Thou Shall Not Kill


Fiction - Thriller - General
324 Pages
Reviewed on 05/04/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

JOHN LEIFER is an award-winning author whose work includes both critically acclaimed fiction and non-fiction titles. His non-fiction work builds upon Leifer's extensive experience in health care, and includes: The Myths of Modern Medicine: The Alarming Truth About American Health Care and After You Hear It's Cancer: A Guide to the Difficult Journey Ahead, both published by Rowman & Littlefield.
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Leifer's fiction has been described as "chilling" -- an evolving trilogy of thrillers that draw upon his experiences with key governmental agencies and scientists, including serving on a presidential panel led by former national security advisor, Brent Scowcroft. His Commander John Hart thriller trilogy begins with Terminal, a heart-pounding tale of bioterrorism, followed by, 8 Seconds to Midnight, involving nuclear espionage. It concludes with the recently released Thou Shall Not Kill.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Darryl Greer for Readers' Favorite

When a novel’s dramatis personae include such real-life characters as Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Russian Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov, you know the story is at least going to be interesting. And so it is in Thou Shall Not Kill, the third and final book in author John Leifer’s Commander John Hart trilogy. It is well known that Russia, the United States, and Israel are in the nuclear weapons club and that Iran is on the cusp of joining if it isn’t there already. It is also beyond doubt that terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah are armed to the teeth, courtesy of Iran, and are hell-bent on the complete destruction of the State of Israel. But what if a coalition organized by Iran and fully supported by Russia decides on a well-planned, decisive attack on Israel, determined once and for all to wipe Israel off the map? And what if Israel, with its back against the wall, considers it has no choice but to use nuclear weapons to defend itself? Enter the United States and the president’s go-to man for doomsday scenarios, Commander John Hart. The events which follow are frightening, not least because John Leifer has the uncanny ability to render the unlikely plausible.

This intelligently written novel falls squarely into the difficult-to-put-down variety. Thou Shall Not Kill is a thriller of thrillers that really stands out from the crowd. The fictional characters slide effortlessly in beside the real ones, events in the Middle East are described with care and diligent research, the fictional story is set in a believable context, frightening though that may be. John Leifer is able to describe in detail an incredible array of weapons in each side’s arsenal. For those readers who have followed the exploits of John Hart through the trilogy, there is an interesting — and thoughtful — twist at the end, understandable for a man who has witnessed what he has. It would be a sin if Thou Shall Not Kill does not make the bestseller list.

Romuald Dzemo

Thou Shall Not Kill by John Leifer is a terrorist thriller with powerful political themes. The attack to wipe out Israel begins with the detonation of a bomb at the Sapir Academic College, the largest public university in Israel. The images are gruesome and graphic, with dismembered bodies, blood-soaked grass, and the headless torso of the bomber, Kamal. But it is just the beginning of a nightmare for Israel because there is a combined army of forty-thousand drawn from different countries - Syria, Russia, Palestine, and Iran - all poised to sink Israel. The Prime Minister, Abraham Rabinovich, recalls the promise of Never Again after the painful and dehumanizing experience of the Holocaust and is not prepared to let his people suffer another historic humiliation and potential extinction. He is capable of launching weapons that can destroy entire cities, but he has a huge problem: Commander John Hart. Can he overcome his conscience and hit back?

John Leifer writes a novel with political themes that portray Israel, once again, as the target of enemies. The narrative is filled with action and it features characters that are rock-solid and compelling. A nation is being attacked and the violence against her escalates with every second. The Prime Minister is aware that the evil once committed against his people is about to repeat itself, but he is torn between his conscience and a commander who’d rather follow a more traditional approach to defending the nation. The tension is high and every single moment is filled with suspense, with readers expecting something awful to happen; another damaging attack. And they do happen. Thou Shall Not Kill is fast paced and action packed, with a conflict that magnifies at a dizzying speed. It’s a page-turner!

Ruffina Oserio

Thou Shall Not Kill by John Leifer is a terrorist-themed novel that explores the theme of anti-Semitism and an organized plan to eradicate the state of Israel. It begins with a bombing at the campus of Sapir Academic College, one of Israel’s largest public universities, and escalates quickly into a very serious crisis. Israel is being attacked by forty-thousand powerful, well-trained fighters, pulled from Syria, Iran, Hamas, Russia, and Hezbollah and all they want is to destroy the country. Prime Minister Abraham Rabinovich is inclined to honor a promise Israel had once made after the Holocaust — never to accept any form of violence against her people. He knows he can destroy whole cities by simply giving the command and Israel would launch some of her deadly weapons. But can he act against his conscience and can he win the confidence of Commander John Hart?

John Leifer weaves a narrative with powerful political themes and explores a subject that has been at the heart of terrorism throughout the centuries — the tribulation of the Jewish people. Readers are immersed in a setting where a small country is threatened by aggressive neighbors. The characters are not just exceptional, they are real, and it is interesting how the conflict plays out in the mind of the Prime Minister, a man torn between values. Thou Shall Not Kill is packed with action, and as the reader moves from one episode to another, they keep asking the question: Why? Written in excellent and highly descriptive prose, this novel is both exciting and intoxicating.