The Heat of Ramadan

Steven Hartov, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $21.95 (513p) ISBN 978-0-15-139858-4
First novelist Hartov makes a smashing debut with this well-crafted, provocative political thriller written with an insider's accuracy. Near Munich, a team from Israeli Military Intelligence (AMAN) assassinates a Palestinian terrorist, then learns that it has killed the wrong man. After recovering from bullet wounds suffered during the botched operation, Eytan Eckstein, the team leader, returns to duty--and a kind of purgatory. Already guilty and frustrated, he is constantly ridiculed by the vain, ambitious leader of AMAN. In the meantime, the word among terrorists is that the intended target of the Munich mission, Amar Kamil (read Carlos or Abu Nidal), has been killed by rivals. When members of Eckstein's team, now scattered across the globe, are killed in seemingly freak accidents, however, Eckstein is convinced that Kamil is alive, although his boss won't hear of it. Hartov, an American who served in the Israeli parachute corps and intelligence agency (this book was vetted by an Israeli military censor), offers a complex, high-tension, consistently engrossing narrative. He has a convincing sense of place (his portrait of Jerusalem is especially evocative) and--in a departure from most fictional portrayals--his Palestinian characters are refreshingly human. 25,000 first printing; major ad/promo; BOMC selection; author tour. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/29/1992
Release date: 07/01/1992
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