Thursday, April 30, 2020

Book Review: 'Deadly Ties' by Aaron Ben-Shahar

Deadly Ties by Aaron Ben-Shahar

A top-notch thriller! 

Israeli author Aaron Ben-Shahar gained his training at Hebrew Reali School's Israel Defense Forces Junior Command Preparatory School and served as an officer at Golani Brigade and at the IDF Armored Corps, and his education in International Relations at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and in law at Tel Aviv University. He served in Israel's General Security Service before establishing his own law practice. His experience and insider knowledge adds to the visceral reality of his novels – A MINISTER IN A BOX and now DEADLY TIES.

As with his initial novel, the author again displays a keen insight into setting a mood for a suspense thriller, with just enough background in the Prologue to light the wick for the story: ‘The prime minister was sitting at the head of the table with the minister of defense to his right and the science minister to his left. The chief of IDF general staff was sitting next to the defense minister, and next to him sat the intelligence affairs and strategy advisor. The head of the Mossad was sitting left of the science minister, and next to him sat the head of the General Security Service (GSS). This was Israel’s top echelon…’Gentlemen,” the prime minister began, “we are gathered here today to discuss one issue and one issue only, namely – the removal of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander…’

The author’s background shines in his meticulous knowledge of the military and legal aspects of the tale. For those unfamiliar with the Mossad – the national intelligence agency of Israel headquartered in Tel Aviv– this book will clarify any misconceptions. The story is very well paced and involving – ‘Bonnie, a prominent minister in the Israeli government finds a signed envelope inside the drawer of his recently deceased mother’s desk. The mysterious envelope, addressed to him personally, contains shocking details about his biological father which his mother had kept secret for over forty years. When Bonnie decides to get to the bottom of this enigma, he finds himself at the crux of a complex international conflict in the boiling Middle East, from where there is no return. He must think twice about who is with him and who is against him. If he wants to save himself, he must trust only those closest to him. But what if those very people turned out also to be his greatest enemies? Beyond being fast-paced and suspenseful, this story raises tough questions about morality, loyalty and integrity.’

After a challenging adventure Aaron resolves issues well, leaving us with a sense of credible completion. Aaron Ben-Shahar further substantiates his rising position as a writer of importance. Highly recommended for those who admire and respect high action thrillers.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.