An Israeli government minister is assassinated in the home of his mistress. Days later, 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. The action moves into the near future, when the ...
An Israeli government minister is assassinated in the home of his mistress. Days later, 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. The action moves into the near future, when the global community, united under the leadership of a visionary female president of the Untied States, brokers a major compromise between Israel and the Palestinian authority in the hope of snuffing out the violent flashpoint that fuels the flames of global terrorism. But then, 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? Ferociously suspenseful and brilliantly topical, "Vicious Circle" is a thriller that, like "The Company" before it, breaks down an entire culture of violence into the corrupted consciences that embody it.
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Publishers Weekly, 2006-07-31 Veteran espionage writer Littell, whose 1973 debut, The Defection of A.J. Lewinter, prompted critics to compare him to such British masters as Eric Ambler and John le Carr?, stumbles a bit with his take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, set in a near, post-George W. Bush future. An unnamed woman, who will remind many of Hillary Clinton, is president of the U.S., while, less plausibly, the Palestinian Authority is led by Arafat's successor, who's also nameless. Given Hamas's electoral victory in early 2006, the plot, which centers on yet another U.S.-brokered effort to create a lasting Middle East peace, has already been overtaken by events. The relationship between a terrorist leader and his hostage, a right-wing rabbi and agitator, may intrigue those who can overlook the dated scenario. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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