Book review: A Long Night in Paris

03 Jul 2019 / 11:07 H.

WHEN an Israeli tech entrepreneur disappears from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris with a woman in red, many assume it’s a case of youthful indiscretion.

However, Israel goes on a state of high-security alert after the incident.

Fortunately, Colonel Zeev Abadi, the new head of Israel Unit 8200’s autonomous Special Section, is visiting Paris, and takes on a mission to discover the truth.

Initially, the abduction is not given much publicity by the authorities. Later, it gets headline treatment as a diversion to redirect public interest from the latest of the Israeli prime minister’s misconducts.

And as it turns out, the case becomes one of the most complicated and deadly crimes to happen in the French capital.

While Abadi is otherwise engaged in Paris, his deputy, Lieutenant Oriana Talmor, is having a tough time fighting bureaucratic red tape in Tel Aviv with those who are more interested in their personal agendas than in the country’s security.

On the French side, Commissaire Léger of the Paris Police has been charged with solving the case.

When a second young Israeli is kidnapped soon after arriving on the same flight as the first, this time at gunpoint from his hotel room, Leger’s suspicions and worst fears are confirmed. A diplomatic incident is looming, and unfortunately, the body count keeps rising.

Talmor is an interesting character as a female protagonist in this spy novel. And she excels as an able and intelligent deputy to Abadi.

Author Dov Alfon displays excellent flair in writing the storyline, as there are some interesting parallels between his own life and that of his protagonist, Abadi.

Both grew up in France. And Alfon did his military service in the Israel Defence Force’s technological intelligence unit before becoming an award-winning journalist.

A Long Night in Paris is a fast-paced spy novel with a highly-complex plot, and offers insight to what is going on behind the closed doors of one of the world’s most famous and secretive services.

The story is gripping and captivating. You will not want to put down the book till you’ve reached the last page.

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