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The Reckoning: How the Killing of One Man Changed the Fate of the Promised Land

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About the Book

From the bestselling author of ‘Fighter Boys’, the true story of two ruthless adversaries and a wartime killing that shook the modern world.

On a cold, bright morning in February 1942, fugitive Avraham Stern was cornered in a flat in Tel-Aviv and shot dead. His killer, Assistant Superintendent Geoffrey Morton, claimed Stern was trying to escape. But Stern was no ordinary criminal. And witnesses insisted he was executed in cold blood.

Stern was a militant Zionist, self-proclaimed Jewish liberator of British Palestine and mastermind of bloody terrorist attacks targeting and killing policemen. On the run from Morton, a British colonial policeman assigned to capture him, his shooting inspired a cult of martyrdom that would ignite enmities between Jews, British and Arabs in the future hotbed of Israel. The Reckoning is the first book to tell the tale of a rebel who terrorized Palestine, the lawman determined to stop him and the events that led to their fatal meeting.

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Critical Praise

‘Bishop is a fine and economical teller of complicated stories. He sets up nicely the background to the Stern Gang's activities rooted in Jewish hostility to the British authorities … the tale of the hunt is very well done … though the bloody end is never in doubt the chase itself is exciting’ The Times

‘Bishop has done a wonderful job of making intelligible the labyrinthine politics of the Palestine Mandate in the Forties … Compelling … reads like the most gripping of thrillers … A superb book that shines light on one of the murkier episodes of British imperial rule, and that confirms Bishop's status as one of our finest World War II historians’ Mail on Sunday

‘A rousing detective thriller’ Evening Standard

‘Patrick Bishop's excellent new book ‘The Reckoning’ is the enthralling story of this blood vendetta … Bishop's detective story offers a vivid portrait of the fraught, doomed world of the Palestine Mandate’ Daily Telegraph

‘Bishop's gripping ‘The Reckoning’ [is] about the fatal shooting and subsequent martyrdom of the Zionist freedom fighter (or terrorist – take you pick) Avraham Stern. As characters go Stern is compelling in a car-crash kind of way, Bishop … sums him up quite marvellously as 'a dandy aesthete with visions of sacrificial violence’ Spectator

‘Bishop’s depiction of Stern’s downfall is masterful’ The Economist

‘Gripping and masterly … the story of how Morton finally tracked (Stern) down is riveting and, in Bishop's hands, reads like a great thriller … fascinating and absorbing’ Country Life

‘Riveting … Bishop has very skilfully mined new and rarely used sources … [its] gripping narrative reads like a thriller’ Literary Review

‘Well-told and well-researched re-examination of the Stern legend … as Bishop explains in his thrilling narrative, Stern’s days were numbered the moment his group launched an assassination campaign against the British’ Standpoint

‘Engrossing … exhaustively researched and elegantly written’ Daily Mail

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780007518272
  • ISBN 10: 0007518277
  • Imprint: William Collins
  • On Sale: 02/27/2014
  • Pages: 320
  • List Price: 1.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: HISTORY / Middle East / Israel & Palestine
  • BISAC2: HISTORY / Jewish

The Reckoning: How the Killing of One Man Changed the Fate of the Promised Land by Patrick Bishop

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