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CHRISTIAN LIFE IN LONDON | OCTOBER 2020 EDITION
BookMark - Promised Land (Second and final book in the Chosen People series)
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A presentation of latest Christian books to hit the stores


Promised Land (Second and final book in the Chosen People series)



Author: Robert Whitlow

Genre: Christian Fiction - Suspense

ISBN 0718083059
ISBN-13: 9780718083052

Publishing Date: January 14, 2020

Availability in London: Creation Bookstore.

Available in: Hardcover, Paperback, CD Audio

Reviews courtesy of: Goodreads

Summary:

Bestselling author Robert Whitlow explores the meaning of family and home—and how faith forms the identity of both—in this breathtaking sequel to Chosen People.

Despite their Israeli citizenship, Hana and Daud cannot safely return to their homeland because a dangerous terrorist ring is threatening Daud. Hana is perfectly fine remaining in the United States, working for a law firm in Atlanta, especially when she learns she’s pregnant. But Daud can’t shake the draw to return home to Israel, even if it makes him a walking target.

Hana is helping her boss plan a huge summit in Atlanta when Jakob Brodsky, her old friend and former co-litigator, asks for her help with a case. His client is attempting to recover ancient artifacts stolen from his Jewish great-grandfather at the end of World War II. Because the case crosses several national borders, he needs Hana’s knowledge and skill to get to the bottom of what happened to these precious artifacts.

Meanwhile, Daud is called in to help a US intelligence agency extract a Ukrainian doctor from a dangerous situation in Egypt. While overseas, he can’t resist the call of Jerusalem and thus sets off a series of events that puts thousands of people in danger, including his wife and unborn child.

With historical mysteries, religious intrigue, and political danger, Promised Land asks one momentous question: What if your calling puts you—and your family—in the crosshairs?

Praise for Promised Land:


“Promised Land is a book about coming home. Of becoming settled in your spirit and your relationships. With layers of intensity, thanks to international intrigue, moments of legal wrangling, and pages of sweet relationships, this book is rich and complex. A wonderful read.” — Cara Putman, author of Flight Risk


READER REVIEWS

Virginia Winfield rated “Promised Land” a 4 out of 5 STARS
This is a good thriller. There were some twists and turns and I enjoyed the wonderful characters. It would be fun to read more with these main characters. This had a few different stories with ancient artifacts and with terrorists.

Esther Filbrun rated “Promised Land” a 4 out of 5 STARS
This was another outstanding read. I read Chosen People last year sometime, and was struck by the setting—very, very rarely have I ever read a book set in Israel and hardly ever (never?) a contemporary fiction at that. Whitlow changed that for me, though, in both of these books—he brought that place, its people, customs, and some ways of thought—to life in a way that felt very realistic without having a touch of info-dumping or information not relevant to the story.

One thing I especially enjoyed in Promised Land was the faith element. I remember noticing it in the previous book as well, but watching Hana go about her daily life, intentionally taking time to serve the Lord, was inspiring to me. I long for a deeper, closer relationship with Him, and though she is a fictitious character, I think all of us can learn from her example. She isn’t so much a vocal person about her faith, but her devotional life is rich—and I so enjoyed watching that element in here. It’s a part I don’t see very often in other Christian fiction.

Besides the faith and setting sides, I loved the mysteries here. I also loved that though you are told what the bad guys are planning to do, you are still totally invested in the story because you want to see just how their plans work out. That’s good storytelling!

I’m not sure there was anything about Promised Land that I didn’t enjoy. I don’t think it was quite as gripping as the previous one in the series, but I was fine with that—not every book must be a thriller. Some people might not find this sequel quite as good as the previous book, but to me, it was perfect—just different. If you enjoyed meeting Hana and her family in the last story, I’d recommend this one. It’s a great read.

Laura Langley rated “Promised Land” a 5 out of 5 STARS
Robert Whitlow's novel "Promised Land" gives readers a glimpse of what it means to be an Arab Christian from Jerusalem. If you're looking for realistic, modern-day fiction, Whitlow provides in this novel that follows the lives of ex-intelligence officer Daud and his wife Hana, an accomplished lawyer fluent in Arabic, Hebrew, and English. The couple's determination to carve out a life of safety and security for themselves rubs up against their love for Israel, their homeland--which isn't so safe. Journey through the up's and down's in this roller coaster ride of a plot and see the Holy Land from a different perspective--that of Arabic Christians who live alongside Jews in Israel. This is a fascinating read that includes everything from fast-paced action scenes to interesting archaeological finds to contemplative moments in prayer and worship. It's truly a mixture, and it actually makes for quite a delightful novel. I'll definitely be looking for other books from Whitlow in the future to see what happens to Daud and Hana next!

