PROMISED LAND by Martin Fletcher


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Two German Jewish brothers who lost their family in the Holocaust are driven apart by their love of the same woman in the fledgling state of Israel.

Peter, the older brother, who was sent to America at age 14 to escape the Nazis, earned a Silver Star with the U.S. Army during World War II and was drafted by the OSS, becoming a top undercover intelligence agent for Mossad. His sibling, Arie, who survived the German death camp to which he was sent through his SS–pleasing ability to batter fellow Jews in the boxing ring, becomes fabulously rich in Tel Aviv as a cutthroat builder. The brothers grow apart after the unscrupulous Arie woos and marries Tamara, a beautiful Jewish refugee from Cairo, with whom Peter had a brief but meaningful affair, while Peter is away on a mission. Peter marries Diana, a British journalist he recruits as an operative for Reuven Shiloah, first director of Mossad. But he's haunted by the loss of Tamara, and Tamara, who is mistreated by Arie, never gets over Peter. Fletcher, one-time Tel Aviv bureau chief for NBC, knows his Middle East history and does a good job of charting complicated international politics and Israel's secret campaign against Nazi war criminals. As entertaining as the book is, though, it fails to delve deeply enough into the characters to make their stories matter as much as what is going on around them. And the story of the brothers too often succumbs to soap opera.

This postwar epic, the first novel in a planned trilogy, isn't as gripping as Fletcher's The List (2011), about the lingering effects of WWII on London Jews. But it's a solid piece of storytelling.

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-250-11882-0
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2018


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