It seems appropriate that when Efraim Halevy recalls the terror of the Blitz, he does not speak of being terrified. Instead, he details the noise made by the German V2 missile as it flew overhead: "We used to hear the whistle of the rocket as they broke the speed of sound."
A detailed report in the Washington Post last weekend revealed that, contrary to popular belief in the Middle East, the 2008 assassination of Hizbollah operations chief Imad Mughniyeh was largely carried out by the CIA, rather than Mossad.
During the autumn of 1962, a young South African schoolteacher called Sylvia Rafael was sitting in her apartment in Tel Aviv, relaxing after a hard day’s work. She happened to be reading The Jewish War by Josephus Flavius, when the phone rang unexpectedly.
Spy thrillers are always suspect, aren’t they? Either the writer is boasting about his or her expertise, or they tip over from the preposterous into parody. Not so with the thrillers of Mishka Ben-David, the first of which, Duet in Beirut, is published in English for the first time this month. For 12 years Ben-David was a Mossad operative — and it shows.