Susan Wachtel rated “Promised Land” a 5 out of 5 STARS
Promised Land by Robert Whitlow – Intrigue, Suspense, Interesting Characters Mixed with Fascinating Cultures

When author Robert Whitlow writes a book, I want to read it. That’s why I was excited at the opportunity to read his newest book Promised Land and I loved it.

Readers are reintroduced to characters from his last novel Chosen People. Hana Abboud, a Christian Arab attorney from Israel who is living in the United States, her husband Daud Hasan a Christian Arab from Israel, friend and colleague Jakob Brodsky, and dear friends Ben and Sadie Neumann. While reading this book, I felt like I was being reunited and catching up with old friends.

The story begins with Rahal Abaza in Qatar, five years earlier he had a jarring experience that set his life on a new course that will intersect with Daud and Hana. Hana is at home and awakens for her night watch, a time of prayer, reading Scripture and worship. While she does not know the specifics of all that’s going on with her husband Daud, she is praying for him while he is in Egypt on a mission for the CIA. He will need those prayers for what he’s about to encounter.

From the get-go, Promised Land is off and running. There’s a lot of suspense, intrigue, and action, but it doesn’t interfere with the development of characters or take the place of an interesting storyline. It’s well balanced.

My favorite thing about Robert Whitlow’s writing is how he develops characters. Hana is one of the most interesting characters. It’s fascinating to see and consider what it’s like to be an Arab Christian who is from Israel. You would think that there might be conflict, but Hana is a very gracious woman who takes her faith seriously. She loves her family and is a faithful friend. I found Daud intriguing and felt on edge with all the situations and people he encounters. Jakob is an interesting fellow. He always seems to take on cases that look impossible and that will require a lot of work and research to see if they will pan out. Ben and his daughter Sadie…absolutely love them.

I don’t want to spoil the story about what happens, so I’ll leave it with a brief intro into the storyline and characters. But I hope that you will pick up a copy of Promised Land by Robert Whitlow. It’s the second book in this series but is a good stand-alone book. You may want to go back and read Chosen People so you can have a richer connection with the characters.

Robert Whitlow is a gifted writer. He tells a good story and develops rich likable characters. I highly recommend Promised Land by Robert Whitlow. If you like action, suspense, intrigue, and interesting likable characters you will like Promised Land.

Cathy Morgan rated “Promised Land” a 3 out of 5 STARS
Daud and Hana are settling in to life in America. As Arab Christians who grew up in Israel but were forced to leave after an incident in Jerusalem, they have the language skills and Middle East contacts to help in a range of situations, and Daud is sent to Egypt to extract a Ukrainian scientist who is looking to sell his knowledge to the government there. He arrives only just in time to save the man's life - thus putting himself in the crosshairs of the people who had attempted the assassination. Meanwhile, Hana is getting involved in the search for a long-lost collection of archaeological treasures, a search that takes the couple to Jerusalem, to face more danger. Feeling a draw to Jerusalem, despite the danger, Daud and Hana are forced to decide whether to live in fear or in faith, and the extent to which they will seek God's will in their lives.

This story is well written and organised, with themes of home and belonging - but it didn't really grab me, though I find it hard to say why. I think I found it hard to engage with the characters, perhaps more my fault than the author's. I was also (perhaps unreasonably) somewhat put off by the presentation of Hana's relationship with God - it didn't feel like it fitted in quite with Biblical examples, and made me uncomfortable at times (for example, when singing a private song made up on the spot, she repeats a phrase over and over until she "feels a release in her spirit to continue"; sounds a bit too much like 'vain repetition' to me, and also making it all about feelings - which I'm not sure is healthy in any sort of relationship). Again, this probably wouldn't bother others, but I mention it just in case. There are also mentions of a previous book - I hadn't realised that this was part of a series, and at times felt a bit tantalised by the hints thrown out, but it didn't negatively impact my understanding of this book. However, if you're going to read them both, do so in order to avoid spoilers. All in all, I can see that others will probably really enjoy this book, but I found it not quite my cup of tea, and I doubt that I'll read more by the author.

Deana Dick rated “Promised Land” a 5 out of 5 STARS
There is so much I want to say about this book but I have to leave some details out. If you are like me, you don't like to have someone spoil a book for you. The book is written so well with expert details of Israel and other foreign lands. I loved hearing about the language, cuisine and customs described in the book. I felt as if I had traveled with Hana and Duad to their homeland. As I'm reading the book I had flashes of news reports where bombs had gone off in a foreign country much like the danger Duad finds himself in.

