First published April 28th 2011.
When you hear the word “inception” nowadays, the first thing that comes to mind is that mindmelt movie by Leonardo Di Caprio with the dreams and spinning hotel rooms. I admit that when I first got this book, without even reading the summary, I thought that this might be something like that movie. But it’s not.
Inception means “the creation of something”. That’s where the genius of this book start. The title has a double meaning (or it’s just me over-reading into things). Israel is on the verge of losing the Six-Day War. Forces are at work inside the government as well as the religious community of the country. A son of a Jewish rabbi falls in love with a beautiful Mossad agent and goes on to leave his religious duties to join the fight for his country.
The story starts out at the end of World War II. A Nazi leader and his pregnant teenage lover are on their way to freedom when they were ambushed by two Jewish boys out for revenge. The girl, Tanya Galinski, is spared and she goes on and falls in love with one of the boys, Abraham. Years pass and they all go on with their lives. Tanya becomes a Mossad agent, Abraham becomes a rabbi, and the other boy, Elie becomes an agent himself with plans of advancing his status no matter what.
We are then introduced to Jerusalem “Lemmy” Gerster, Abraham’s son. He was raised in a very religious environment with minimal exposure to anything else. Tanya suddenly comes back to Abraham’s life and seduces Lemmy. He gets caught up in the web of lies, conspiracy, and deceit spun by Elie Weiss. Lemmy must decide where his loyalties lie.
I must say, this was not the easiest of reads but it is definitely a good one. It set a consistent pace, never a boring moment. It has espionage, romance, a clear explanation of both government and IDF Intelligence Corps as well as some aspects of the Jewish faith. It is a mix of fact and fiction. The number one strength of the book is its airtight research and believability. It is intriguing and for a history buff like me, it is definitely very interesting. The story is good and the factual, historical aspects of it are a pleasant extra.
I mentioned the brilliant title. Looking at it from one side, it talks of Tanya creating a sense of rebellion in Lemmy… Jerusalem (against his strict religious reality/beliefs). On the other, it can be Elie planting moles into the Israeli government to gain control. Either way you want to look at it, it’s a perfect title.
Among the likes of the Jason Bourne series and Mission: Impossible franchise, The Jerusalem Inception is a daring piece of literature and I cannot wait for what comes next.
Recommendation: I can see military history buffs getting into this. Fans of thrillers and espionage novels will definitely like this. Definitely a lot of guy readers will like this.
Get your copy here.