Duet in Beirut

Duet in Beirut

Book - 2013
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Expelled Mossad agent Ronen has disappeared following a failed assassination attempt against the Hezbollah operative responsible for suicide bombings in Israel. Feared to be on an unauthorized mission, it is up to his former commander, Gadi, to track Ronen down and stop him causing harm both to himself and to his country. The physical and intellectual scuffle between the two men becomes one of deeper, moral inquiry.
Publisher: London, Halban Publishers,, 2013.
ISBN: 9781905559589
Characteristics: 366 pages ; 20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Fallenberg, Evan


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Sep 15, 2017

When Ronen, an expelled Mossad agent, vanishes after a failed assassination attempt against a Hezbollah operative responsible for suicide bombings in Israel, Gadi, his former commander, must find Ronen before he harms both himself and his country. (Description from library catalog.) Originally published in Hebrew as Duet b'Berut, Evan Fallenberg was the translator.

Mishka Ben-David was born in 1952 in Israel. He holds a MA in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin and a PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ben-David served in the Mossad for twelve years, becoming a high-ranking officer, and he is now a full-time novelist living outside Jerusalem. He is the author of five bestselling spy novels and several other books, including novels, short stories, and a book of philosophy. His spy novels are being adapted for an international TV series. Three of his five “bestselling spy novels” have been translated into English.) (Biography taken from book jacket.)

I suppose many will compare Mishka Ben-David with the American writer Daniel Silva. After reading this first book of Ben-David, I think the only similarity between the two is that they both write about a Mossad agent. I decided to read this book after reading an article about the author in The Guardian, a newspaper I usually do not read.

At times, perhaps because of the translation, the narrative was confusing, with the plot shifting from the operatives already on the ground in Beirut (Ronen and Gadi); to the Mista'arvim operatives going through intensive, one-day training in case they also have to helicopter in to Beirut to pull Ronen and Gadi out if necessary; to the Mossad heads making the final decision, often with political motivations, whether to send in the Mista'arvim operatives; to the wives of Ronen and Gadi. Sometimes, again perhaps owing to the translation, the narrative was confusing, since it was not always clear just who was speaking to whom. I initially gave this a five-star review; however, on second thought, because of the confusing narrative at times, I lowered my rating to four stars; nevertheless, despite sometimes confusing narration, the I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

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