Thou Shall Not Kill by John Leifer

It was a beautiful morning graced by crystal blue skies as Kamal passed through the gate at Sapir Academic College, Israel’s largest public university. Unnoticed, he merged seamlessly into the flow of bodies traversing the campus.
At precisely 9:05 a.m. he began to recite his prayers. Two minutes later, he stopped, stared at the heavens, then shouted, “Allah Akbar!” before depressing a detonator. In a millisecond, scorching hot metal ripped through the flesh of anyone within Kamal’s line of sight. Students dropped mid-stride. Dismembered bodies lined the sidewalks, and blood-soaked the grass. Kamal’s headless torso lay amid the dead and dying.

It was merely the first shot in a methodically planned, multi-pronged attack designed to “wipe Israel from the face of the earth.” Its perpetrators included a combined army, 40,000 men strong, of Iranian, Syrian, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Russian forces—men who would stop at nothing to achieve their objective.

As the attack escalated from an act of terrorism to an existential threat, the words, Never Again echoed in the mind of Israeli prime minister Abraham Rabinovich. It was a promise by Jewish Holocaust survivors to never again be passive in the face of systematic annihilation.

With a single order, Rabinovich was poised to launch weapons capable of incinerating entire cities. Only two things stood in his way: his conscience and Commander John Hart.

A little about John first:
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JOHN LEIFER is an award-winning author whose work includes both critically acclaimed fiction and non-fiction titles. His non-fiction work builds upon Leifer’s extensive experience in health care and includes The Myths of Modern Medicine: The Alarming Truth About American Health Care and After You Hear It’s Cancer: A Guide to the Difficult Journey Ahead, both published by Rowman & Littlefield. Leifer’s fiction has been described as “chilling” — an evolving trilogy of thrillers that draw upon his experiences with key governmental agencies and scientists, including serving on a presidential panel led by former national security advisor, Brent Scowcroft.

Elkin Hardcovers’ Review: 2.5-Stars

If you like rather stereotypic views of Islamic extremism; want a book that doesn’t try and delve into the complexities of middle-east socio-political structures; if you want a work that is the equivalent of a dumb actioner pumped out during the summer to capture as much money as possible, then this book is for you. If you desire none of these things in a work, then seek elsewhere. The plot, if you want to call it that was brutally straightforward: Hezbollah, in direct change to its normal TO&E, would support Iran, and Syria, with backing from Russia.

There are the usual chemical and atomic threats one would expect in such a work, as well as a lot of military action, which was described in scant detail. Add in large doses of U.S. & NATO inaction, and one man American advisors and we have the plot. There is a great deal of distancing from the characters involved, the dialogue is somewhat stilted, the information on important places and military hardware is delivered in a text-book fashion, and the tension is largely non-existent. While Israel’s capabilities aren’t downplayed, so we can have a one-manned army save the day, this one positive hardly comes close to out-weighing all the negatives of the book.

Sherry Terry’s Review: 3-stars

I love the cover for this book. If you like to read military stories, this cover is for you. I know next to nothing about the social or political clime in the Middle East, so I will not be commenting on what faction is doing what with who.

I found this book to backstory/info-dump for my taste. Instead of smoothly introducing the characters and factions into the plot, the author threw it out there like confetti. The actual writing was strong with a good pace. For a novice military reader, this was okay with terms and nuance.

Please feel free to share your review in the comments.

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