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Tuesday, 15 January 2019

‘A Long Night in Paris’ by Dov Alfon


Published by Maclehose Press,
10 January 2019.
ISBN: 978-0-85705-880-5 (PB)

The author, a former Israeli Intelligence Officer turned journalist, pulls no punches with his insider knowledge when he  takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride into the shady goings-on, secrets, intrigues and lies within the murky intelligence community.  This spy thriller, ably translated into English from the Hebrew language by Daniella Zamir, is set in Paris and Israel.
 
As one can guess from the title, it comprises events in a single 24 hours, when elite Chinese and Israeli agents, plus rogue elements in both espionage camps, face off against each other in a tense battle of wits, knives and guns.

A junior Israeli IT specialist on a light-hearted jaunt to the City of Lights is lured by an attractive woman in red and   then vanishes without trace. When a second Israeli is abducted at gunpoint from his hotel room in Paris, Col. Zeev Abadi from a crack Israeli intelligence unit and his mismatched, attractive woman deputy, ambitious and independently minded Lt. Oriana Talmar,  (of whom I hope this is not the only appearance) know this to be much more than a coincidence.  Commissioner Leger of the Paris Police concurs with their suspicions and criminal  investigation is set in motion. The clock is ticking and the count down has begun to nail the perpetrators.

The story is perilous and fast paced, interlaced with wry humour, the characterisation is realistic, complemented by a sharp and natural dialogue that whisks up a storm and speeds along an exciting read that contains many gruesome and heart-stopping incidents.

The author is a master of the genre and clearly this novel is ripe for film adaptation.
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Reviewer: Serena Fairfax

Dov Alfon was born 1961 and brought up in France and in Israel. He is a former intelligence officer of Unit 8200, the most secretive arm of the Israel Defence Forces. He is a former editor in chief of Israel's most influential newspaper, Haaretz, and was awarded several prizes for his journalistic writings, including the 2011 Peace Through Media Award from the International Council for Press and Broadcasting, London. His first book, Unit 8200 A Long Night in Paris, was published in Israel to great acclaim and rights were sold in 12 territories. A TV series based on the book is in the works, to be produced by Keshet International, producers of "Homeland".  Dov Alfon currently lives in Paris and continues to work for Haaretz. He is also the CEO of Storyvid.io, a non-profit cultural venture he co-founded with writer Etgar Keret and aiming to bridge between literature and new media. He is married and is the father of three daughters.
 
Serena Fairfax spent her childhood in India, qualified as a lawyer in England and practised in London for many years. She began writing by contributing feature articles to legal periodicals   then turned her hand to fiction. Having published nine novels all, bar one, hardwired with a romantic theme, she has also written short stories and accounts of her explorations off the beaten track that feature on her blog. A tenth, distinctly unromantic, novel is a work in progress. Thrillers, crime and mystery narratives, collecting old masks and singing are a few of her favourite things.



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