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The Reykjavik Assignment: A Yael Azoulay Novel (Yael Azoulay Series) Paperback – November 22, 2016
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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“The most realistic and culturally textured novel I’ve ever read. LeBor is brave, yet he pulls that courage off with aplomb. Without doubt, this is a thriller masterpiece.” (Matthew Dunn, former MI6 operative and author of the Spycatcher novels)
“A fascinating geopolitical thriller…. This fast-moving, refreshingly intelligent story is packed with insider knowledge, and brings the world of international politics all too frighteningly to life.” (Daily Mail)
“Imaginative take on geopolitics…. The action never flags.” (Sunday Times (London))
“Jam-packed with narrow escapes, triple and quadruple crosses, changes of identity, and changes of scene…. LeBor acquaints the reader with the dangerous, high-stakes world of contemporary negotiation, and he makes the UN exciting again…. High on action, great on geopolitical intrigue, with an overlay of romance.” (Booklist)
“Yael Azoulay is more than a match for Ian Fleming’s James Bond…. The spy novel reader will enjoy this series set against the backdrop of the geopolitical intrigue of the United Nations.” (Iron Mountain Daily News)
From the Back Cover
Yael Azoulay, covert negotiator for the UN secretary-general, has made a powerful enemy in Clarence Clairborne. Head of the Prometheus Group, a Washington, D.C., lobbying and security firm, he’s as corrupt as they come, and fixated on revenge. Yael knows she’s being followed, but Clairborne’s operatives are not the only ones tracking her every move. Unexpected visitors from her past have arrived, and she won’t be able to evade them for long.
Driven by exceptional plotting and electrifying prose, The Reykjavik Assignment follows Yael as she fights the pull of her old life while brokering the triumph of her career: a summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, between the United States and Iran. But when events in Reykjavik take a terrifying turn, the only thing that Yael cares about is preventing a desperate man from taking desperate measures to avenge his own past.
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Yael, mid 30s and ex Israeli Secret Service (but that is not generally known), has risen through the ranks of the UN to become a covert negotiator and special assistant to the Secretary General, Fareed Hussein. Pretty much everything she does is deniable… The UN is full of spies, half truths, and downright deception. What you see in public is not what you get in private. The intrigue extends to the international press corps – who on occasion work with, and on occasion work against, their alleged colleagues. Al Jazeera, The Times of London, and the New York Times make strange bed-fellows… It all sounds pretty far-fetched until you remember that Adam LeBor is a very respected foreign correspondent who has covered many stories that intimately involve the UN. There is something of a ring of truth and authenticity about the way he writes… Fareed Hussein’s UN past is murky, and one of the drivers of the murkiness is his and the UN’s role in the 1995 massacre of Srebrenica towards the end of the bloody Balkans conflict. Adam was a correspondent on the ground covering the war. Similarly he puts forward a strong theory that implicates the UN in the 1994 massacre of 800,000 members of the Tutsi tribe in Rwanda. Realpolitik sometimes seems to rule the day… The Reykjavik Assignment (and the stories woven into the book) are, of course, fiction – but it does make you think.
The main plot of The Reykjavik Assignment is about the desire of the American President, Renee Freshwater, to meet with her Iranian counterpart, Shireen Kermanzade to sign a ‘peace’ agreement between the two of them. The meeting is set as a private, top secret, side event to a UN Climate Conference in Reykjavik. Yael’s role is to act as bodyguard, and make sure everyone returns home safely. But not everyone wants to see a peace accord signed. Some Middle East security services, and some major commercial interests, fear the consequences.
The tension in Reykjavik builds to a quite startling and frightening conclusion. No more for fear of a spoiler.
The Reykjavik Assignment bowls along, and is a real page turner. It also makes you think what kind of world we live in and what we mere mortals may not know about what is being done in our name.
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