LION OF JUDAH by Victor Ostrovsky


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 The disillusioned former Mossad officer who blew the whistle on his old organization (By Way of Deception, 1990--not reviewed) now gives us his first novel, about...a Mossad officer who goes it alone, disillusioned with the organization. When Shaby Talaat, a Syrian National Security middleman whom Mossad op Natan Stone's been running as Foul Play, lucks into a hot secret--that an agent called the Fox has been gathering and training members for a new Syrian-backed Palestinian terrorist unit whose mandate is to assassinate moderate Palestinians who are ready for peace talks with Israel--Natan moves swiftly to infiltrate the group and spike its plans. His masters at Mossad, however, have other ideas, since they have no objections to the assassinations. (In fact, Mossad, Natan learns in a particularly entertaining aside, had been perfectly willing to assassinate Jimmy Carter when the Camp David negotiations seemed to be giving away too much to the Egyptians.) So Natan goes off the books to place somebody (who, ironically, turns out to be Nadin, a notorious terrorist's daughter, and another free-lancer like himself) inside the Fox's lair--not realizing that Col. Karl Reinhart, the former Stasi terrorist head who's now working with the Syrians, is on to him and, eager to protect the mole he's had lodged in Mossad for years, plans to kill two birds with one Stone by fingering Natan as the mole. As his old comrades chase him all over Beirut, Paris, and The Hague, Natan has to figure out a way to safeguard Nadin without blowing her cover--at the same time identifying and exposing the real mole once and for all. Anybody who doubts he can do it all, and do it his way, hasn't spent much time among Israelis. Authentic, offbeat tradecraft and clever touches throughout make this worthwhile despite its unmemorable characters-- including the hero--and chop-socky prose.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-10016-7
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1993


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