The book contains several plots that really kept the energy going throughout the book. One relationship I found interesting was with Hana and a young girl named Sadie. It seems that the young girl wants Hana to be her new mother. Will Hana be able to explain to the girl that it will not be possible without hurting her?

Hana is well versed in several languages which helps her at her job. I loved reading about the treasures and the history behind it. It worried me a little that Hana may not be able to close the deal she has worked so hard on. I can't forget to mention Leon, Hana's dog. There is something quite funny about his name that you will discover as you read the story. It makes for a lighthearted moment in a very tense story. I loved how the author includes faith throughout the story and I learned more about other religions.

Duad is a dashing man who is intelligent and in very much demand for secret missions. He will find himself in a battle for his life as someone is after him. The author does show us how insensitive people are when a racist mark is made about Duad. Oh how I wish someday we could get away from seeing people differently and just see them the way Jesus does.

The ending is nothing short of an adrenaline rush that had me on the edge of my seat. I love how the book has intense drama, faith, a bit of humor wonderful characters and the importance of family. This is one book that goes directly to my best books for 2020.

Beckie Burnham
I read Chosen People as soon as it was released and fell in love with the characters immediately. The plot line kept me intrigued and engaged — it was a fantastic read! I remember thinking that the author, Robert Whitlow, had to write a sequel. So glad he did. Favorite characters from the first book are back in Promised Land, a novel that is suspense, but so much more. Hana and Daud are married and living in Atlanta where Hana still works for as a lawyer in international contracts and business. Daud is a consultant, but one of his jobs puts him in a very difficult situation and places him in the crosshairs of a supporter of terrorist causes. I loved the tension Whitlow creates for the reader. Hana and Daud are unaware of the danger that awaits them, but the reader knows it is coming — wonderful suspense! If suspense was all Promised Land had going for it, it would be a good book. But the layers of relationships that Whitlow brings to the story add a great depth. I really liked that the two main characters are married and that the book explores the compromises and sacrifices each makes for the other. The settings of Atlanta and Israel offer great contrasts and help to reveal the longings of the two main characters. The spiritual element is also an integral part of the story. Hana especially has a very interesting and deeply moving quiet time with God that includes prayer, worship, and listening in the night watches. It is genuine and natural, and made me rethink how I spend time with God.

Promised Land is another winner from Whitlow. I once thought Chosen People was my favorite book by this talented author, but now have to say that it is tie between the two. If you haven’t read Chosen People, do that first before opening Promised Land. The two together are wonderful.

Highly Recommended.

Nora St Laurent rated “Promised Land” a 4 out of 5 STARS
I had read the first book The Chosen People and looked forward to reading the sequel. Book, one had readers get to know the main characters before their paths crossed, it took readers through Israel, went into the drama Hana and Daud went through when they first met and started working together. The story was fast paced and suspenseful.as their travels took them back and forth from the Promised Land and the US.

This story picks up with Hana Abbound Hasan who is a strong, smart, vulnerable and caring woman of faith. She seeks God’s guidance through prayer in a natural way. Her husband Daud Hasan, is a hard-working detective, who seeks a relationship with God in his own way. The couple are Israeli citizens living in the USA, where Hana works for a law firm in Atlanta. They both feel the need to settle down with a baby on the way, it’s not easy for them to find a place they can call home. There are so many forces against them.

This novel has a little bit less suspense and drama but it’s rich in history of Israel, having readers take in the sites, customs and food. It’s a satisfying conclusion to the first novel.

Kelly Hodgkins rated “Promised Land” a 4 out of 5 STARS
Rahal Abaza sat motionless in front of the panoramic view of the Persian Gulf.“ - Opening line of “Promised Land” by Robert Whitlow

This is my first experience with a Robert Whitlow novel and Promised Land is a fascinating journey! It is the second in a series but I didn’t feel I was missing anything in starting with this one. Crossing back and forth between the Middle East and America, the story follows lawyer Hana and her husband Daud, a highly trained agent as they work to unravel the mystery surrounding them.

Hana sets out to determine the authenticity and ownership of a historical artefact bringing up an interesting debate around these significant objects which have been taken in war from their home countries and original owners.

Daud is given a mission to protect a doctor whilst transporting him into protective custody. In the process, he is identified by the terrorists coming after him and his family. It sets off a chain reaction which is explored for the rest of the book. During this adventure, Robert highlights key elements of the lifestyle of the Middle East and it’s culture which I found fascinating.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, it’s not fast-paced but intriguing and complex. For the animal lover, the lovely dog in the story, Adam, is fine for the whole book…with terrorists on the loose, I worried the entire time! It’s a four out of five on the enJOYment scale, if you enjoy a legal drama, this is one for you!






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