Read advance reader review of The Devil in Jerusalem by Naomi Ragen, page 2 of 4

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

The Devil in Jerusalem

by Naomi Ragen

The Devil in Jerusalem by Naomi Ragen X
The Devil in Jerusalem by Naomi Ragen
  • Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published Oct 2015
    320 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this book


Page 2 of 4
There are currently 27 member reviews
for The Devil in Jerusalem
Order Reviews by:
  • Claudia K. (Raleigh, NC)
    The Devil in Jerusalem
    If one decides to read this book be prepared to dedicate a few days of time for you will want to read it in its entirety very quickly. The book is suspenseful and quite troubling at times. I think Ms. Ragen had difficulty with the very end of the novel and this is why I hesitated to describe it as very good. Many of us may have difficulty reading about such extreme behaviors among the most Orthodox Jews as this novel depicts; however, I think we must recognize extremism is not only attributable to certain religions. I applaud Ms. Ragen for delving into this issue. I look for ward to reading more of Ms. Ragens" novels
  • Cheryl P. (Lebanon, PA)
    The Devil in Jerusalem
    Naomi Ragen wrote a novel that was both horrific in nature but eye opening as well. Religious cults are not something that is broadcast in the media every day, so we as a society are not aware of the mind manipulation that people are subjected to. This was a page turner that kept you wanting redemption for these poor children chapter after chapter. I'm curious as to how the story would have evolved if we had learned more of Shlomie's side of the events leading up to the hospitalization of the children. It brings to mind a phrase I heard long ago: There is his side of the story, there is her side of the story, then there is the truth.
  • Roni S. (Pittsburgh, PA)
    The Devil in Jerusalem
    'The Devil in Jerusalem' was a gripping book about a young woman's path to misery and the devastation of her family, including harm to her children. Her weakness and lack of character allowed her to be manipulated by many, including her family, her husband and later cult leaders.

    The book begins describing her childhood and the various people who influenced her in her life, including her parents, her brother, her grandmother, and, eventually, her husband. He was weak and needy, like her, and she followed him blindly, in the name of religion, both looking for affirmation of their goodness and successful-ness, resulting in their manipulation by psychopaths, masquerading as God's messengers.

    The book was graphic, painful and depressing as the parents weakness and mistakes resulted into harm to their children by cult members.

    The book would have been more interesting, if it had delved further into the psychological study of what made these parents, seemingly, so susceptible to such influence, rather than focusing on the sensational plot.

    Until the very end, I did not think that enough distinction was made from Judaism or the study of Kabbala. And, I worry that many readers may not finish the book to learn that this was a cult, and not the practice of Judaism or Kabbala because the details are so disturbing.

    That being said, I could not put it down, and was curious to finish the story. Although, the book is fiction, it is a novel inspired by true events.
  • Lola M. (Boise, ID)
    When Your Savior Isn't Your Savior
    This was a worst case scenario of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire - over and over again. It's incredibly hard to watch a smart, talented, loving woman get mowed down by countless bad decisions and by the men who manage to create hell on earth.

    On the other hand, it was an interesting glimpse into a religious world that is rarely brought to light. Naomi Ragen does not hold back on the ugliness that occurs from the moment Daniella lands in Israel; however, she sensitively uses Daniella's counterpoint, Detective Tzedek, to highlight how hard it is to play by the rules and not loose your soul.

    Some passages were difficult to swallow as they became laden with too much information, but were necessary in helping to understand a sub-culture fueled by ego and psychotic breaks.
  • Peggy K. (San Diego, CA)
    Twisted Faith
    This is an excellent drama. At the start it appears a simple case of child abuse but before you finish the first chapter you know that there is far more going on. A young couple come to Israel to make a new life for themselves and their religion. Instead the female becomes involved with a charismatic man who will take her faith and nearly destroy her life.

    The author builds up the tension from the start and the reader can't stop turning the page what could possibly have made this woman allow her children to be abused in the name of God.

    Readers 17 and up will find this tale fascinating. The stage is set in Jerusalem and the author truly brings that city to life. The characters are haunting. I found myself somewhat disliking the main character but I couldn't stop reading either.

    Book Clubs will truly enjoy this one as it offers up so many views about religion and how it can take over completely in a negative way. Questions about faith, domestic violence and cults will also be asked and discussed.
  • Jennifer B. (Oviedo, FL)
    Provocative and eye opening.
    The storytelling in this book is extremely well done. Characters were sharply drawn and vividly imagined. It was easy to read in a fresh and fast paced style, though somewhat repetitive toward the end. Perhaps I was eager at that point for a turn of events to happen. I would recommend this for any book club that is prepared for thought provoking discussion of dangerous cult rituals. It was fascinating for me to read about various Jewish beliefs and the wide spectrum of interpretation of the Torah. It can and does translate to any religion, making me want to be more vigilant of events happening in the world.
  • Laura T. (West Orange, NJ)
    The Devil in Jerusalem
    The book keeps your interest and is suspenseful. The opening chapter sets the tone for the rest of the story and the chapters alternating between present day and the past keeps the reader questioning the events in chapter one.
    As the story unfolds in present day I found myself disliking the main female character BUT as I read the chapters set in the past I felt sorry for her. I did cringe at the abuse inflicted on the children. Several references to the ultra orthodox in Israel and the problems they have created and the evolving story led me to believe the author has an in depth understanding of religious fanatics. The author has good insights into the history and current politics and problems in Israel.

    History has shown us many cases of religious fanatics including Jim Jones and others that have brainwashed individuals. Some religions have caused harm to children and adults in the name of their 'God'.

More Information


Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    Firekeeper's Daughter
    by Angeline Boulley
    Voted 2021 Best Young Adult Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Angeline Boulley's young adult ...
  • Book Jacket: Hello Beautiful
    Hello Beautiful
    by Ann Napolitano
    Ann Napolitano's much-anticipated Hello Beautiful pulls the reader into a warm, loving familial ...
  • Book Jacket: The West
    The West
    by Naoíse Mac Sweeney
    It's become common for history books and courses to reconsider the emphasis on "Western Civilization...
  • Book Jacket
    A Death in Denmark
    by Amulya Malladi
    Can a mystery novel be informative, intriguing and deeply comforting all at once? Amulya Malladi ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The First Conspiracy
by Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch
A remarkable and previously untold piece of American history—the secret plot to kill George Washington

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    by Costanza Casati

    Madeline Miller's Circe meets Cersei Lannister in this propulsive and richly drawn debut.

  • Book Jacket

    Paper Names
    by Susie Luo

    A propulsive and sweeping story of family, identity and the American experience—for fans of Jean Kwok and Mary Beth Keane.

Win This Book
Win Such Kindness

30 Copies to Give Away!

Few writers paint three-dimensional characters with such verve and humanism.
Booklist (starred review)



Solve this clue:

S I F A R Day

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.