Exile by Richard North Patterson

Patterson’s newest creation, Exile, a political, legal, and romantic thriller, offers the same masterful story telling and social commentary that his fans have come to expect from his legal thrillers but this book adds an intense political element surrounding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

The host of characters in Exile include: David Wolfe (an upcoming Jewish attorney and political contender); Hana Arif (a suspected Palestinian terrorist who is put on trial for the assassination of the Israeli Prime Minister); Saeb (Hana’s husband, a militant Palestinian); Amos Ben-Aron (Israeli Prime minister who has come to America to garner support for his Israeli/Palestinian peace initiative); Carole Shorr (David’s finance and daughter of a holocaust survivor) 

Patterson begins his recent bestseller with David Wolfe a successful
San Francisco attorney who is slated to run for Congress with the support to his finance, Carole, but finds that just one call from his former Palestinian girlfriend, Hana, turns his life upside down and causes him to question the truth behind many of his previous convictions. As it turns out Hana has, coincidentally, returned to America, after thirteen years in Palestine, accompanied by her militant Palestinian husband, Saeb, at the same time that Israeli Prime Minister, Amos Ben-Aron is assassinated prior to the scheduled presentation of his
Middle East peace initiative. As events proceed Hana is eventually taken into custody for being in collusion with the suicide bombers who killed the Prime Minister and turns to David to represent her resulting in his losing credibility among the Jewish community and the politicians that were set to help him launch his political career. Throughout the course of his investigation to find the truth David finds himself traveling to Israel where he has the opportunity to interview many of the people associated with Hana’s past and to tour the many relevant sites involved in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Throughout David’s visit to the area Patterson does a great job of describing why the conflict exists and why, due to the extremist views held by all those involved, it will be next to impossible to arrive at a peaceable solution. When David finishes his tour of the Middle East he returns to
America where he uses the information that he has learned at Hana’s dramatic courtroom trial.

This politically motivated, well-researched, novel is an emotionally charged story that serves not only to entertain but to also give the reader an in-depth background helping them to better understand the existing conflict between Israel and
Palestine. I felt that Patterson did an excellent job in painting the historic
Middle East conflict, illustrating the plight of both sides, while keeping the story line rapid paced with well developed characters, intertwined with a love story that seemed timeless and strongly written Court Room scenes. I would strongly recommend this book to the politically minded among us in the hopes that we would learn from it what each of these groups has suffered and that it is a problem that it is not likely to be easily solved.

 [tags]book review, Richard North Patterson, Exile, political, Mid East conflict, Israel, Palestine, love, action, courtroom drama[/tags]