Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Exile: A Novel
By Richard North Patterson
Henry Holt and Company – New York
Reviewed by Mizbooks

Exile, the fourteenth novel by best-selling author Richard North Patterson, brings the on-going struggle between the Israeli and Palestinian people directly to you. In this novel, we join David Wolfe, a successful lawyer, who is on the fast track towards political office, in a dangerous journey through the Middle East.

While in law school, David had a secret affair with a Palestinian woman, Hana Arif. He must suddenly face his past when Hana is arrested and charged with the murder of the Prime Minister of Israel, who was visiting San Francisco. She turns to David Wolfe, an Israeli, her former lover, and a trusted friend, to defend her. In accepting this case, David Wolfe follows his conscience, and in the process alienates himself from everybody he cares for; his fiancée, his friends and colleagues and his political backers – as he takes on the highest profile case ever to grace a U.S. courtroom.

The novel takes the reader on a suspenseful ride, as David Wolfe battles a determined public prosecutor, the Israeli intelligence services, Palestinian freedom fighters, and the U.S. government in a high-profile international case where no one feels he has a chance to win. Intertwined with the courtroom drama, the daunting challenges and international intrigue – there is a love story. The story of an Israeli man, and a Palestinian woman – who love each other, yet can never be together because of the social stigma, and troubled past between their two peoples.

As an experienced courtroom lawyer, Richard North Patterson provides the reader with a realistic tale taken from the front pages of today’s newspapers. Suicide bombers, international tensions and lovers who come from two different worlds collide in this fascinating tale. Even though this is a work of fiction, I felt that I learned a great deal about the politics of the Middle East, and the seemingly insurmountable problems that divide so many. I also found it very comfortable that Richard North Patterson brings the reader back to San Francisco, the setting for so many of his books.

I highly recommend this book. If you are already a fan of Richard North Patterson’s novels, you’ll feel that Exile is his best work to date. For those who have never read his work, you’ll be caught up immediately, and find yourself going back to read his other works.

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