The Last Days by Joel Rosenberg
I read Joel Rosenberg’s thriller “The Last Days” to expand the range of authors I read in this genre. Two years later, I finished his book. Getting through it became a personal quest to see if I could finish what I started. I didn’t dislike the book enough to stop reading it, but it didn’t spark my interest the way that other thrillers have.
The author obviously has a deep knowledge of Arab-Israeli politics and knowledge of Middle Eastern politics that gives the book an air of realism missing from other thrillers, right down to using real figures such as Yasser Arafat. At times Rosenberg veered into speculative territory that left me shaking my head, suggesting, for example, that the U.S. Secretary of State would conduct peace negotiations in the Gaza Strip. The author’s in-depth explanations of world events and political undercurrents that would do well in a textbook bogged down the story.
Surprisingly, the book lacked nonstop action and suspense that I would have expected from a story about efforts to avert a war between the Israelis, Palestinians, and Americans following the assassination of a major political figure and the killing of the U.S. Secretary of State. The few action scenes rescued the book at critical moments, but I would have preferred more of them to keep the story moving. The beginning and end are dramatic with a couple of well-placed nail-biter scenes interspersed. Otherwise, Rosenberg’s detailed descriptions and long-winded dialogue left me disinterested.
“The Last Days” had enough redemptive qualities to merit three stars. It’s a book for those who like cerebral, meaty thrillers who aren’t expecting the protagonist to single-handedly strong arm the bad guys.
The Last Days is now available at:
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