Book Review: The Devil in Jerusalem

When a Jerusalem doctor realizes that the child he is treating is actually the brother of another child who had just been admitted with similarly grotesque injuries, he calls in the authorities who begin to investigate who is behind such abuse. They soon realize the children’s own mother is involved and under the control of religious extremists.

What’s most shocking is that this book was inspired by a real case. It’s so important to recognize that crazy exists in all cultures. Once I realized such a thing was possible, the book became that much more interesting to me, particularly because cult culture is a strange and intriguing phenomenon. What I didn’t love was the dialogue in the present day moments – all the cop talk, in particular, felt a little cheesy. Someone has been watching too many movies, Sarge. Also, towards the end, they sped up the process of getting sucked into the cult (it went from skeptic to brainwashed in just a few pages) and talked you through everything that was happening (ie, a cult member talks through her mindset) rather than inferring their motivations. It didn’t need to be so obvious.

3 out of 5 stars.