime detective genre, is whether the novel can stand alone or not. And to be honest, it can’t. I immediately wanted to find out more about the incident that entangled Maggie Gardiner with Jack Renner – and even though on its own that’s not a bad thing – it still goes to show that if we take the element of their relationship out of “Unpunished”, it might have been a bit boring and one dimensional.

Having said that, the killer and now accomplice crime fighters are there, and “Unpunished” is interesting and gripping. I especially liked Gardiner as a CSI grey-worker who is the centre of things, and would have loved to see her character evolve a bit more… Luckily it’s a series 🙂 3 stars .. 3.5 on a better day.

 
No Evil (DCI Jack Callum #1)  by Maynard Sims 

No Evil (DCI Jack Callum #1)  by Maynard Sims 

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No Evil (DCI Jack Callum #1)

by Maynard Sims

CI Jack Callum investigates the murder of 14 year old Frances Anderton found with her eyes and lips sewn shut and her ears filled with candle wax. A letter is left showing a drawing of the three monkeys (hear no evil, see no evil, say no evil), and the murders continue, all victims are young and innocent but no link between them can otherwise be found. In short, the police hasn’t got a single lead.
It’s 1958, methods of investigation as well as people’s views and conduct are quite old fashioned, and Jack is an old fashion guy, but with a liberal mind.

The scenery and imagery are appealing, it’s an old fashioned town, back in old fashioned England. It’s fun. The characters are believable and likable, even though they sometimes engage in very flat conversations. The Plot of the thriller is a bit lacking: sure you want to find out who has done it and once the perpetrator is discovered you are invested in it as much as Jack (i.e. I really wanted to see the bastard pay). However, in general the plot is also kind of “flat”, the motive is far-fetched and even the way the police gained a lead that brings them closed to the conclusion, is by a mere chance, you would expect something a bit smarter there as well.
It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the book, I did, it’s a light read in general and is well written, it’s just that the plot and the conclusion did not convince me, and then, at the end of the day, I rather do something else with my time than reading about dead mutilated teenagers… I found the link to Cullum’s family (no spoilers don’t worry) a ploy to get us further emotionally invested in the fa-fetched script, and wasn’t impressed.
In conclusion – it’s an okay read. Literary wise very accomplished, story-wise, could have been much better in my humble opinion.

 
Children of the Wise Oak by Oliver J Tooley

Children of the Wise Oak by Oliver J Tooley

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Children of the Wise Oak

by Oliver J Tooley

“Children of the Wise Oak” is an epic journey written in a magical world where the Celtic-Roman era meets magic and mythology. It reminds me of Assaf Mehr’s Felix the Fox’s world only slightly more suitable for younger readers (led philosophical if you may).

Blyth and his younger brothers live in a remote Celtic village, in a lifestyle and surrounding of harsh survival where the tribe is put above all. When his father returns from distant lands, with apocalyptic prophecies that involves the newly formed Roman Republic – they are forced to flee from home. Guided by Gwenn, a powerful mage who knew their father, their journey leads them across the continent straight to the heart of the Roman Republic. They learn magic and shapeshifting, they come across new people and cultures and they learn to admire the amazing Roman architecture which is a million light years advance from anything they ever knew.

This book is the first in the “Wise Oak” series, the second being published soon, which has excited me a lot. I don’t tend to read fantasy, but the historical accuracy is so refined that I almost forget about the magical elements in the novel. In a sense – it can get teenagers to relate to historical event and would be appealing to mature readers with Tooley’s great figurative language and carrying imagery.
Looking forward to the next one!

 
A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan, #2)  by Julie McElwain 

A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan, #2)  by Julie McElwain 

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A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan, #2) 

by Julie McElwain

Let me first start by saying that it’s been long over-due for me to read an Historical Fiction Novel. The last time, was about three years ago, finishing an excellent fictional series of novels about Churchill, written by the uncanny Michael Dobbs.
I was a bit worried about Julie McElwain’s “A Twist in Time” which I was approved to review by Netgalley – time travel? Georgian England? can these mix?
Well they certainly do!
Kendra (a very untypical name to 19th Century England, to emphasize her alien-ness) Donovon is stuck in the past. She is a capable FBI agent, and a very much free woman of the 21st Century. So, when her benefactor and protector (the Duke of Aldridge) needs her help proving his nephew Alec is innocent from murder allegations of the promiscuous Lady Dover – she immediately accepts the challenge.
It is fortunate that the Duke is a is an all-powerful figure in the classes society of PRE-Victorian England, but it is also an inconvenience to Kendra, who finds herself bound by Victorian gowns, the need for a chaperon outdoors, and the underestimation of people. She is resentful to a society that thinks less of women, especially those who do not find a good husband, and do more than to raise children and stay at home… the novel takes place in filthy 19th Century London, but is Kendra up for the challenge?
I found the book a fresh breath of air. There aren’t too many temporal mambo-jambo, and the differences between our society to Georgian England’s sticks out through Kendra inaptness to the strict rules enforced on the women of the era.
in a Poirot fashion, she will slowly cross off suspects from her blackboard, while employing modern day form of investigation, on an almost lawless society. She is aided by bow street runner Sam Kelly, who’s authority is weak at best, and is torn between her attraction to Alec, to the need of getting back home.
I found the novel is not over-sophisticated, it is a fun murder-she-wrote, that tics all the boxes for me. I will most definitely read the first book at some point (which says it all), Thumbs up!

