Book Review: The Jerusalem Connection by Janis Susan May

The Jerusalem ConnectionThe Jerusalem Connection
Janis Susan May
Sefkhat-Awbi Books, July 2014
ISBN 978-1-941520-06-2
Trade paperback

Choir director Robin Sabine herds (I use the term advisedly) a group of teenagers to a singing competition in Jerusalem when their regular director is unable to attend. Wow! Do things ever go wrong from there. The little group is housed in a terrible hotel, there’s a prestigious competing musical director who wants the Americans thrown out and, worst of all, Robin meets up with a former lover who dumped her.

What else could go wrong?

Well, her group is made up of soloists, and are a long way from cooperating as a team, let alone being competitive. That doesn’t bode well for placing in the competition. When she goes to the old city pick up a gift for a friend, the item seems to draw an inordinate amount of interest. Her room at the creepy hotel is searched–not once but several times, and people turn up dead.

The only good thing is the British attache who seems to have fallen for her. But can she trust him?

Then, when the teens are kidnapped and Robin’s life is threatened, the situation really goes wrong.

I truly enjoyed this romantic suspense, even though one character and Robin’s continued interest in him really grated on me. Otherwise, the characters were well-depicted. Greystoke Hamilton-ffoulkes (I have a hard time even typing that name, but I love it) is a hero in disguise. Robin herself–who carries around a purse rather like my own–is a heroine to root for, and the kids each have his/her own personality when s/he could easily have become a clone of one another.

The depiction of Jerusalem held my interest, as did the author’s portrayal of Jews and Arabs going about their daily life. Plenty of action will keep the reader turning the pages, a mystery will tantalize your curiosity, and there’s just enough romance to engage your emotions. All-in-all, an entertaining story.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, July 2015.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.