Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad

Gordon Thomas, Author St. Martin's Press $25.95 (354p) ISBN 978-0-312-19982-1
The discipline of Israel's Mossad is legendary: members and former members fiercely guard the intelligence agency's methods and rarely talk to journalists. But many, apparently, did talk to Thomas, a former reporter for Britain's Daily Express, whose numerous books include Chaos Under Heaven, about China's democracy movement. Astute readers, however, will question whether these unnamed informants have given the straight scoop. The opening tale is a case in point. Thomas grabs attention with a riveting yarn about Ritz Hotel chauffeur Henri Paul, driver of the car in which he, Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed all died. Thomas portrays Paul as a slick operator who accepted bribes from photographers seeking to snap the various celebrities he was charged with protecting. According to Thomas, the Mossad threatened to reveal Paul's scam to Ritz authorities if Paul didn't agree to spy for Israel. Thomas breathlessly raises a series of questions before hammering his point: ""Was [Paul] not only responsible for a terrible road accident but also the victim of a ruthless intelligence agency?"" The story, while titillating, ultimately goes nowhere. The question-mark ending is a device on which Thomas relies all too often, giving readers the impression that his book is full of many more questions than answers. Thomas writes with the pulpy charm familiar to readers of English tabloids; however, his use of unnamed sources and his reliance on conjecture will leave readers intrigued but determined to reserve judgment. Foreign rights sold in Germany, Holland, Israel and the U.K. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Genre: Nonfiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-59040-122-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7871-1900-3
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-312-25284-7
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