The Devil's Spy

Michael Hastings, Author Scribner Book Company $0 (326p) ISBN 978-0-684-18964-2
Hastings ( A Spy in Winter ) dusts off a nearly forgotten incident in the recent history of the Middle East in this well-paced, exciting novel about the World War I struggle between Great Britain and Turkey for control of then-Palestine. Ruth Mendelson is a Jewish spy for the British who has been betrayed to Murad Pasha, the Turkish military chief of Palestine. Murad is prepared to execute heruntil the Kaiser's intelligence attache, Count Von Traub, suggests a clever scheme: send Ruth to Cairo to spy on the British, and threaten to kill her father if she won't cooperate. Ruth is doubly jeopardized because she must avoid meeting her Zionist lover and espionage contact, Saul Donsky, who serves with the British army in Cairo. Hastings does a sturdy job of summoning up the atmosphere of WW I-era Palestine, Egypt and Turkey. He credibly characterizes real figures such as General Allenby and Lawrence of Arabia. Although he can't resist potboiler prose and signals the happy ending far too soon, he spins an absorbing story full of period details and adventure. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-449-14637-8
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