THE DEVIL'S SPY by Michael Hastings


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A cruel and lustful Ottoman pasha (is there any other kind?) forces a beautiful American to gather intelligence on the English, who are poised to seize Palestine at the end of WW I--in a fact-based adventure from the author of The Unknown Soldier and A Spy in Winter. Murad Pasha is the villain. Shaky in his position as one of the clique in control of the decaying Ottoman Empire, Murad needs a bit of professional success in order to keep his head. His assignment: Keep the British and the upstart Arabs at bay. His first order of business is to find the spy who's been leaking his battle plans. She turns out to be lovely Ruth Mendelsohn, an archaeologist's daughter enlisted in the Zionist cause by intelligence agent Saul Donsky, a Russian with whom she has fallen in love. Murad captures the Mendelsohns--but before they can be suitably maimed, Murad buys in on a plan cooked up by the mysterious German Von Traub. Threatened with the death of her father, Ruth agrees to prostitute herself to the English officer corps in Cairo in order to learn their battle plans. After a harrowing trip from Palestine via camel, Ruth slips over the border into Egypt and sets herself up as a demimondaine under the watchful eye of Emma Altschiller, a tough Swiss lesbian. Von Traub and Emma prevent her from reaching Saul--also in Cairo and working with the likes of General Allenby and Lawrence of Arabia. The virgin Ruth, who had hoped to save herself for Saul, has at last to be pushed into bed--and even then she doesn't like it. But she gets the plans and heads back to the vile Murad Pasha in hopes of saving Dad. Harmlessly melodramatic thriller. Nice scenery.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1988
Publisher: Scribners