cover image The Tenth Song

The Tenth Song

Naomi Ragen, St. Martin's, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-57017-0

Ragen (The Saturday Wife) brings a bitter intensity to this story of betrayal and a Jewish family brought to its knees by a financial scam to fund overseas terrorism. Boston accountant Adam Samuels gets ensnared in political and religious turmoil after his arrest for allegedly transferring more than $150 million to terror groups, charges that upend the lives of his wife, Abigail, and youngest daughter, Kayla, a Harvard law school student engaged to be married. The scandal bares the hidden cracks in this not-so-perfect family, and soon a panicked Kayla runs for the desert hills of Israel, where a charismatic leader opens her heart, and Abigail, chasing after, has her own epiphany. The arcs of self-discovery contrasts sharply with the darker portrait of ambition and hypocrisy that haunts the Samuels family, and though it doesn't always jibe—Abigail's admirable strength turns unbelievably into mush as she embraces her inner hippie—the unexpected turns Ragen puts on this family's path to healing and happiness are a pleasant surprise. (Oct.)