Bain, David J. “Torn Blood”, Bo Iti Press, 2013.
Looking for the Answer
The right of Israel to exist in the world today has certainly been questioned time and again. There are many who believe in Israel’s right to be here but they cannot say why and only a relative few understand that Israel has a historic claim to the land. Then there are those who know and understand why Israel’s claim is contested.
“Torn Blood”, David Bain’s first novel pulls us into the situation and we begin to understand the Middle East a bit better. There is an overall plot, several subplots and intrigues in which we find ourselves involved as we read.
The novel is about enemies who are locked into a battle to destroy Jerusalem’s Jewish residents. They face a difficult and existential choice—there is the safety from persecution that American can offer as opposed to their commitment to the land that they call home and that calls them home. Author Bain asks a significant question here—can there be justice for people who have been persecuted and maligned because of who they are? (In this case, the Jews). What he does here is reveal the truth of Jewish rights to a homeland in Israel. Bain’s novel attempts to answer that question.
To write this novel, Bain did extensive research of which we are constantly aware as we read. He gives us a detailed historical background which explains the significance of Israel as a Jewish homeland and the seeds of dissension and extremism among Palestinians who believe this same land is rightfully theirs. Meanwhile, “Torn Blood” imagines a full-scale campaign to wipe all Jews off the face of the Earth.
When the novel begins we meet a diabolical scientist in Kazakhstan who explains why and how the chemical weapon Anthrax is the most reliable and effective way to kill the Jews and he does so to a group of like-minded Jihadists. In the 500 pages that follow, we see the threat of annihilation rise as it is contrasted with the resolve and the spirit of those on both sides.
Central to the story is a naïve, but potentially heroic new recruit to the U.S. consulate in Tel Aviv, Addison Deverell. It is through Deverell’s eyes that we experience much of the action, as he slowly finds himself at the center of the struggle. Addison Deverell watches the conflict escalate while another character, Dr. Janelle Henning in Oregon is contacted by a messenger, drawing her into this tale. Knowing the history of what is going on helps us to understand the situation ever better but here it is not totally necessary. Bain’s research makes everything crystal clear.
The story is about a terrorist group determined to destroy every Jew in Jerusalem. There is a complex calling for skill and daring and it relies on advanced off the shelf technology. We are immediately pulled into the story as it moves toward an amazing climax dealing with Israel’s Special Forces and a band of terrorists. While the excitement of Torn Blood will grab readers the author imbues each page with research of the area’s history, Zionism, and the importance of Jewish people around the world.
In the Prologue we are given the background that will have us turning pages as quickly as possible. From the starting point in Kazakhstan, the novel breaks into three separate compelling story lines each inter-related to one another. The first is about Deverell who is assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. Addison arrives in Israel three weeks before his scheduled reporting date as he is determined to get a “feel” for the country and to find out why for so many years there has been never ending animosity and hatred between Jews and Arabs. As Addison would painfully learn, he never anticipated the problems his early presence would cause and did not realize that embassies function under specific rules and protocol. He forces the Embassy’s Deputy Administrator to find him an escort until his reporting date which is a breach of the rules and the protocol he has been given. Hafiz IbnMansur is charged with the task of acting as Addison’s escort, however, because he could not stay with him until his reporting date, a young woman, Elizabeth Daniels of Messianic Jews International replaces him. Addison does not want to only visit Israel but he is also determined to travel to the West Bank and Gaza to get a better understanding of the Arab Israeli conflict. What he does not realize is that this would embroil him and his escort in a dangerous life-threatening situation.
The second thread involves a school administrator, Dr. Janelle Henning from Wilsonville, Oregon who receives a mysterious letter from the Ukraine that will lead to her discovery of some very staggering data about herself and her natural parents.
Finally we have the Palestinians and the Mujahideen Islamic Jihad (PMIJ) that calls for the complete annihilation of Israel and its Jewish inhabitants. To accomplish this feat they devise an imaginative scheme requiring the participation of several of their venomous associates whereby anthrax will be discharged from the tallest building in Jerusalem. This means that there must be the recruitment of several Israelis who will be deployed on the single greatest mission Israel has ever faced.
Bain brings us a thrilling story with suspense, history, travelogue, current events and some touching characters. I did find the book to be a bit too long and there were several unnecessary passages. But then again, I could feel that way because Israel is my home and I am very familiar with the whole situation.
This is a timely book and I admire how Bain presents the Jewish rights to Israel and the historically important city of Jerusalem, a city co-habited by Israelis and Palestinians. This is a problem that goes far back in history. Bain gives us the Jewish spirit, but he also very carefully explains the viewpoint of the Muslims who daily struggle to regain what they believe is their land, their home. In the opening of the book there is a strong statement about those of the Muslim faith – that only approximately 1% of Muslims are radical Jihadists, that the in excess of 1 billion Muslims in the world embrace peaceful coexistence. By providing facts such as this, the novel is far more credible. The Muslims here are terrorists and the book is a study of the long-standing conflict over Israel’s statehood and the suppurating influence of the threat of such a small faction of Jihadists.
.This book has it all: entertainment, action-packed adventure, intrigue, suspense, thrills, surprises, as it flawlessly describes the various characters, locations and events that take place. The detail gives us a vivid picture that allows us to feel as if we are at the site of the action.