So about a month ago I won eleven novels from a giveaway that was featuring Penguin/Random House Thrillers and Mysteries. I haven’t had time to read most of them yet. In fact, I just finished the first one. September was a busy month for me, between preparing for school and working, things kinda got out of hand. I’ll make another post about it later. For now, I’m doing all right.
So for the first book I read; I plucked one at random from the box they came in, and ended up with Yiftach Reicher Atir’s The English Teacher. He’s from Israel, so the original version of this book was published in Hebrew. The author is also a retired Brigadier General for the Israel Defense Forces and it shows in the way he writes his characters. What I mean by that is they are military in their phrasing and the way Ehud handles Rachel’s training and deployment. It’s like you really are in a spy movie, but instead of a man, it’s Rachel’s motives we’re going through to find out just what happened and why she disappeared after the death of her real father.
We see Ehud go on a memory trip, through his past, Rachel’s past and their missions together. He was her handler, she was his Operative. Every decision that was made when it came to their work together was gone over to find out where she is, what she’s going to do and why. Mossad think’s she’s going to defect, but Ehud thinks differently and by the end of the story, there’s a dead body in the street. Very much an old trope Spy Noir type of ending.
While at first this book was a struggle for me to get through because of my commitments to other things, by the end I was pulling out every spare moment that I could, racing for the end to find out just what was going on. Throughout the book, I kept wondering if Ehud really knew the Rachel he was telling us about in his briefings with Joe. I’m sure it isn’t, though. I’m sure he left out enough of her story to make it questionable, for the reader, he went over enough detail so that I could make most of my intuitive leaps before he got to certain parts of the story. This left me somewhat disappointed when I guessed correctly.
I’d give this one a 3 out of 5 – good enough to pass the time with while finding it enjoyable, but get it from the library.