From Library Journal - December 1, 1982

Whittemore, Edward : Nile Shadows
Holt. Jan 1983 c360p LC 82-2915.ISBN 0-03-018531-9 $15.45

The third novel of the "Jerusalem Quartet" (Sinai Tapestry LJ 2/1/77 Jerusalem Poker LJ 5/15/78) sinks deeper into the haze that tainted the first two installments. The plot centers on Stern, a Middle Eastern gun-runner, who is killed in Cairo in 1942, probably by an exotic branch of British Intelligence. The of the book is a tedious exploration by an old friend, retrieved from America and the previous book, of the reason of his murder. Names and characters are altered from one book to the next, appropriately enough for Whittemore's surreal world. This time, though, it's just too philosophical and wordy. Not recommended, even to complete the set. -
W. Keith McCoy, Plainfield

From Library Journal - February 1, 1987

Whittemore, Edward: Jericho Mosaic

Norton Feb. 1987 389p ISBN 0-393-02395-8, $16.95.

This fourth volume of Whittemore's "Jerusalem Quartet" contains some excellent writing but is beset with problems. Given the natrure of his subject - a Jew, born near Baghdad whose life working for Israeli intelligence and then as a spy, in Lebanon (finally as a double agent) coincides with Israel's entire history - this is not surprising. Whittemore appears uncertain whether he: is writing fiction or political commentary, and the nonchronological narrative only adds to the confusion. There are too many characters even if they are well drawn And at times their intertwined relationships seem too pat even for espionage novels. Perhaps the most nteresting feature :is Whittemore's beautifully lyric descriptions, particularly when landscape is used to give fascinating insight into character For larger collections.
Rochelle Ratnor, formerly poetry editor "Soho Weekly News" New York

From UPI Arts & Entertainment - Book Reviews - March 27, 1987

Jericho Mosaic, by Edward Whittemore (Norton, 374 pp., $16.95)

Edward Whittemore's ''Jericho Mosaic'' is a spy novel for readers who consider the form beneath them. It's a spy novel in which the spying takes place offstage; except for two or three brief battle scenes early on, there is virtually no ''action'' in this novel.

Instead Whittemore draws on the history of Palestine to create a psychological drama in which the characters embody the range of passions that have shaped Middle Eastern history in this century.

It is a novel of beauty and remorse rather than conflict, however, cast alternately in the harsh light of the desert and the lush, surreal green of the oasis at Jericho, ''the lowest and oldest village on earth.''

It follows the career of Yossi, an Oriental Jew from a village in Iraq who becomes a hero of the 1948 Israeli war of independence and later a spy who penetrates the heart of Syrian military intelligence over the next three decades.

But the reader never sees Halim, the spy Yossi becomes, at work. His spying is described only in passing. The book's real concern is the effect on each other -- and perception thereof -- of people of different but overlapping cultures, thrust together in an atmosphere where the stakes are high and the outcome uncertain.

The book should interest fans of psychological drama, but also readers who want to learn more about the Middle East.

Whittemore speaks with authority not only of the region's changing geography, both spiritual and physical, but of its many religions as well.

He is comfortable with the mystics and seers wandering the desert and the streets of Damascus and Jerusalem, and takes the reader on an interesting tour.
Alan Krauss (UPI)


©Anne Sydenham 2001-2016