THE HEAT OF RAMADAN by Steven Hartov

THE HEAT OF RAMADAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A Palestinian terrorist--escaping from a botched Israeli assassination attempt in Munich--is determined to top off his latest assignment by dispatching every member of the assassination team. The terrorist, Amar Kamil, has been spirited off to the Soviet Union, where his new masters treat him to a course of plastic surgery leaving him with the face of a top aide to the Israeli Prime Minster so that he'll be able to get close enough to the PM to kill him on the last day of the sacred month of Ramadan. But the Soviets, of course, are playing a deeper game: to have Kamil identified posthumously as a Syrian national whose guilt will focus Israeli retribution against a former Soviet client who can now be brought back to the fold. Kamil, however, who's not taken in by Soviet assurances of his survival, simply plans to go it on his own once he's landed at Ben Gurion-- stopping off along the way in London, Cyprus, and Cairo to avenge the death of the man who was killed in his place in Munich (a man whose identity first-novelist Hartov inexplicably saves as a toothless surprise) by liquidating the members of Eytan Eckstein's hit squad. Only Eckstein, deskbound from a leg wound, and his wily IDF paterfamilias Benni Baum see where this is all heading; always a step behind Kamil but two steps ahead of bureaucratic Col. Itzik Ben-Zion, they go outside Ben-Zion's channels, risking their necks to head off an assassination attempt that's sure to come at a swearing-in of new IDF recruits at Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock. Photogenic locales and elegantly predictable plotting offset a tendency to overstage even little moments. Judicious skipping could turn this debut into a highly entertaining yarn.

Pub Date: July 27th, 1992
ISBN: 0-15-139858-5
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1992




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