(not to be confused with “Cinderella A Twist in Time” the 3rd sequel to Cinderella who left me and my little girl traumatised…!)

Goodread page for A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan, #2) 
Amazon Link 

 
The Promise (DC Gary Goodhew Mystery #6) by Alison Bruce

The Promise (DC Gary Goodhew Mystery #6) by Alison Bruce

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The Promise (DC Gary Goodhew Mystery #6) 

by Alison Bruce

I was given the opportunity to Review the Promise, the newest Goodhew Novel by Alison Bruce. This being my first Goodhew novel, I must first say that I did not feel left out or disoriented by the fact that I did not read any other of Goodhew novels, so this will do perfectly as a standalone novel as well.

I enjoyed “the Promise” – it is a good thriller, and Bruce’s writing is flowing and interesting.
First the plot: DC Gary Goodhew returns to Cambridge police force after a body of a homeless person that acted as his informant for years, had been found on market hill. Aided by Sue Gully, Gary feels that this murder is part of a larger, more sinister work, and being the station’s “trouble maker” pursues this line of inquiry in spite of his superior’s instructions.
Meanwhile we meet Kyle, an injured ex GI, who came back from Afghanistan only to have his life shuttered: he split with his girlfriend, he can’t see his son, and something have made him lay low and keep clear from his Mom and sister. It appears that Kyle has come across something as well, and without telling the police, manages to get his family tangled right in the middle of this mess…
As I said I enjoyed the book, and was actually holding my breath to find the details of the crime mystery as they turn out in the end. Having said that the book does not lack its problems: Bruce takes her time to set the scene, the introduction is messy at best, and I actually needed to go back and reread the first 3 chapters to fit them in the story. Not what you would want from a detective mystery in which the introduction needs to draw you into the entrails of the plot.

I was also a bit disappointed from the climax of the story, without revealing any details, I had the notion that things got “wrapped up” a bit too fast, and since at some point the story was so gripping I expected a bit more. I am aware that Bruce is not your typical boom-bang-shots kind of author, still there was room to make the ending a bit longer, I felt, with slightly more suspense…
At the end of the day, the Promise is a very thrilling novel. The story itself is well placed, and makes you wonder how the author came out with such a plot! I enjoyed the book profoundly, though as I said the beginning and the end could have used some brushing up. 4.5 stars.

 
the Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

the Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

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The Ice Twins

by S.K. Tremayne

The Ice Twins is a book that I did not intend to read… I have received it for free from The Times Plus+ book of the month, and since I didn’t have anything to read I went along with the choice. As a father of two the plot summery was enough to unnerve me: Angus and Sarah Moorcraft are mourning the death of their daughter Lydia, an identical twin to their living daughter of 7, Kirsty. To try and recover from this tragedy and due to a financial ordeal, they decide to live on a remote Scottish Island, Which Angus inherited. The twist starts when Kirstie asks “why do you keep calling me Kirstie mummy? I’m Lydia…”
The plot then becomes heavier, as we discover that the relationship between the couple is hardly ideal and that life on the remote Scottish isle is contributing to Kirsty/Lydia’s identity confusion.

The book is written by Sean Thomas, aka Tom Knox, who I guess decided he wanted a new kind of fan base for this triller, otherwise I do not know why use a third pseudonyms… He sets the scene superbly and I especially liked the twist where we hear the story from alternating narrators: Sarah, the mother, who accounts for the story from her own view, whilst when we see things from Angus’ side, it is told by a third omniscient narrator. This little twist is only understood at the end as essential for keeping us readers in the dark.
For me, the novel plunges into disarray when the second half of the story begins. On one side, it’s good that the writer started wrapping thing up on a faster pace because there’s not much more to say, any new fact would have just contributed to the readers perplexity. On the other hand, the story did have a certain pace which is broken when they reach Scotland – it also feels that also the language/writing is inferior to the start of the book.

