A woman and her two daughters are killed in a car bombing in
Tel Aviv. The woman, Kat, a sophisticated academic, is also a Mossad assassin
of nearly twenty years. Her husband, Pantera, identifies the bodies of his wife
and children, swearing vengeance. Reaching as far back as 1989, to their meeting
in Rome at a U.S. Embassy New Year's Eve ball, Deadly Dance starts the story of
their relationship in the onion-layered world of covert operatives. Of
necessity theirs is an encounter beset by lies wrapped in half-truths,
concealed in shadowy realities. Kat and Pantera maneuver through action-packed
covert operations, romantic encounters, torture and acrobatic combat, all while
coming to grips about who they're hunting and who is hunting them.
Deadly Dance is based on the life of the youngest Kidon Katsa agent in the
history of Mossad and her husband, the fabled Chief Black Site Interrogator,
who worked under such special access programs as the Operation Copper Green
(created under Donald Rumsfeld), the United Nations Security Council - Special
Operations Group (UN-SOG), and Task Forces 88 and 121.
Every once in a while, you may come across a book that requires you to take your time and savour it. For me, Silent Cats by J.D. Wallace is one such book. This is a wonderful story about two people who are as different as night and day, but were perfect for each other. This is the author’s debut novel and I enjoyed every thrilling moment. I can’t wait to see what else he has in store for his readers.
Based on the synopsis, I was aware that there was going to be a tragic event. However, what I was not prepared for, was to be so deeply connected to the victims in such a short space of time. Therefore, when the tragedy unfolded, I felt it to the depth of my soul. Therefore, I was able to understand how the victims' husband and father felt. Can you imagine losing your entire family under such tragic circumstances? This is what happened to Marcus Pantera. It was evident that this tragedy was motivated by revenge. It sets the pace for the remainder of the story. I was encouraged to continue reading to discover the events that led to this tragedy.
Readers are then transported sixteen years in the past where they are provided with insight into the protagonists’ lives. They see how they met and the kind of life they lived.
Marcus and Alyn are complex characters. Alyn is a Kidon Katsa Agent and a deadly assassin. She is a force to reckon with. However, like most human beings she has emotional scars. She was not fond of men. This stemmed from the fact that at a young age, she was molested by someone she trusted. Her main goal in her personal life was to gain her father’s approval who did not approve of her profession.
Marcus is a former army ranger. Currently, he works as an operative for the CIA. His cover is that of being a medic for a unit known as the Shadow Warriors. He is a genius who lacked empathy for mankind. It is believed that the higher ones IQ the less empathy one has. It was this lack of empathy that made him the perfect interrogator. He feels nothing for his prisoners when conducting an interrogation. He is portrayed as a misogynist. Therefore, it came as a surprise when it was revealed that he had a soft spot for Alyn. As the story progressed it became clear why he was drawn to her. Marcus loves it when a woman is strong and willing to stand up for herself.
It was fun watching these two try to best each other. Marcus had no idea that Alyn was a Mossad Agent and she had no idea that he worked for the CIA. They were not your typical couple. However, it was evident that they brought out the best in each other.
The pacing was well balanced which was fitting for this type of story. I thought it was well developed and easy to follow. It was exciting and thrilling, and it kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. The manner in which the author described the details of the life of an operative would suggest that he had experience in the field or he had conducted adequate research prior to writing this novel. The vivid descriptions helped to bring the story to life.
The story was action packed. The torture scenes were vivid and gruesome. There were times when I cringed at some of the scenes. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. What made me come to terms with it, was that the act was being carried out on sadistic criminals in exchange for pertinent information, that would help to save innocent lives. I guess in a case like this the end does justify the means.
The story was told from a third person omniscient POV. There was head hopping between the major and minor characters which proved to be confusing at times, as there was no scene break. What I found frustrating was that translation was not provided for all the dialogue written in a foreign language. In the instances when no translation was provided, I had to google it which was distracting.
Overall, I thought this was a good story. It was sad, funny and engaging. If you enjoy stories that are suspenseful and action packed then Silent Cats would be a worthwhile read.
N.B. Due to the graphic nature, this book is suitable for mature readers only.
The mother waved the café owner over. “Moti, we’re ready to
Alyn felt at ease in Moti Lichtenfeld’s café. Moti, a
squat man sporting a heavy beard approached with a limp, a permanent reminder
of his Mossad days. The longtime family friend and son of the founder of Krav
Maga placed the tab on the table.
“Thank you for coming, Alyn. Please tell your sister to
come by next time she’s in town. We miss her and … dare I say … her energy,” he
said in soft Hebrew, giving her a warm smile.
“I will.” She pulled three fifty Skekel notes from her
purse and placed them on the table to cover her tab.
Moti looked at Alyn’s daughters, and said, “Good-bye
girls. Next time I shall tell you about the bull your mother and I wrestled
when we were kids.” He winked at Alyn.
Alyn grinned at her friend and stood up. “Let’s go,
Jade, the youngest, looked up with intense interest. Her
inquisitive eyes sparkled at Moti, “Really? A bull?!”
Moti nodded and chuckled.
Electra watched her sister’s antics with an I-don’t-believe-this
look while Jade continued bouncing around her mother. “Aww
Mama, come on ... You wrestled a bull? Just a couple more
Alyn shook her head, pulling her long, straight black hair up
into a high ponytail. “Later Jade, now move.”
“Yes Ma’am,” Jade replied, extending her lower lip.
Alyn glanced around the café, then up and down the street. She
smiled at the patrons who thought they recognized her as a famous local model.
Electra, her oldest, a near replica of her statuesque mother, streaked up the
sidewalk followed by the younger brown-haired, green-eyed Jade. It was a
beautiful sunny day in the city as Alyn put on her Dolce & Gabbana
sunglasses and continued to scan the area.
The lone Palestinian’s dark eyes followed the mother and her
Jade jumped in the air and shouted, “SHOTGUN!”
“No way, you can’t call shotgun, Dad isn’t here,” Electra said,
looking to her mother for support.
“We only do that with Dad.
After spending the first ten years of his career
with a US-based intelligence agency, Mr. Wallace went on to work for foreign
intelligence agencies, law firms, political figures, royals, sovereigns and
private corporations for the next twenty years. He is considered one of the top
corporate infiltrators in the world. Mr. Wallace holds Bachelors' degrees in
Mammalian Physiology and Environmental Chemistry and a Master's degree in
Physiology/Nutrition and an MBA in Finance. Currently the widower resides in
San Diego, California, with his Welsh Border Collie -- "Kelly." This
is his first novel.