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Chasing Shadows: A Special Agent's Lifelong Hunt to Bring a Cold War Assassin to Justice Hardcover – April 12, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade; 1 edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230620558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230620551
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #985,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'This book represents an extraordinary history of Fred Burton's determined pursuit of justice in the unsolved case of a murder in his hometown when he was a teenager. It demonstrates the uses and abuses of international power and how international loyalties are bought and sold. The story is told in the manner of political thriller with all the twists and turns one would expect. It is constructed and written to draw the reader in and who will inevitably find it difficult to put down.' - Defence Viewpoints, UK Defence Forum Review for Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Expert: 'With spy thriller suspense and the clarity of a police report, former special agent Burton's State Department saga reads like a brewing-storm prequel to the current 'war on terror.' - Publishers Weekly 'This book reads like a le Carre spy novel...Shorn of ideological rights and wrongs, it's a fascinating look at what counterterrorism really means on a day-to-day level.' - Booklist

About the Author

Fred Burton is one of the world's foremost experts on security, terrorists, and terrorist organizations. He was deputy chief of the Counterterrorism Division of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service and is currently a vice president at Stratfor, a global intelligence agency known as the “shadow CIA.” He is the author of Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent and has appeared on the Daily Show, Glenn Beck and Anderson Cooper 360, and on Fox, ABC, and CBS radio. He has also written for the Los Angeles Times, among others. He lives in Austin, TX. 

John Bruning is a military historian and the co-author of House to House. He lives in Independence, Oregon.


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Customer Reviews

It is a good read for mystery/espionage fans.
RascalOreo
The one thing that seems odd is the fact that another book had answered the question as to why Col.
J Baugh
An excellent book and an easy and enjoyable read.
Quentin R. Stewart, Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sylvia Longmire on April 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In Chasing Shadows, Mr Burton weaves the narrative of the mystery surrounding Israeli Colonel Joseph Alon's assassination with pieces of Middle Eastern and American military history in a really gripping way. It all serves as background and context for his investigation into Alon's murder, but it filled so many gaps in my knowledge of Israel's conflicts with its neighbors in the 1970s. As a former Air Force officer, I was thrilled to learn about the evolution of and challenges to our air combat skills as a result of Vietnam and the Cold War. Again, all these historical tidbits are interspersed seamlessly with the drama of Alon's cold case. I saw the movie Munich, so I knew about the murders of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympic Games. Yet, only after reading this book did I truly understand the full international context of those murders by Black September.

One of the best things about Chasing Shadows is its readability. Mr Burton is a great storyteller, and he very clearly draws connections and relationships between people and events so that readers can easily see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together. He also allows readers to feel the pain of the Alon family from not having their questions answered by the Israeli government, and the frustration he felt over three decades of running into brick walls every time he tried to get answers from our own government. Mr Burton explains critical historical events like the Six-Day War and various operations during Vietnam in a way that makes readers say, "Oh, now I get it." The whole combination of history and the Alon murder investigation reads like something straight out of Hollywood; yet all the events really happened.

If you have any interest at all in international affairs, world history, espionage, Middle Eastern terrorist groups, or just want to read a gripping, thrilling book that you just can't put down or wait to read what happens next, then Chasing Shadows is definitely for you!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Stick on April 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was initially expecting this story to be a little stale since it deals with a murder that happened decades ago. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was a book that I simply could not put down -- I read it in one day.

The detailed accounts of the PLO's terrorism apparatus, the Israeli air force's efforts to obtain aircraft, and the clandestine assassination war being waged between the Israelis and Palestinians in the early 1970's all came together in this book to weave an exciting story that was fun and easy to read. (Some historical books tend to be a little dry.)

I was also very surprised by the ending - though I won't give it away and spoil it for other readers.

I've already given a copy of this book to my mother to read and would recommend that anyone who is interested in terrorism, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, murder mysteries, cold case investigations or even just plain old perseverance and justice, read this book.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ronald T. Roseborough VINE VOICE on April 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Terrorism, murder, revenge, an eye for an eye, so very little separates one from the other. Small nuances that define our lives. Thin lines crossed by individuals and governments. Who is to say what is right? A statement often attributed to Winston Churchill states, history is written by the victors. As a young man of sixteen, Fred Burton's life was changed forever by the news of a murder in a quiet suburb of Bethesda, Maryland in 1973. The mystery of the unsolved shooting would haunt him as his life followed a career in law enforcement and security analysis. The victim was Colonel Joe Alon, an Israeli Air Force pilot assigned to the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. On an otherwise quiet July night, he was shot, execution style, in front of the home where he lived with his wife and two daughters. The murder would go unsolved by the local police and the FBI. Why was this man murdered in the U.S.? Was it a random shooting or was it tied to the history of this Israeli pilot who had fought in the Israeli-Palestinian wars while protecting his country. Reopening the cold case on the killing, Fred Burton traces Joe Alon's life through the formation and defense of the Israeli state, as Alon plays a leading role in the development of the Israeli Air Force. The trail leads across the years through the Middle East to Europe and the United States. The story of Joe Alon is a story of individuals and governments, mystery and intrigue, spies and terrorists, obfuscation and cover-up on many levels, ultimately leading the author to an inescapable conclusion and a moral conundrum. Book provided for review by the well read folks at Palgrave/Macmillan.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gavin Sutcliffe on May 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished reading this book based on recommendations from prior reviews, and I enjoyed it very much. It shed a lot of light into the dark corners of the Middle East, from the birth of Israel up to today. I went into this book expecting more of a police procedural thriller, and while there was some of that, I was impressed by the amount of detail that went into the characters in the book, both the good ones and the bad ones. The pacing of the book and the cuts between biographical/historical detail and the author's investigative work is excellent and contributes greatly to the readability of the story.

If you're interested in terrorism, politics, the intelligence world, and the Middle East, this book really has all the ingredients.
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