cover image Final Stop, Algiers

Final Stop, Algiers

Mishka Ben-David, trans. from the Hebrew by Ronnie Hope. Overlook, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4683-1022-1

Mickey Simhoni, the narrator of this fine spy thriller from Israeli author Ben-David (Forbidden Love in St. Petersburg), has found purpose after his army service as a high school art teacher in Tel Aviv. But what should have been a moment of celebration—the opening of an exhibit of Mickey’s paintings—turns tragic when a suicide bomber strikes nearby, killing Mickey’s girlfriend, Dolly. Keen to avenge her, Mickey readily accepts a pitch to join the Mossad, the Israeli spy service, although his recruiter insists that Mickey agree that going after the person behind the attack must be secondary to thwarting future threats to Israel. Before long, Mickey is tasked with impersonating a Canadian who recently died of an overdose in Sinai. In Toronto, his commitment is tested by an encounter with an old flame. Ben-David manages to inject some lightness into his descriptions of Mickey’s training, but as in the best espionage novels, the focus on the spy’s inner conflicts is the main hook. [em](Sept.) [/em]