Israeli Military Intelligence agents Eytan Eckstein and Benni Baum are about to conclude a delicate prisoner swap between Israel and her nemesis, Iran. But when a suicide bombing at the Israeli embassy in New York throws the plan into chaos, they discover the involvement of Martina Klump, a vicious German terrorist who has an old score to settle with Baum. If Eckstein and Baum can’t stop her, Klump will not only thwart the prisoner swap, but ignite an all-out war between Israel and Iran.
Steven Hartov was born in the United States and educated at Boston University. After serving in the U.S. Military Sealift Command, he emigrated to Israel and served in the Israel Defense Forces parachute corps and Military Intelligence special operations. He is the author of the espionage trilogy, “The Heat of Ramadan,” “The Nylon Hand of God,” and “The Devil’s Shepherd,” and co-author of the New York Times best seller “In the Company of Heroes” and “The Night Stalkers.” For six years, Hartov helmed “Special Operations Report” as Editor-in-Chief. He currently serves as a Task Force commander in the New York Guard and is writing a new novel.
A superior thriller, dark and exciting. . . . The finest sort of espionage thriller.
- Publishers Weekly
Suspenseful action and twisty plotting. . . . a fine beat-the-devil tale.
The gripping take, full of twists and turns, rockets from New York to Washington, D.C., to Casablanca and thence to the Algerian Sahara. It’s climax is a hair-raiser.
-Lake Oswego Review
Like his debut, The Heat of Ramadan, Hartov's second novel is a superior thriller, dark and exciting, that pits an Israeli military intelligence officer against ruthless and wily terrorists. The narrative opens with a suicide bombing of the Israeli embassy in New York. Because the attack may have been intended to disrupt Operation Moonlight, an imminent top-secret prisoner exchange between Israel and the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hizbollah, the operation's engineer, Lt. Colonel Benjamin "Benni" Baum, flies to the States to investigate. There, the aging Baum takes time out to reconcile with his estranged daughter-who becomes a prime target for the colonel's old enemy, German terrorist Martina Klump, whom Baum suspects of the bombing. But neither Baum nor Klump suspect that they both are being manipulated by agents of Iran, who are using the prisoner exchange as a cover for a far more dangerous game. Hartov excels not only at action scenes-a shoot-out in a nursing home; the theft of a missile-but also at character touches and turns that deepen and complicate the plot. The most resonant complications concern Baum's past. Once revealed, they throw a shadow over the entire narrative, even its thrilling climax, lifting the novel from the realm of first-rate action-adventure into that of the finest sort of espionage thriller-one that touches on the painful truths behind the spymaster's stocks-in-trade of deceit and betrayal.