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The Righteous Men [Paperback]

Sam Bourne

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Toronto, ON, Canada: Viking (Penguin); 1st Edition edition (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007203292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007203291
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  44 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good basic plot, but...... Aug. 27 2006
By David F. Mamrak - Published on Amazon.com
The author had a good basic plot, unfortunately our hero, Will Monroe Jr., is a totally unsympathetic character. Monroe comes across as a British version of a whining, spoiled yuppie. In one breath he is crying about the kidnapping of his wife Beth, the next he is admiring his ex-girlfriend's body. Please give me a break! Frankly, I was hoping Monroe Jr. would meet his demise somewhere along the way. You guess it, he makes it to the end just fine. You could also see who was behind murders of the righteous men, it could only have been one of two characters from the book. I hope Bourne can write a better leading character the next time around.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Time With This One Sept. 16 2006
By Thriller Lover - Published on Amazon.com
I read a lot of thrillers, and THE RIGHTEOUS MEN is probably the weakest I've read in quite a few months. This is an obvious knock-off of THE DA VINCI CODE, except it's nowhere near as good or well-researched.

The first part of this book plays out as a straightforward kidnapping story. Will Monroe is a reporter for the NEW YORK TIMES, and his wife has been abducted for reasons that are unknown to him. Since the kidnappers warn Monroe not to contact the cops, he investigates the kidnapping himself. His investigation leads him to a Hasidic Jewish community in Crown Heights, New York. This, in turn, leads him to discover a highly improbable conspiracy plot rooted in Jewish mysticism.

This book has a potentially interesting story, but it's severely handicapped by pedestrian writing and cardboard characters. The lead character, Will Monroe, is a clueless bore, and is downright unlikable when he makes a sloppy pass at his ex-girlfriend when his wife is still missing. Monroe hates himself for doing this -- so why should the reader feel differently?

Also, this plot is highly based on a series of highly unlikely coincidences. For example, what are the odds that Monroe's ex-girlfriend would happen to be an expert on the religious community that kidnapped his wife? Or that his best friend happens to be a brilliant computer expert who can track down the source of certain e-mail messages that Monroe receives? None of this is remotely believable. Even worse, it's not entertaining.

There are puzzles in this book, just like the Da Vinci code, but most of them are boring and have little relevance to the plot. Plainly, they were just thrown in this novel to capitalize on THE DA VINCI CODE and its success.

It's slapdash books like this that remind me how well constructed THE DA VINCI CODE really was. Avoid this one. There are much better thrillers out there that deserve your money.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jewish Mysticism Unleashed June 10 2008
By Rather Be Reading - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was an exciting, intelligent thriller. My response to the many negative reviewers is that a prior knowledge of Jewish mysticism helps understand the premise of the novel. Having studied Jewish mysticism, I found the plot extremely plausible, and therefore much more frightening. I loved this book because I couldn't put it down, but also because of its unique premise. It also came across as very authentic, right down to the Yiddish words and phrases. A great, fun, enlightening reading experience.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Religious schlock for the DaVinci crowd Sept. 10 2006
By kacunnin - Published on Amazon.com
Sam Bourne's The Righteous Men is a silly, ridiculously unbelievable tale of a young reporter's attempt to find his kidnapped wife and save the world from religious fundamentalists. The story is predictable (I guessed the "number one bad guy" from the first chapter), the hero is both banal and grossly shallow (he spends as much time salivating over his ex-girlfriend's body as he does worrying about his missing wife), and the writing is uninspired and ordinary. Well, that's not fair . . . Bourne DOES use a few rather amusing similes in his writing, such as this from page 258: "Will was pulled out of his hiding place like the meat from a sandwich." That one had me in stitches for a full two minutes!

Bottom line, Bourne insults both Jews and Christians equally, and he seems to know little about Hasidic culture or the Kabala that couldn't be learned in a fifteen minute Google search. The book's worst failing, I guess, is that there isn't one moment when this story is believable. Save your money . . . this one's not worth it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Oct. 21 2006
By Jan P. - Published on Amazon.com
Picking it up at an airport (ok, so I have only myself to blame), the reviews on the cover looked quite good, promising strong plotline. However, it didn't take me long to get bored with a light stile of writing, a plot that never picks up speed (it just plain never gets going), and uninteresting characters. He works so hard describing Hasidic Jews in New York, but only makes it sound like he's trying too hard to make it interesting. Don't bother.

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