Overweight, fiftyish Chief of Israeli Defense Force’s Special Operations Benni Baum (The Nylon Hand of God, 1996) again teams up with intelligence agent Eytan Eckstein (The Heat of Ramadan, 1992). Author Hartov, himself a former Israeli intelligence agent, divides his time between New York and Jerusalem and knows firsthand the twisty byways and ambiguous alleys of which he writes. Here, Baum and Eckstein, having just returned from pursuit of Iranian bad guys through Algiers and Morocco in Nylon Hand, find themselves under direct orders to return to Africa to save from assassination Lt. Colonel Jan Krumlov of Czech counterintelligence who has defected to the Israelis in Addis Ababa and who knows the identity of the big mole is in Israel’s top-secret “Rainbow” group, part of Israel’s long-denied secret nuclear-weapons site six sub-basements underground in the Negev Desert. Krumlov must be secreted out of Africa. The story ends on a cliffhanger out of For Whom the Bell Tolls, Benni and Eytan doing a Robert Jordan against attacking rebels on an African hillside.
Readers held in suspense throughout this galloping plot will end with their nails in their mouths, awaiting the next installment.