The Hadassah Covenant

Written by Tommy Tenney & Mark Andrew Olsen
Review by Claire Morris

Set largely in the present day, this novel imagines how peace in the Middle East could come about. A raid in Iraq by US allies uncovers some ancient documents, which prove to be letters written by Hadassah, known to history as Esther, Queen of Persia. These letters hint that Mordecai, leader of exiled Jews in Persia at that time, fathered children. In contemporary times, Hadassah, wife of the Israeli Prime Minister, and Ari Meyer, a Mossad agent with many secrets, work feverishly to discover if this was really the case. If Mordecai’s descendants live, then a new leader could save Iraqi Jews from destruction. But as Hadassah and Ari search for the truth, a group dedicated to eliminating remaining Jewish families from Iraq mirrors Haman’s plan to destroy all Jews in Esther’s time, twenty-three hundred years before. Can the 21st-century Hadassah act to save her people?

Written thriller-style, this novel offers realistic descriptions of the intrigues of Esther’s time. However, the “as you know” device used to transfer between past and present made me wonder why the writer of the letters would then include the “known” information. That said the pages turned easily, offering a creative “what if” sequel to an oft-explored Biblical tale.