From bestselling author of Fighter Boys, the true story of two ruthless adversaries and a wartime killing that shook the modern world.
On a cold morning in February 1942, with the world plunged in the horrors of World War Two, Avraham Stern hid in an attic in Tel Aviv, a price on his head. He’d been on the run for weeks, his picture blazoned across newspapers all over Palestine. As leader of the Stern Gang, he had committed spectacular and murderous crimes, sparking outcry from both British and Jewish groups. An intellectual poet and mystic, Stern believed himself destined for greatness; the Jewish liberator of British Palestine. Drawn always to the margins – his writings were drenched in images of martyrdom and blood.
Assistant Superintendent Geoffrey Morton, a middle-class Londoner who had swopped milk deliveries for the dangers of colonial policing, was the man tasked with stopping Stern. Seemingly so different, in fact the men had much in common – ambition, dedication and conviction in his own righteousness. The incidents of that morning would be endlessly contested but two things were clear; Morton had cornered Stern and, minutes later, shot him dead. The shots Morton fired that day would echo down the remaining years of British rule in Palestine and through the titanic events that shaped the birth of Israel.
Based on revelatory research, the private archive of Morton and interviews with witnesses, The Reckoning is the first book to tell the tale of a rebel who terrorized Palstine, the lawman determined to stop him and the creation of a cult of martyrdom that destroyed any hope of compromise between Arab and Jew.
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‘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 MailBook Description:
Mystery, Death and Intrigue in the Promised Land - a True Detective Story
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Book Description 2014. Book Condition: New. 153mm x 234mm x. From bestselling author of Fighter Boys, the true story of two ruthless adversaries and a wartime killing that shook the modern world. On a cold morning in February 1942, with the world plunged in t.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 320 pages. 0.272. Bookseller Inventory # 9780007506200