Author: Avraham Azrieli
Publisher: Create Space Publishers
ISBN: 978-1475194517

Long before the Republican Party in the U.S. nominated Mormon bishop Mitt Romney as its Presidential candidate, the author of The Mormon Candidate conceived a fascinating plot, timely setting and well-developed characters for this intriguing book. Replete with information about the history, theology and rituals of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon), the book offers a seductive plot with twists and turns and an unforgettable ending.

The book begins when Zachariah Hinckley loses control of his motorcycle.  Freelance journalist Ben Teller witnesses Zachariah’s horrific deathly plunge over a rocky precipice and notices Officer Porter’s secretive removal of something curious from Zachariah’s wallet. There was a story here - and Ben knew it! 

When another motorcycle rider sped by like a ghost, Ben’s journalistic instincts accelerated.  When he discovers Zachariah’s iPod containing his diary, his instincts went into full gear. There was definitely a story here!  

And what a story!  Zachariah’s private diary reveals a lot: his involvement with the Mormon Church … his experience with the Marines and a Jewish Captain who saved his life ... his theft from the Department of Veterans Affairs of confidential records listing US Medal of Honour awardees ... his awareness that those heroes would be posthumously baptized into the Mormon (True Church) faith regardless of their faith during their lifetime (as well as the Jewish Captain who saved his life; hundreds of thousands of Holocaust victims; millions of dead Gentiles whose identities were collected throughout the world; deceased Israeli Prime Ministers etc.) ... and his realization that for Mormon Joe Morgan, the Republican Presidential candidate, being “baptized in proxy” for the US Medal of Honour awardees had fueled his conviction that he was to become Commander In Chief which would fulfill the Mormon belief that the destiny of the True Church was to take over the whole world.

Staccato phrases throughout the book propel the reader to reading ‘just one more chapter‘ before putting the well-conceived and well-edited book down.  Before the book ends, readers will be introduced to the Danites; the Mormon concepts of blood atonement/dark-skinned people/and the role of Mormon women.  As well, readers will encounter a hired killer; corrupt police tactics; the politics of a Presidential candidacy; an interracial romance; a group of disenchanted former Mormon adherents; and a series of unexpected and suspenseful plot twists.

Author Azrieli notes that his “personal practice is to create the most fascinating fictional characters and involve them passionately in the most suspenseful fictional conflicts” with the rest of the material “as accurate and as realistic as possible, not only to enable readers to believe the story, but also to share interesting historical and political facts in an exciting context which rewards readers' craving to learn and expand their horizons.” 

Did he achieve his goal?  Absolutely.  This provocative and gripping suspense novel about political games is a powerfully well-written and balanced mix of political intrigue, romance and mystery that weaves extensive research with imaginative fiction.  

Azrieli is a writer who knows how to write and captivate an audience, and this reviewer can’t wait to read more of his books.


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