As a thriller, the Ice Twins does the trick. It’s hard to conceive of the truth and only when we read the (too short) conclusion does things start to make sense. I Did enjoy the book profoundly and finished it within a few days, as the story as a whole is very good. Highly recommended to creepy mysteries lovers, maybe less for stormy nights 🙂

 
The Fire Child by S.K. Tremayne

The Fire Child by S.K. Tremayne

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The Fire Child

by S.K. Tremayne

The Fire Child is the second book of Sean Thomas (Tom Knox) writing as S K Tremayne. This, I guess, is to distinguish his new thrillers series, all so far revolving around children that suffered a personal trauma, from his earlier works.

In The Fire Child we meet a similar desolated surrounding as we did in the ICE TWINS; this time a mansion house in Cornwall called Carnhallow, home of David Kerthen a successful Lawyer and a descendant of a long line of English aristocrats, who used to own mines in gloomy Cornwall back in the days when mining there was profitable.
David and his son Jamie had suffered a major tragedy when the wife and mother, Nina, had fallen down a mine shaft on Christmas two years before our story takes place, and died – her body never to be found.
To that scenario enters Rachel Daley – David’s new wife, who is forced to juggle between her new status as the lady of Carnhallow, her loneliness in Cornwall and an impossible grieving step-son who is convinced that his mummy is still alive. Is he right? Is there a ghost dwelling in Carnhallow? or is Rachel, who has a dark past as well, growing slowly insane?

The book is gripping, the writing is flawing and superb as always. The setting is just what a thriller needs, although not much different than the isolated Scottish isle of the ICE TWINS story… The reason this novel got only 3.5 stars for me is the fact that the climax was less than i expected. The answer to the twists and clues in the plot was well.. disappointing, especially after the ICE TWINS’ ending which was so surprising in my opinion. The truth about Rachel (don’t worry no spoiler here) could have been deeper, and even the process of her alleged insanity, was too flat and one dimensional. As if the writer wanted to “wrap things up”.
Still this is a decent read and I’d recommend it. The author is extremely talented, and the desolated England imagery – makes you want to pack up and visit the place he is writing on.

 
Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

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Here I Am

by Jonathan Safran Foer

I have been given the opportunity to preview & review Jonathan Safran Foer’s latest critically acclaimed book “Here I am”.
I have never read Safran Foer’s previous book so have thus faced this novel with a “tabula rasa” – blank page.There is an old Israeli song in Hebrew by Haim Hefer, performed by Yehuram Gaon which is also called “Here I Am”, in which the singer exclaims his longing to a woman. He is confident and sure of himself: “I am here like a rock, like a well … I am the man who always comes back, Back!”.
In Safran’s book, the (anti)hero is Jacob Bloch, an American Jew, whose self-confidence is far from Hefer’s protagonist a million light years.
Bloch, a father to three boys, struggles through his own midlife crisis; his deteriorating relationship with his wife “Jewish mama does all” Julia; his eldest son Sam’s Bar Mitzvah ceremony which is in jeopardy due to a hateful note he had written in school; his old grandfather holocaust survivor Isaac who lost the will to live as well as his old dog who is dying and suffering. This all amplifies by Jacob’s own insecurity and the feeling of lack of any real achievement in life.The other plot-line which is important (and used to reflect on Jacob’s own selfishness) is Israel’s destruction. Israel is facing a humanitarian crisis and a war to end all wars in the Middle East, while his cousin (and long friend and instigator) Tamir is “stuck” in Washington with his young son, visiting for the Bar Mitzvah. Tamir’s other son, Noam, is a soldier in the Israeli army when hell breaks loose, and while Jacob’s struggles with his own oh so Jewish triviality – the macho Tamir has to struggle with his home and universe crumbling down, and being helpless to help.
In an interview I have read with Safran in the British Times, he had said something like the book was a journey, a struggle to write hence took him so long. Well, it was the same to read… While I expected something new, I found on more than one occasion an attempt to be a new-age Philip Roth which did not succeed in my opinion, due to overly crowded pages in Jewish schmaltz: Wailing Wall included, Jacob is handling every Jewish stereotypical problem available. It was just too much.
However, on the occasions where Safran let himself run loose of the Jewish author shackles – the novel was a joy to read.In a sense, Jacob’s Via Dolorosa is the reader’s too: Some parts are too long, some chapters are extended beyond what is needed, but always the redemption (the conclusion) is in sight.
“The destruction of Israel” comes in the middle of the book, giving it a needed “kick in the shin” and to Jacob as well – stirring the plot line faster. A much needed event.

I did not suffer as much as Jacob does, reading this book. I thought the Safran’s characters are intriguing and deep (albeit the overly exaggerated Israeli cartoon-like cousin). I think better editing was in order. Brave editing would have gotten Safran to omit a large part of the final act which does not provide any life changing conclusions, not to Jacob – nor to the reader. This fact has kept this a 3 stars book for me, though a recommended read to any Jew in the diaspora or to anyone who wants to understand one.