WOMAN ON FIRE by Lisa Barr. In this multi-faceted thriller, reporter Jules Roth begins a job for Dan Mansfield, to track down Woman on Fire, the last work of murdered artist Ernst Engel. This on behalf of world-renowned shoe designer Ellis Baum who is nearing death and wants this painting, stolen by the Nazis, returned to him. However, another ruthless gallery owner Margaux de Laurent will stop at nothing to possess it.
THE TRUTH AND OTHER HIDDEN THINGS by Lea Geller. Bells Walker learns she is pregnant the same day her husband accepts a new professorship. She is not looking forward to caring for a baby alongside her teenagers after moving to New York’s Hudson Valley. Once there she begins an anonymous gossipy blog about life in her new town. As her posts become more scandalous, the risk increases of her identity being discovered, and of losing all she treasures.
THE NETANYAHUS by Joshua Cohen. This Pulitzer winning novel is set in a college on the outskirts of New York in 1959. Ruben Blum, a Jewish professor specialising in tax history is part of the committee deciding whether to hire Benzion Netanyahu, father of the future Israeli prime minister. Cohen’s academic satire explores Jewish history, the history of Zionism, the history of anti-Semitism, status of Jews in higher education and assimilation. A witty, intelligent and brilliant book.
PORTRAIT OF AN UNKNOWN WOMAN by Daniel Silva. Legendary spy maker and art restorer Gabriel Allon has settled in Venice. When London art dealer Julian Isherwood contacts him, he begins to investigate the sale of a painting attributed to Sir Anthony van Dyck, which he is certain is a clever fake. Gabriel needs to find the person who painted it. In so doing, he uncovers how the world’s leading art experts have been lured into a syndicate of selling fake paintings for millions.
SLEDGEHAMMER by David Friedman. This recently published book by former US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman gives an insider view to understanding the strengthening of goals between Israel and America. Friedman, as part of the Trump administration, supported Israel’s long-term security needs and opened new avenues to bring peace and stability to the region. The book takes the reader behind the doors of the Oval Office.
AN UGLY TRUTH by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang. The authors provide an insiders’ account of the scandalous and toxic culture at social media giant Facebook. Sharing interviews with former and current employees and investors, regulators and lawmakers, the authors offer a view of the company’s callous business practices. Focusing on the exploitation of users’ data and other controversial tactics, this exposé offers the troubling aspects of Facebook’s rise to prominence.
FREEZING ORDER by Bill Browder. In his follow up to Red Notice Browder, who initiated the Magnitsky act, following the killing of his own lawyer, gave authorities the power to freeze assets on individuals accused of human rights violations. Browder shares the legal challenges and threats he and his team have faced as the Russian government have tried to intimidate them. Browder was arrested in Madrid and almost kidnapped and taken to Moscow. Reads like a spy thriller.
NAZI BILLIONAIRES by David De Jong. The true story of how Germany’s wealthiest businesses amassed money by abetting the Third Reich. These tycoons such as Quandt whose empire controls BMW, automaker Porsche and baking goods mogul Kaselowsky boosted their fortunes by acquiring Jewish owned businesses at below market price and used slave labour to grow wealthier. Their activities were no secret to the Allies. This financial side of Nazi evil still resonates today.
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• Published in the September 2022 Rosh Hashanah Digital Edition – Click here to read it.
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