Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Duet in Beirut - Mishka Ben-David

Duet in Beirut
Mishka Ben-David; Evan Fallenberg (translator)
Overlook, Apr 14 2015, $26.95
ISBN 9781468310207

In a busy Jerusalem street, terrorists detonate a car bomb leaving many dead and maimed.  The angry Israeli government wants an “eye for an eye” starting with the Hezbollah planner of that attack Abu-Khaled.  Mossad sends a team led by Gadi on an operation in Beirut to take down this killer.  However, the assassination flops when the trigger Ronen fails to take the shot.

Kicked out of Mossad in disgrace, Ronen vanishes.  One year later, Mossad operatives learn that their ignominious former compatriot is in Lebanon without official sanctioning most likely seeking redemption by finishing the mission.  Fearing a catastrophic disaster, also without approval Gadi heads to Beirut to prevent his former sniper from compounding the mess.

Filled with action yet character-driven, Duet In Beirut is a profound look at government sponsored assassinations and the emotional problems when a person’s values collide with that of the organization (most people defer their own to that of the entity; i.e., Penn State).  Although some of the personal sides of the leads seem unnecessary and distracting, Mishka Ben-David provides a fresh look at the psyche of agents working ethically-challenged dark ops.

Harriet Klausner

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