I’ve read a lot of his work in the past, so signing up for a review copy of Robert Whitlow’s Chosen People was kind of a no-brainer.
A story about a law firm going after terrorists in the wake of an American woman losing her life while saving her daughter’s? What’s not to love? So, once the book arrived, I set it on the shelf and didn’t think much more about it.
I mean, the day would come, I’d sit down and read, and life would be grand.
And it did. I just didn’t realize the day would come in the middle of a conference where I was supposed to be learning stuff, not reading, during NaNoWriMo (where I’m now 3 days behind thanks to said conference), and where I also have another deadline right on the heels of the last one.
Still, while I grumbled a bit about it today (all in good fun), I settled in tonight to read. Several hours later, I’m sitting here, head spinning, trying to figure out what to say about this book.
Note: Links may be affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you. Furthermore, I requested an advance reader copy of this book and chose to review it upon completion.
What Did I Think of Chosen People & Do I Recommend It?
The short and sweet of it is that Chosen People is exactly like and nothing like I expected—at the same time. I called every major plot point and also got twisted on a twist of a twisted twist, so I was wrong, too. How’s that for fun?
The characters? In classic Whitlow style, you really care about them. You believe them. Hana exhibits a beautiful blend of strength and femininity. Jakob? I loved every bit of him. Sadie?
Oh, dear. Sadie… That girl can move into my house today. Such a sweetie.
As anyone who has ever read one of my reviews knows, I love it when description is both kept to a minimum AND manages to make me feel as if I’m there. Whitlow nailed that. Absolutely and without question. It set a tone for the book, too. That’s what made it such great writing.
And the writing is my one problem. Perhaps it is because I requested a review copy and received an ARC (advance reader copy), but the book has some issues in writing that I don’t recall in previous books.
First, there are the info dumps. Many of them—and not just in the beginning. I found myself wanting to skim so many times.
Then there’s the kind of “telling” he does. You’ll be reading along, seeing something play out, and then bam! He explains what you just read for you. I’ll give him credit. Many times it is subtle, but still.
I so wanted to love Chosen People. I don’t love it but I do like the plot well enough that I can recommend it to people who don’t find info dumps a problem and who aren’t bothered by a lot of technical stuff explained over and over.
In the end, my favorite part, aside from characters and the basic premise, is that I both called and got wrong one of the plot points. I love that.
Chosen People is on tour with Celebrate Lit
Book: Chosen People
Author: Robert Whitlow
Genre: Legal Drama
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Bestselling author Robert Whitlow dives deep into the legal ramifications of a tragic event half a world away and how it affects two lawyers in Atlanta from vastly different backgrounds.
When Hana Abboud walked into the conference room, she was unprepared for the images of a horrific terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. But after watching a courageous mother sacrifice her life to save her four-year-old daughter, Hana knew she needed to help attorney Jakob Brodsky represent the family’s pursuit of justice against those who perpetrate acts of violent jihad. As an Arab Israeli lawyer trained at Hebrew University, Hana is uniquely qualified to step into the gap.
But they need a third partner:
an investigator on the ground to help them unravel the snake pit of connections between the terrorists and an organization or company that can be sued in the American courts. Hana returns home to Israel and meets with investigator Hamid Hasan who quickly becomes more than a crucial part of the litigation team.
As Jakob and Hana investigate the case in the US, he is stalked on the streets of Atlanta by affiliates of a terrorist organization. Their pursuit of truth can only be resolved where it began: the streets of Jerusalem. But who can they trust? How deep does deceit go? Can two lawyers and a shadowy investigator impact the kind of violence and terror that has become common in our broken world?
About the Author
Robert Whitlow is the bestselling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. He received his J.D. with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review.
Guest Post from Robert
INSIDE THE STORY
Chosen People—a title that reflects both the Biblical designation for the Jewish nation as well as converted Christians—opens during a terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. A courageous mother sacrifices her life to save her young daughter, leaving behind a grieving husband and a motherless child.
Whitlow’s many trips to Israel and his in-depth research into the culture and laws of the Holy City are evident throughout the story. Furthermore, his experience as a lawyer gives him keen insight into the mind of his main character Hanna Abboud, an Arab Christian Israeli lawyer working in Atlanta.
“This book provides a unique perspective to this region and its peoples through the eyes of an Arab Christian who believes that the faithfulness of God and truths of the Bible are unshakable realities,” says Whitlow. “This viewpoint is rarely expressed, yet it is one that needs and deserves to be heard so that it can become part of our framework for understanding this vital part of the world and the people who live there.”
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To celebrate his tour, HarperCollins is giving away a grand prize of three finished Robert Whitlow books (to be chosen by the publisher)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d73a/chosen-people-celebration-tour-giveaway