The Devil in Jerusalem: Book summary and reviews of The Devil in Jerusalem by Naomi Ragen

The Devil in Jerusalem

by Naomi Ragen

The Devil in Jerusalem by Naomi Ragen
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2015
    320 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

From the international bestselling author of The Tenth Song, a commanding new novel based on the true story of a man who starts a dark, secret sect in Israel, corrupting a young Orthodox family.

Two brothers are admitted to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital with horrific injuries. Their mother, a young American heiress, devoutly recites Pslams, refusing to answer any questions. Brought in to investigate, Detective Bina Tzedek follows a winding path that takes her through Jerusalem's Old City, kabbalists, mystical ancient texts, and terrifying cult rituals, until she finally uncovers the shocking truth.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

The information about The Devil in Jerusalem shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Anita S. (Boynton Beach, FL)

Evil lives everywhere
This book is a story of how people allow someone to take control of their minds. It is based on true events that occurred in Israel to a religious ultra-orthodox family. The mother, Daniella, and father, Shlomie are Americans who with their seven children .make Israel their home where they live among the ultra-orthodox communities. Both of them are trying to live a religious, spiritual life and are desperately searching to be as close to God as possible.
They feel that by be scrupulously observant in their religious life, they will be pure. Daniella is really a person who has no self-confidence and feels that she never can finish anything that she starts. And her mother who lives in the U.S. never lets her forget it. Even though deep in her soul she feels that maybe her marriage is not what she wants, she won't allow herself to think about it. Shlomie is a good kind-hearted person but can be rather stupid. They both come under the spell of a psychopathic
Rabbi who has horrible things done to the children and to Daniella and Shlomie. there have been many stories in the news about people who join fanatic cults and I have often wondered how people allow themselves to follow such leaders. The author really does show how an unethical cult leader can get into the minds of insecure people who are looking for something in their lives. This story show how the cult leader is able to manipulate people and take over their thoughts and feelings. The Israeli detectives who were assigned to the case had a very hard time dealing with it because of what happened to the children. The female detective had nightmares. The police are not hardened to these things as a lot of people believe. For me, it was very difficult reading portions so this book especially when describing the children. I think everyone should read this book as an insight as to what can happen to people who believe in phony prophets, ministers, rabbis, etc. it will make an excellent reading club book.

Sue from rural PA

"Evil comes in all forms!"
I took this book on a two week trip-expecting it to last the entire time. Once I started, I couldn't put it down and finished it long before my trip ended. The combination of the city of Jerusalem and a religious cult wasn't unfamiliar but this book caught me by surprise with its twists and turns. The characters are complex-becoming more so by the end of the story. I found myself changing opinions about each of them several times during the course of the book. The ending will take your breath away! Great read that will stick in your mind long after you have finished the book

Julie M. (Maple Grove, MN)

Skillfully Written Cult Story
We would like to believe that since we are intelligent, well read people that we would never be sucked into this type of lifestyle. Naomi Ragen's new novel shows us that it does happen to people just like us and throughout history happens time and time again.

I will be recommending that my book group read this book. Very discussion-worthy.

Barbara K. (Brooklyn, NY)

A Cautionary Tale
While the details are Judaic and the backdrop is mostly in Israel, Naomi Ragen describes with superb accuracy, insight and in frightening detail how a cult leader can ensnare followers into the fold. She shows the slow progression of once bright, educated, 'normal' people succumbing to a leader's bidding as they begin to do and tolerate unspeakable acts.
This novel is enhanced by descriptions of Jewish traditions and practices, but it is really a treatise of cults, their leaders, the victims, especially children and the people who seek justice for victims.
The Devil in Jerusalem is well written but was disturbing to read because the subject matter is so horrific. However, it is important to be educated about cults and so I would recommend it.

Dorothy H. (Folsom, CA)

Devil In Jerusalem
The topic is very disturbing. The author tells of a family very involved with their Jewish religion that becomes a cult due to the leader's psychopathic behavior. What is done to the children is horrific. The parents suffer as well due to being caught up in the cult. Based upon historical fact, I found the book to be informative. A page turner.

Terry D

Quick Read
I can't believe this book was over 300 pages! I read it so quickly - it was probably the most compelling book I have read. Naomi Ragen kept the story alive by switching time periods from the present to the past. Since I am not Jewish, I had some difficulty with some of the language but it did not interfere with the tale. I am definitely going to look for another of Ragen's books.

...22 more reader reviews

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Naomi Ragen is the author of novels including The Tenth Song, The Sacrifice of Tamar, Sotah, The Covenant, and The Saturday Wife. Her books are international bestsellers, and her weekly email columns on life in the Middle East are read by thousands of subscribers worldwide. Ragen attended Brooklyn College and earned her master's in English from Hebrew University. An American, she has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. She was recently voted one of the three most popular authors in Israel. Visit her at naomiragen.com.

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