Please note: The Jerusalem Stone is a very high-concept Christian thriller/Christian fantasy. Specifically, it is a stunning tale of conversion, one whose storyline has been described as 'unique.' The book's major character is a paid assassin. You go on assignment with Simon. You see what he sees, you feel what he feels. Consequently, the early chapters are gritty. It isn't long, however, before the story undergoes a dramatic change. From that point forward, Simon must deal with events - from small to spectacular - for which his atheism has no answer.
The Iraq War has ended. Lance Corporal Simon Banner, a decorated Marine Scout sniper with more than one hundred verified kills to his name, leaves the Marines to return home. Disinterested in working nine to five, Simon chooses to sell his formidable skill with a rifle to those in the dangerous world of drug cartels. For years he takes on one contract after another, never failing to hit his target even at extreme limits of range. His successes as a paid killer inflate his reputation, causing demand for his services to soar and his contract fees to rise. Simon comes to be feared by gangs, police, even the DEA, as the ruthless and faceless assassin he is, someone that specializes in - and enjoys - taking life from afar. He is a man as far from God as one can be. The only love he feels for anyone is that for his young daughter, Elise, left to his care upon the death of his wife. One day, however, an assignment in Mexico goes terribly awry. Badly shaken by what he caused to happen, Simon takes time off to collect himself.
Elise's eleventh birthday draws near. The girl startles her father by letting him know she wishes to visit Jerusalem. The decision to go is no less than fateful. The day before they are to leave Israel, Elise decides she wants something to take home but nothing that can be bought. In a small field, she unearths a smooth round stone that becomes her souvenir.
Back in the United States, Simon takes the stone in hand. Inexplicable, even terrifying, events almost immediately begin to occur no matter where he is. The sins of his life rise up to haunt him in most remarkable ways...painful, frightening and so incomprehensible these occurrences cause him to question his very sanity. What Simon is forced to confront is something he never believed could happen to him or anyone. And he has no idea how to explain any of this except by a strange stone found buried by his daughter in the earth of Jerusalem.
Dean Klein pens a story of suspense and unbelievable drama in The Jerusalem Stone. After the war in Iraq, Marine Scout Sniper Simon Banner returns home. During the war, Simon discovers the thrill, the intense enjoyment of taking out his target. Having no moral compass, no remorse, and no faith in God, Simon becomes an assassin for the South American drug cartels. For Simon, killing is not personal, it is simply good business. After the death of his wife, all he has left is his daughter, Elise. Elise is the light in Simon’s dark life; she is the only person Simon truly loves. After a hit in Mexico goes incredibly wrong, Simon is persuaded by his housekeeper, Ingrid, to take Elise to Jerusalem for her eleventh birthday. The so-called holy city holds no interest for Simon, but he needs time to regroup and relax with his daughter. The trip to Jerusalem changes Simon’s life forever. Elise’s souvenir, her Jerusalem Stone, is no ordinary rock. It is a stone of extraordinary power.
Thrilling! Mind-boggling! Spine-tingling! Goose-bumping! Dean Klein puts the super-in-the-natural in The Jerusalem Stone. Klein’s detailed and descriptive storytelling enters the reader’s mind and explodes with an astonishing revelation. Page after page, the intensity grows as man’s evil nature faces off with the divine power of God. There is never a dull moment. Brilliantly amplifying the suspense, Klein uses a phantom narrator to speak, foreshadowing foreboding warnings. I found this writing technique very intriguing. The narrative portrays an extraordinary dynamic character. Bizarre, paranormal occurrences mixed with day-to-day living transform the once stoic, selfish and cold-hearted man into a frightened, out-of-control, tormented soul. Yet, his transformation doesn’t stop at fear; it escalates and surpasses rational understanding. The protagonist undergoes an unbelievable conversion by becoming the polar opposite of the man he once was.
Furthermore, the conflict goes way beyond the normal battle between good and evil. The story portrays the clash between the mind and the spirit, reason and hope, the credible and the incredible. God works in mysterious ways. His ways and thoughts are higher, far exceeding human rational thinking. He will use whatever means necessary to save our souls. The Jerusalem Stone reveals that nothing is impossible for God.
