A provocative thriller about a dynamic Israeli lawyer—famous for defending accused Palestinians—whose views are tested when her own son is taken captive by Hezbollah: “The Lie is what great fiction is all about” (Stephen King).
Dahlia Barr is a devoted mother, soon-to-be divorced wife, lover of an American television correspondent. She is also a brash and successful Israeli attorney who is passionate about defending Palestinians accused of terrorism. One day, to her astonishment, the Israeli national police approach Dahlia with a tantalizing proposition: Join us, and become the government’s arbiter on when to use the harshest of interrogation methods—what some would call torture. Dahlia is intrigued. She has no intention of permitting torture, but can she change the system from within? She takes the job.
As Dahlia settles into her new role, her son Ari, a twenty-year-old lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces, is kidnapped by Hezbollah and whisked over the border to Lebanon. The one man who may hold the key to Ari’s rescue is locked in a cell in police headquarters. He is an Arab who has a long and complicated history with Dahlia. And he’s not talking. Yet.
A nail-biting thriller that “will stay with you” (The New York Times Book Review), The Lie is an unforgettable story of human beings on both sides of the terror equation whose lives turn out to share more in common than they ever could have imagined. “An utterly riveting thriller that is likely to rank as one of the year’s best…The Lie has everything: memorable characters, a compelling plot, white-knuckle military action, and an economy and clarity of prose that is direct, powerful, and at times beautiful” (Booklist, starred review).
Hesh Kestin was for two decades a foreign correspondent, reporting from the Middle East on war, international security, terrorism, arms dealing, espionage, and global business. He was the London-based European correspondent for Forbes and is an eighteen-year veteran of the Israel Defense Forces. His articles have appeared in Newsday, the Jerusalem Post, Inc. and Playboy. The father of five, Kestin lives on Long Island in New York.
"A page-turner that will engage your mind and emotions in a way few novels do. The narrative is headlong, the issues have never been more current, and the characters come alive from the page. This is a story about the lies we tell until the truth is forced upon us, and about divided countries, including those of the human heart. I started reading; I ended up experiencing. The Lie is what great fiction is all about."
– Stephen King
"A page-turning triumph, foaming with emotional resonance and ripped-from-the-headlines suspense."
– David Goodwillie, author of American Subversive
"An utterly riveting thriller . . . The Lie has everything: memorable characters, a compelling plot, white-knuckle military action, and an economy and clarity of prose that is direct, powerful, and at times beautiful."
– Booklist (starred review)
"Knuckle-gnawing, heart-stopping,sleep-suspending . . . The plot is compelling; the writing taut, lucid . . .and the issues around which the story revolves are as current as the breakingnews . . . Simply superb fiction."
– Washington Jewish Week
“Extraordinarily fun and surprisingly intriguing.”
– Kansas City Star
“Kestin, a Brooklyn-raised former foreign correspondent, engages us with authentic detail. . . . [The Lie] will stay with you.”
– New York Times Book Review
“A fast-moving, tense thriller… Calling the book cinematic takes nothing away from its literary muscle… A tightly plotted story, a political game of nerve with some seriously charismatic special ops for good measure…. Kestin brings the action alive through details both mundane and exotic… A vivid picture of life in an everyday war zone.”
– The Millions
“In this taut novel, the dark complexities of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict hit home… Dahlia … is a magnetic presence throughout…. Extraordinary… A powerful and unsettling finale.”
"I was moved to tears (and cheers!) by this wonderfully compelling account of deeply personal conflict in the midst of Israel's war against terror. Hesh Kestin is a superb storyteller who knows the Middle East intimately. The Lie is alive with an abundance of surprising fact and thoroughly engaging fiction."
– Richard D. Heffner,host of public television's The Open Mind
"Not a single word is wasted in Kestin's masterfully wrought and mercilessly readable novel of intrigue, and terror. The Lie's political, cultural, and personal insights are matched only by its breathtaking action and suspense. Quite simply, the best thriller I've read in ages."
– Jonathan Evison, New York Times-bestselling author of West of Here and All About Lulu
"A suspenseful read."
– The Times of Israel
“An intense, ripped-from-the-headlines political thriller . . . Give[s] readers plenty of insight into the moral issues surrounding torture, security, and human rights, as well as the complexity of the current situation in Israel.”