Book Review: Dov Alfon ~ A long night in Paris (translated Daniella Zamir)

Dov Alfon is an Israeli who’s novel is autobiographical. He was an intelligence officer in an elite unit- 8200. A lot of the action is centred on this unit. The majority of the action is based in Paris.

Away from the razzmataz of the all-action Israeli security service there’s sly digs at the back-biting careerism embedded in the service. Much of the back-biting dialogue is racist. Obviously! But in context the racism is against Jews from north Africa, Russia and anyone not from the Grand Tradition. There’s routine sexism in the machismo world of Mossad. Netanyahu, his wife and his sleazy friends feature as a side-show.

Our heroes are above all of this. Oriana Telmor is a female lieutenant from a distinguished military family. She’s over-achieved everywhere she gone, which hasn’t made her popular. The novel begins with her attending an important meeting, where she’s an unexpected substitute.

This is a meeting summoned by the Chief of Military Intelligence, Aluf [general] Rotelmann. He explicitly asked that the head of 8200’s Special Section be here today….”

I regret the disappointment my presence has caused you,” Oriana, the substitute head of department, said.1A great put-down but poor office politics.

Alfon’s other hero is north African Israeli, colonel Zeev Abadi. He too is burdened success. Unit 8200 is crucially important but utterly boring to work in and as a result very bright young men look to entertain themselves usually through porn. Turai Vladislev Yerminsky decided to hack criminals accounts and become a millionaire. He was using the opportunities of unit 8200 to do this.

Yermi’ says,“Boredom is a powerful engine, rather underestimated,” he resumed. “When people look for a motive, they always talk about money, or love, or ego, or God. But if they examined what was really behind the most infamous crimes, they’d discover boredom as the number one motive.”

Twelve people die as Chinese gangsters try to get their money back. Zeev and Oriana triumph just as they should.

1 Alfon, Dov. A Long Night in Paris: The must-read thriller from the new master of spy fiction (Kindle Locations 138-139). Querctor Kindle Edition.


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