Ronald Balson

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Publisher’s Weekly: Review of Saving Sophie

SAVING SOPHIE, Ronald H. Balson (Griffin): In Balson’s solid sequel to Once We Were Brothers, Chicago PI Liam Taggart and his fiancée, lawyer Catherine Lockhart, investigate an act of embezzlement complicated by links to a child kidnapping and terrorist activity in Hebron, Israel. Jewish accountant Jack Sommers, who’s hiding in Hawaii after helping misdirect an $88 million business transaction, is desperate to retrieve his six-year-old daughter, Sophie, from his late wife’s Palestinian father, Dr. Arif al-Zahani. FBI agent Jeff Miller and Kayla Cummings, who advises the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, join the investigation, because they believe the missing money could be funding an extremist group led by al-Zahani. Suspense fans will find few surprises in a novel that focuses on showing how the everyday people of both Israel and Palestine just want to live quiet, peaceful lives. Balson succeeds in illuminating the personal side of the Middle Eastern conflict through his deeply human, psychologically credible characters. Agent: Maura Teitelbaum, May Miller. (Sept.)