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The Lie

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  956 ratings  ·  115 reviews
A “page-turner that will engage your mind and emotions in a way few novels do” (Stephen King) about a left-wing Israeli lawyer—famous for defending Palestinians—whose views face the ultimate test when her own son is captured and tortured by terrorists.Devoted mother, soon-to-be divorced wife, attractive lover of an American television correspondent, Dahlia Barr is a brash ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Scribner
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3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  956 ratings  ·  115 reviews

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Stephen King
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.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own
I purchased and read this book because Stephen King wrote a good review on it. Good writing but the subject wasn't my thing. It was hard for me to get into this book but it did have a good ending.
Lance Charnes
Mar 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers who don't need a lot of nuance to their Mideast thrillers
The Lie begins with an intriguing scenario: what if an outspoken human rights lawyer is co-opted by the Israeli Police to decide who gets tortured and who doesn't? That this scenario gets overwhelmed by the thriller plot is one of this novel's chief frustrations.

Dahlia Barr is the lawyer in question, a firebrand defender of the many (mostly Arab) lost souls who end up in Israeli police dragnets, many because they're in the wrong place at the wrong time or have done something that looks suspiciou
This was an emotional roller coaster!

Excellent writing, excellent character building, and the depth of the story is incredible. On the surface, it's a thriller set in modern-day Israel and Lebanon as a team of commandos make a rescue attempt of two kidnapped Israeli soldiers. It's also a much deeper moral morass of what actions, if any, should be taken to find the whereabouts of the soldiers, to what level the protagonists will stoop, and how it will impact the political will of the nation. The
Human rights lawyer Dahlia Barr had represented Palestinians for a number of years; as a tough, no nonsense sort of person she found herself rather shocked to be offered the job of working with the Israeli Police Force – her position would be to approve torture within the government under certain circumstances.

Mother to sons Ari and Uri, soon to be divorced from husband Dudik, the suddenness of the attack by Hezbollah soldiers on the border and the subsequent kidnapping of Ari as well as another
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it

Once again a reading group steered me to a book I'd never heard about and am glad I read. The Lie is set in Israel and though it is standard fare as thrillers go, the author (a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces) gives readers a provocative look at today's issues.

Dahlia Barr, a tough attorney based in Jerusalem and known for defending Palestinians accused of terrorism, accepts recruitment into the Israeli security establishment. She believes she can change the system from within and do away w
Oct 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: middle-east, 2014
Each chapter averages roughly two pages, and "the lie" is revealed on the actual first page of the book. It features the same level of complexity about Israeli/Palestinian relations that you might get from reading American news for a week, and even fewer less-than-superficial character detail. There is no reason for The Lie to exist. I've enjoyed reading certain subreddits about the Middle East far more than I enjoyed this book.
Paul E. Morph
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Lie is a fast-paced novel that questions the morality of both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict on both the geopolitical and the very personal level.

I found it very upsetting but, sadly, not surprising or shocking. The brevity of the book prevents it from examining the subject matter that deeply. Perhaps that's not a bad thing. Unless you've been living in a cave for the last however many years, you're unlikely to learn anything new from this book but it's a powerful piece nonetheles
Emily Thomas
Jul 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jesse Coulter
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed-books
I picked up a copy of “The Lie” because I absolutely loved Kestin’s last book, “The Iron Will Of Shoeshine Cats”. Unfortunately the joyous experience I had with that book wasn’t repeated here. They’re very different books thematically and stylistically and while I really wanted to like this book, I couldn’t for several reasons.

There are aspects I liked: the writing is taut, economic, and illustrative. Kestin’s ability to bring a setting to life is really fantastic and transports the reader ther
Paul Pessolano
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
“The Lie” by Hesh Kestin, published by Scribner.

Category – Fiction/Literature Publication Date – March 04, 2014

“The Lie” is a story based on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, incorporating the legality and morality of the actions taken on both sides.

Mohammed (Edward) Al-Masri is a respected professor in Canada traveling to Israel. He is confronted by Israeli customs and is found to be smuggling Euros into Israel. He is jailed and becomes a pawn for the Palestinian cause.

Dahlia Barr is a prominen
Bar Reads
Sep 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant thriller. Pay very close attention to the prologue. I may re read because it's very cleverly written. A good plot, good characters, and super easy to read.
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
An incredibly deft, swift, thought-provoking thriller that you can read in a day. It goes straight to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and you don't have to be especially sensitive or knowledgeable about the deep complexities of that conflict to appreciate how hard-hitting this novel is. Kestin's a veteran not only of foreign correspondence for major newspapers and media, but of the Israeli Defense Forces as well, and while the book's clearly written from an Israeli point of view, ...more
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
This one's a thriller, set in contemporary Israel -- a fast-moving, tense clash rooted in the Middle Eastern conflict. To call the book cinematic should take nothing away from its literary muscle. It's a tightly plotted book, a political game of nerve with some seriously charismatic special ops thrown in for good measure.

The Lie is really a series of lies, ranging from national in scope to small and deeply personal. Kestin's protagonist, Dahlia Barr, is an Israeli Jewish human rights attorney wh
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
A dark political thriller set amidst the backdrop of the chaotic Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Two things become apparent very quickly. The main protagonist, 44 year-old lawyer Dahlia Barr is a tough cookie in a volatile and very male dominated environment. And secondly how much unadulterated hatred the two races have for each other.

