Thursday, January 5, 2023

Book Review - The 12th Commandment by Daniel Torday


A group of Jewish Islamic people, known as the Donme, live in an isolation community in Mt. Izmir, Ohio.The people are religious and self-sustaining, who followed their prophet, Natan of Flatbush, from Brooklyn to Ohio. When Natan's teenage son is brutally murdered, the entire community is in turmoil and begins to arm themselves.

Zeke Leger, is a thirty year old writer, who arrives to Ohio for a friend's funeral. He becomes interested in the case and decides to report on the murder. His ex-girlfriend, Johanna Franklin, prosecuted the case and believes Natan is guilty. As Zeke investigates the murder, he finds himself drawn to the Donme and becomes interested in their ways. Will Zeke be able to solve the murder before he endangers himself?

I thought the cover and the premise was interesting. Unfortunately, the book fell flat to me. The writing style didn't flow smoothly for me and there was tons of vernacular that I was unsure of. I wish the author included a section explaining the culture and norms. I feel like it would have made the novel easier to follow along if you are not familiar with the culture. I also felt that the story moved very slowly and nothing really happened for extended amount of time. I feel like readers who are familiar with the culture might enjoy this novel more than I did.

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