Sam Bourne is the literary pseudonym of Jonathan Freedland, an award-winning British journalist and broadcaster. He is a weekly columnist for the Guardian (UK), having served as that paper's Washington correspondent. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, and the New Republic. He is a regular contributor to the Jewish Chronicle (UK) and presents BBC Radio 4's contemporary history series The Long View. Bourne is the author of the New York Times and number one UK bestseller The Righteous Men, which has been translated into twenty-eight languages, and The Last Testament. He has also written two nonfiction works, Jacob's Gift and Bring Home the Revolution. He lives in London with his wife and two children.
Will Monroe, a young and ambitious New York Times journalist investigating the seemingly unrelated deaths of men with widely disparate backgrounds on opposite ends of the country, becomes ensnared in a nightmare when his wife is kidnapped. Desperate to save her, Will enlists the assistance of computer genius Tom Fontaine, a former college friend, and Will's brilliant ex-girlfriend, T.C. Lieberman. Tracing the computer threats to an Internet caf? located in an ultraorthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, Will and T.C. uncover an assassination plot to kill 36 righteous men mentioned in an obscure biblical legend. Their race to save these men leads to a shocking revelation. Bourne's swiftly moving plot is hampered by awkward characterization, but the multiple action scenes and shocking twist at the end are sure to please readers. Offering a new take on the religion-based thriller, this fiction debut by Bourne (a pen name for British journalist Jonathan Freedland) is recommended for popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/06.]-Joy St. John, Henderson Dist. P.L., NV Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Bourne's first novel, with a jacket that promises ancient secrets and mysterious manuscripts, has all the obligatory religious-thriller elements. Unfortunately, his hero, fledgling New York Times reporter Will Monroe Jr., is clueless, the structure unoriginal, the code-breaking boring, the earth-shattering threat unbelievable and the writing often clumsy ("Will felt his eyes soaking with tears"). Will, while investigating his first murder story, discovers that the victim, a pimp with multiple stab wounds, has a heart of gold and is indeed a "righteous man." After Will writes about another righteous man's murder, Will's wife, Beth, is abducted. Will's search for Beth leads him to the insular Hasidic community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where he undergoes a bit of torture while learning the history of Judaism. Eventually, Will unearths a vast conspiracy whose goal is Armageddon, the end of the world. Bourne, the pseudonym of British journalist Jonathan Freedland, has done his homework, but the heavy breathing one senses is not the sound of captivated readers whipping through the pages but rather that of an anxious author frantically attempting to hammer his extensive research into the mold of bestselling fiction. Rights sold in 24 countries. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"[A] swiftly moving plot...the multiple action scenes and shocking
twist at the end are sure to please readers."--Library Journal
"A dramatic, full-throttle adventure"--Booklist
"A turbo-charged thriller."--In Style
"a sweaty-palm roller-coaster ride through the dark side of religion and mysticism."--Jeffery Deaver, author of The Cold Moon
"more readable than the Da Vinci Code - the sense of menace is darker...the characters more believable."--Esquire (UK)
"READ IT. Sam Bourne has spun a highly-charged, theologically accurate tale."--Mirror
"Good clean fun...with real tension and drama."--The Times (London)
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