Reviewed By Cheryl E. Rodriguez (U.S.) for Readers’ Favorite
The Jerusalem Stone is a gritty conceptual thriller novel based around Christian themes, penned by author Dean Klein. Designed for readers from the high end of the YA spectrum through to adults, the tale begins with paid assassin Simon Banner, who leaves his career in the Marines but can’t leave his rifle behind. Working to take out target after target, Simon cares for no life but that of his daughter, Elise. But when Elise suddenly asks to visit Jerusalem, the shocking discovery of a powerful stone shakes everything Simon has ever known into terrifying clarity. Haunted by his own past, the tormented Simon has to wonder if he can ever escape what he’s done.
This is an epic tale of redemption and self-discovery, one which takes a lot of heart and emotion to read and really connect with. At its opening, The Jerusalem Stone might be mistaken for any standard action novel, with the heartless killer Simon paid to take life wherever the target is set. But the novel quickly shifts from that life into flashbacks of the decisions Simon has made, and in those moments we call human nature and the power of God into question too. Author Dean Klein strives for deep psychological connections in his narrative work, bringing readers harrowingly close to Simon’s tormented mind in a highly effective way. Overall, I found The Jerusalem Stone to be a page-turner with a lot of thought-provoking issues and exciting mysteries to be revealed.
Reviewed By K.C. Finn (U. K.) for Readers’ Favorite
The Jerusalem Stone by Dean Klein is a Christian thriller with a compelling protagonist, a tale of how a contract killer journeys towards conversion. Lance Corporal Simon Banner is a decorated Marine Scout sniper when he returns from Iraq, disenchanted with life and not interested in being stuck with a regular job. So, he offers his killing and sniping skills for anyone ready to pay. Simon’s popularity quickly grows in the dangerous world of drug cartels, feared by gangs, the DEA, and the police as the dangerous killer who takes lives from afar. Simon doesn’t believe in God, and it is evident from the cold-blooded manner in which he kills that he has no conscience, until his daughter, Elise, turns eleven and asks Simon to take her to Jerusalem. Simon is just doing what any father would do, granting a birthday wish to a beloved daughter, but when Elise unearths a small smooth round stone that she brings home as a souvenir, Simon doesn’t know that his life is about to change.
Events that follow his return to the U.S. are inscrutable and they explore the depths of a sinner’s soul and a journey towards inner freedom and conversion. Dean Klein’s writing is atmospheric, filled with captivating descriptions that probe the depths of the soul of the protagonist. Simon is a character who will arouse all kinds of emotions in readers and the author knows just how to get readers intrigued and focused on the story.
I wanted to know what becomes of the protagonist from the very moment I met him. With twisting plot lines and compelling dialogues, the author leads readers from one engrossing scene to the next, building suspense that keeps the pages turning until the exciting denouement. Here is a novel about the power of grace and a message that no one is beyond the reach of God’s mercy. The Jerusalem Stone is both entertaining and inspiring.
Reviewed By Divine Zape (Philippines) for Readers’ Favorite
The Jerusalem Stone by Dean Klein is an absorbing novel that explores the inscrutable nature of God's grace working in the life of a hardened sinner and atheist to bring about his conversion. Lance Corporal Simon Banner was the most feared Marine Scout sniper during the Iraq War. He returns home and decides to sell his skills to those of the underworld, eventually becoming the most dreaded contract killer of his time with unique and spectacular skills in taking lives. He doesn't believe in God. But all that is about to change when, upon her eleventh birthday, his daughter Elise makes an unusual request: she wishes to visit Jerusalem. It's a journey that is about to change Simon's life and in a way that will take readers by surprise.
Dean Klein plunges readers into the heart of a soulless man, a killer who relishes what he does best. Although he is feared by even the police, gangsters and anyone who has heard of him, Simon suffers a disquiet and restlessness of spirit that is veiled by his killing reputation. But the journey to Jerusalem leads to a series of inexplicable events that beat all his intellectual justifications of his atheism, forcing him to make a choice that no one could have seen coming. The author offers vivid and mind-blowing descriptions of the work of the protagonist, exploring his psyche, and giving readers a real picture of what it's like to be an assassin. The writing is bold and steady. It starts strong, stays strong, and ends strong. Dean Klein showcases a great imagination and creative genius in The Jerusalem Stone, crafting a story with powerful plot points, conflict, and an unmistakable message.
Reviewed By Christian Sia (India) for Readers’ Favorite