Binding

36

Martin Berman-Gorvine

     According to ancient Jewish legend, there are “36 righteous ones,” people who in every generation, unknown even to themselves, continually save the world through their good deeds. What if it were literally true? And what if they were being murdered one by one? Could this explain the existence of what theologians call “radical evil”—the Holocaust and numerous other instances of genocide, the spread of nuclear weapons, the invention of “suicide bombing”? Join the metaphysically minded detective Eric Lonnrot and the traumatized genocide survivor Nahum Applefeld as they race to solve these most urgent questions.

 

ISBN: 978-1-60489-090-7 Library binding, $33.00                   Sale $16.50

 

ISBN: 978-1-60489-091-4 Trade paper, $22.00                        Sale $11.00

 

262 pages

About the Author:  Martin Berman-Gorvine grew up in the Philadelphia area and lived in Israel for six years. Writing as Martin Gidron, he is the author of The Severed Wing (Livingston Press, 2002), which received the 2002 Sidewise Award for Alternate History (Long Form). He is a professional business journalist, is married to Jacqueline Berman-Gorvine, an attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and has two sons from a previous marriage. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area, where he is hard at work on his next novel, a ghost story set in the vanished village of Green Run, Assateague Island, Maryland.
 Excerpt From the Book:

       Nahum Applefeld looked at his friend in astonishment, wondering if the elderly detective had lost his mind.
       They were sitting on either side of a little round table, each with an untouched Styrofoam cup of coffee before him. Five yards to Nahum’s left the occasional shopper passed, swinging a plastic bag from J.C. Penney’s or The Shoe Emporium. It was past nine-thirty on a Tuesday night, and quiet enough that Nahum could hear the mall fountain rustling five stores down. Any minute now the loudspeakers would brightly ask the shoppers to please take their purchases and fuck off, but the cashier at the Café Louisa knew the two men well and stayed silent behind her counter, intent on surfing the web with her ancient BlackBerry. There were no other customers. Nahum sometimes wondered what the short, chubby girl with pockmarked skin the color of café au lait was doing all the time with the battered old device, which she put down just long enough to fill orders, collect tips and swipe indifferently at the formica surfaces with a damp rag. But just now all his attention was focused on his friend’s apparent nervous breakdown.
       “And what makes you think,” the programmer heard himself ask, “that you can find the tzadikim, the thirty-six Righteous Ones whose existence justifies the world?”
       Eric Lonnrot grasped his coffee cup as if to warm his hands and seemed to ponder his answer. The detective was a tall thin man with fine sparse hair that had once been blonde, a pale complexion and an expression that varied from gloomy to pained. In the three years Nahum had known him he had observed the crevices deepen and branch out across his friend’s graying face, until the forehead had come to resemble a river delta seen from the air. It had never been exactly easy to picture this reserved man physically confronting a criminal, but as time passed and he grew ever more gaunt so did the evident absurdity of such an encounter. Nahum had tried to imagine dark shapes armed with knives, or a bare interrogation room furnished with a handcuffed sweating suspect spewing curses, but no matter what outlandish scenario he conjured up he could not alter in his mind’s eye the ever-so-slight downturn at the corners of Eric’s mouth and the shallow inverted V his eyebrows made to express surprise. Once Nahum had said something of the kind and was rewarded with an ever-so-slight upturn of those thin lips.

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