THE DAMASCUS COVER by Howard Kaplan

THE DAMASCUS COVER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

If Ari Ben-Sion is a top Israeli spy, Entebbe must have been a lucky accident. He believes that he's seducing the Syrian Embassy's tempestuous Michelle, but she's bamboozling him into missing a vital radio communique. He believes that free-lance photographer Kim (she of the ""champagne-colored hair"") follows him out of passion, but she's doing a Mata Hari on orders from Egyptian Security. And he believes that Jerusalem has sent him to Damascus, under his ""Hans Hoffman, import-export"" cover, to rescue children of prominent Syrian Jews. Actually, and quite obviously, he's on a kamikaze mission engineered to protect Operative 66, Israel's sleeper in Syria's high command. A bit slow on the uptake, no? But past this sizeable credibility gap lies a smartly paced criss-cross laced with enough Mid-East scenicruises to snare the MacInnes armchair touristas. Maybe they--and the folks who'll fancy the relative novelty of the Israeli Secret Service--won't even mind the laughable dialogue and romantic interludes in need of counseling from Masters, Johnson, and the Famous Writers School. It's ""the musky fragrance of her perfume"" on page 44, ""the musky fragrance of her perfume"" on page 77, but, nonetheless, the bestseller page a distinct possibility.

Pub Date: Jan. 20th, 1976
Publisher: Dutton