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Lion of Judah Hardcover – August, 1993
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From Kirkus Reviews
The disillusioned former Mossad officer who blew the whistle on his old organization (By Way of Deception, 1990--not reviewed) now gives us his first novel, about...a Mossad officer who goes it alone, disillusioned with the organization. When Shaby Talaat, a Syrian National Security middleman whom Mossad op Natan Stone's been running as Foul Play, lucks into a hot secret--that an agent called the Fox has been gathering and training members for a new Syrian-backed Palestinian terrorist unit whose mandate is to assassinate moderate Palestinians who are ready for peace talks with Israel--Natan moves swiftly to infiltrate the group and spike its plans. His masters at Mossad, however, have other ideas, since they have no objections to the assassinations. (In fact, Mossad, Natan learns in a particularly entertaining aside, had been perfectly willing to assassinate Jimmy Carter when the Camp David negotiations seemed to be giving away too much to the Egyptians.) So Natan goes off the books to place somebody (who, ironically, turns out to be Nadin, a notorious terrorist's daughter, and another free-lancer like himself) inside the Fox's lair--not realizing that Col. Karl Reinhart, the former Stasi terrorist head who's now working with the Syrians, is on to him and, eager to protect the mole he's had lodged in Mossad for years, plans to kill two birds with one Stone by fingering Natan as the mole. As his old comrades chase him all over Beirut, Paris, and The Hague, Natan has to figure out a way to safeguard Nadin without blowing her cover--at the same time identifying and exposing the real mole once and for all. Anybody who doubts he can do it all, and do it his way, hasn't spent much time among Israelis. Authentic, offbeat tradecraft and clever touches throughout make this worthwhile despite its unmemorable characters-- including the hero--and chop-socky prose. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
'The Other Side of Deception' is also enlightening and well written though it contains a few weak spots in my opinion.
Ostrovsky is not American; however, anyone who takes the time to study these books, including the roman a clef LION OF JUDAH, will realize that he has presented the intellectual means for Americans to discern what is only now appearing on the web under the disturbing website [...]
LION OF JUDAH is a fictionalized account of what Ostrovsky could not say otherwise. He states this in one of his books and in a rare interview. I was expecting the dreary pastiche of most spy novels. I found myself reading it for the details I knew were overlooked in the real-time reporting of the world events he recounts.
The Caveat mentioned in the title of my review belongs to the writer's craft. Ostrovsky ignores the professional writer's rule that you don't advance a story in your character's quotes. That said, he no doubt felt he had no option. Ostrovsky was fighting against time in the early 90s to get his story out before the Mossad figured out a way to eliminate him. Staying in the public eye is one way to keep yourself alive.
He finished writing his three books over a decade ago. In 1997, the Mossad set out to bankrupt and ruin him financially. [Search Google for an article he wrote in a US-based Middle East journal.] I gather he is now doing what he always wanted to do, which is paint. He is an artist.
Ostrovsky's books should be critical reading for every anchor intoning on national TV and Cable. White House pool reporters should be forced to have Ostrovsky's valuable insight in the arsenal of their thinking patterns.
Considering that the only people high-fiving and extolling the destruction and demolition of the Twin Towers on 9-11 were five Mossad agents caught on the banks of Jersey City with a video camera and mocking the burning of the towers with Zippo lighters, I would urge every American to read these books forthwith. [Check Google for the "dancing Israelis" and "Mossad" "911"]
Then ask yourselves, how would five people KNOW to have a video camera mounted on top of a van as the towers fell at 10 AM that day?
LION OF JUDAH and Ostrovsky's two other books might give you the answer.