Sometimes, we make a choice and we never know where that choice will lead.
Several months ago, author Naomi Ragen released her newest book, The Devil In Jerusalem.
The novel starts off with two intertwining stories that slowly become one.
Two young boys are taken to the hospital with severe injuries. Detective Bina Tzedek is assigned to the case. The boy’s mother, Daniella Goodman, does not have the normal reaction that the reader would expect from a mother whose children are in the hospital.
The novel then flashes back to earlier stages in Daniella’s life. She starts off the novel as a young woman, having just met the man she will marry. Shlomie and Daniella marry young and go on to have 7 children. Wanting to become more religious, they decide to make Aaliyah (emigrate) to Israel.
And that is where the problems start.
Shlomie is more interesting in studying Torah than supporting his family. Daniella goes along with her husband’s wishes, but it soon becomes apparent that their marriage is in trouble. Trying to repair their marriage and provide for their children, Daniella and Shlomie join the ultra-religious communities in Jerusalem. Their problems go from bad to worse, leading to their youngest sons hospital stay and the police interest from Bina.
Can Bina find out what happened to the boys or will the truth stay hidden?
This book is nothing short of riveting. As I got further into the story, I kept wondering what kind of mother Daniella was to allow her children to go through what they went through. The ending, while partially predictable halfway through the end, was just shocking enough.
I recommend it.