Laced with terrorism, violence, cowardice and courage, this is a tightly written, streamlined espionage plot with memorable and strong characters and a gripping fina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca Bradley
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
This isn’t a lengthy book, standing at just over 200 pages long and some chapters at only half a page and yet it still took me about three days to read.

The reason being that my political and religious knowledge around the area I was reading about is extremely limited so I was reading slowly in order that I understood what was behind the actions that were being taken in the book.

Bearing that in mind though, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. The story is well told and does not rely on long explanati
Rhoda Bean
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have just read The Lie by Hesh Kestin - thoroughly enjoyed this one. Dahlia is a controversial Israeli attorney specializes in defending Palestinians accused of terrorism. Her son Ari, a twenty-year-old lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces, is kidnapped by Hezbollah and whisked over the border to Lebanon. It is a story of human beings on both sides of the terror equation whose lives turn out to share more in common than they—and the reader—could ever have imagined. ...more
Kris Springer
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fast moving, political and personal drama set in Israel and Lebanon. Fascinating characters and an inside look into the situation in the Middle East. About 60 pages in it picks up like a high speed train and doesn't let go. Get ready to question the characters' actions and wonder what you'd do.
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
So many truths behind a lie. It touched my heart.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This reads more like a screen play that a novel in a lot of ways. I didn't really warm to any of the characters very much but I got a bit of an insight into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Random read based on Boris’ review of another of Kestin’s novels. First rate and fascinating every twist and turn. The journey through the Israeli conflict with their neighbors was breathtaking and too real for fiction. I’m going to go on a Kestin binge. Thanks Boris
John McKenna
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mysterious Book Report No. 164
by John Dwaine McKenna
There’s times when a novel comes along that is so meaningful, so packed with lessons for living, and yes, so moral in tone, that I wish everyone in the world would read it and draw their own conclusions about it. This week’s MBR number 164 is such a one. I can only hope that with your help, this book report will go viral. So please . . . read this review . . . seek out and read the book, get your own take. Then send this review to all of your f
Bonnie Brody
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Lie by Hesh Kestin packs a hard wallop and offers an inside look at the Israeli army and the Knesset in action as it seeks to free some prisoners taken captive by Hezbollah.

Dahlia Barr is known primarily as a human rights activist and attorney, representing the poor and politically unpopular. Therefore, she is shocked when Zalman Arad from the police department calls upon her to offer her a job as Chief Superintendent and Special Advisor for Extraordinary Measures to the Chief Superintendent
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ah, to be manipulated...

In the seventies there was Dirty Harry showing us it was alright, noble even, to blow away the bad guys with our 44 Magnums. Those creeps don't deserve any rights. We know they're criminals, killers, rapists. They deserve everything we give them.

A few years ago there was Jack Bauer. Sure he killed and tortured with impunity, but it was all good. He only did it to the really bad guys. They had it coming.

The problem, of course, is that you never see Dirty Harry or Jack Baue
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Dahlia Barr is a a leftist Israeli attorney who is despised by many of her Jewish peers because she defends Palestinians--even terrorists--in court. She is a bold advocate for the civil rights of Palestinians.

Dahlia's reputation makes her, in the eyes of the Israeli government, the perfect candidate for a new job, one which she reluctantly accepts. In times of great threat or under dire circumstances, the Israelis believe it may be necessary to torture prisoners, but who is to decide when it is
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is basically a thriller, but with some thought-provoking ideas, which I found deepened my understanding of everyday life in a country where politics is often deadly and the rhetoric often turns to actions that are misunderstood. Dahlia Barr is an Israeli attorney who defends Palestinians accused of terrorism. She (and her mother) and left-wingers. They see bad intentions around every corner. Nevertheless, in order to make more of an impact on the government, Dahlia accepts an insider's job ...more
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I feel bad to say this book was very exciting. That being because the Israelis & Palestinians go thru this almost every day, and I am sure this is not exciting for them. A very intense story about an Israeli defense attorney, Dahlia Barr, who defends Israelis accused of terrorism. She is one day told that she is basically the ONLY person for the job of becoming an arbiter on the use of torture filled interrogations. She takes the job, wondering if she can change the system from within.

This is the first novel I've read addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and it was pretty good. I could have done without the war descriptions (simply because reading about this gun and that gun isn't interesting), but all the behind-the-scenes stuff, the affairs, the description, the dialogue -- all of it was excellent. Mr. Kestin is an excellent writer, and I think he did a good job with a multitude of characters. It's a shame that the one character whose views I agreed with (Dalia's mo ...more
Aug 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: purchased
trite, stereotypical, one dimensional characters, full of the israeli right properganda. I was disappointed as the opportuhity to write ..and read...a nuanced, balanced, and complex story on the lives of all tribes living in the modern israeli state was passed up by the author who was too busy painting the palestihians as brutal, manipulative monsters versus the morally right, and justified israelis. the token bedoiun arab as a counterpoint displaying their impartiality, and fight for all humans ...more
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