An Israeli government minister is assassinated in the home of his mistress, and in repsonse, Elihu, an ageing Mossad officer, leads his final raid, killing a Hamas leader in his bed. Out of this familiarly cyclical scenario emerges what is perhaps Robert Littell's most heartfelt and suspenseful novel. While the global community, united under the leadership of a visionary female US president, brokers a major compromise between Israel and the Palestinian authority, Isaac Apfulbaum, a well-known fundamentalist Rabbi, is taken hostage by Dr. al-Saath, a legendary Palestinian terrorist, who demands the release of several Palestinian prisoners. As Israel coaxes Elihu out of retirement to hunt down the terrorist who motivated his final mission, al-Saath and Apfulbaum fund themselves building an extraordinary relationship between hostage taker and hostage: parallels between these two battle-hardened partisans become the bonds that could lead to reconciliation. But with the Mossad strike team closing in, has the vicious circle already been closed?
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October 18, 2006
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