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Unmasking Bigotry: Review of "The Anti-Semite Next Door" by Mark M. Bello
Norm Goldman --  BookPleasures.com Norm Goldman -- BookPleasures.com
Montreal, QC
Monday, January 29, 2024

Unmasking Bigotry: Review of "The Anti-Semite Next Door" by Mark M. Bello

Can one imagine living next to a neighbor who holds dangerous anti-Semitic views?

The Anti-Semite Next Door by Mark M. Bello uncovers the emergence of bigotry in present-day America. Within the narrative, Bello examines the evolving backdrop where conventional bigot stereotypes, such as neo-Nazis, are replaced by a different reality.



The novel explores the unsettling idea that anti-Semites and racists can no longer be easily identified. In contrast, they might present themselves as typical, even delightful, members of our localities. Bello exposes how bigotry hides in our neighbors' seemingly harmless appearance, urging readers to confront their biases and confront the uncomfortable realities of prejudice in everyday life.

Bello's latest novel is the ninth installment in the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series

Readers are instantly captivated by the opening sentences. Masterfully, Bello combines suspense, legal drama, and societal commentary.

The story begins with Zack Blake attending his friends Rich and Gail's son Josh's bar-mitzvah, which quickly turns into a nightmare due to a bomb blast.

In the aftermath, Josh Cooper and his neighbor, Chip Ellis, vanish, sparking a turbulent whirlwind of suspicion and fear. Thankfully, there were no fatalities in the explosive attack.

It has been revealed that Joshua and Chip are being held captive by a white supremacist group called the Patrol Storm Troopers (PST), led by Winger Wright, whose father was the founder of the organization. Despite being captive, Josh remains resilient by staying in contact with his fellow captive neighbor, Chip, who assures him that things will eventually improve.

Overwhelmed with grief, Rich and Gail beg Zachary to track down Josh and make sure he comes back unharmed. Zachary promises to do everything possible to safely return Josh to his parents. Zack suspects that the kidnapping of Josh and Chip could be a distraction due to a hidden motive. He ponders if the reason for the kidnapping is terrorism, financial motives, or a mixture of both.

Zack encounters Detective Lowery from the West Bloomfield police force at the crime scene. Lowery is convinced that Josh and Chip have perished, and is anticipating the discovery of their bodies amidst the ruins of the synagogue. 

Zack disagrees with this perspective, stressing that a more powerful bomb would have completely destroyed the building and resulted in numerous casualties. Zack believes the incident is a hate crime and urges Lowery to contact the FBI, specifically mentioning Agent Clare Gibson from Detroit, who he thinks is experienced in handling such cases.

Lowery reluctantly entertains Zack's theory on hate crimes and proposes the possible role of the Patrol Storm Troopers. He agrees to contact Gibson as Zack recommended but cautions Zack against meddling in the investigation.

As we follow Zack on his tumultuous journey full of unexpected surprises, we see his unwavering faith in Micah Love, whom he regards as one of America's finest private detectives. 

Micah's skills have been extremely valuable in solving numerous crimes, resulting in thrilling adventures and lucrative prizes. Micah is both surprised and relieved when he learns that Zack was close to the synagogue bombing but is safe. Realizing that local authorities are insufficient, Zack turns to Micah for help in uncovering the truth about the attack and identifying who is behind it.

Zack has no faith in particular FBI agents and encourages Micah to get in touch with Clare Gibson. He strongly believes that she should be responsible for managing the case. 

Clare, who was transferred from Detroit to the Las Vegas office, expresses her unhappiness with her relocation and wished to return to Michigan. 

The directorial opportunity in Detroit makes her long for the four seasons of her home state. Micah, a colleague Clare knows from their previous job, reaches out to her on behalf of Zack, asking for her help in the case. 

He assures her that Zack's influence will be sufficient in ensuring her smooth return to Detroit.

Chip Ellis  has surfaced as the main suspect in the kidnapping and bombing investigation. With every page turn, readers explore a labyrinth of doubt, where alliances become unclear, and truths slip away. While the novel tells a fictional story, it reflects real-world tensions and prejudices that sadly mirror historical patterns and current dilemmas.

The novel forces readers to face the disturbing truth of bigotry in modern-day America, where prejudice can exist within everyday people. By weaving gripping storytelling and societal commentary, Bello encourages reflection on prejudice's complexities in daily life.s of resilience, redemption, and the blurred lines between innocence and complicity. Ultimately, Bello's account underscores the significance of acknowledging and tackling bigotry in every manifestation.


 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

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Name: Norm Goldman
Title: Book Reviewer
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Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
Direct Phone: 514-486-8018
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