Guest Review by Brian Ross Fink
Ilya Meyer’s début novel* is a fast-paced thriller predicated on ‘the situation’, which term Israelis use euphemistically to describe the never-ending conflict, both overt and covert, between themselves and the Muslim World. The author drops subtle hints that he knows a thing or three about the deeper workings of the security services that all nation states employ to protect themselves from international terrorism. This suspicion may well be accurate regarding the security agencies of the world’s number one terrorist target, Israel and Meyer’s own country of domicile, Sweden.
The novel’s hero and heroine are adoptive siblings who just happen to work for Israel’s two security services, the external (and legendary) Mossad and the internal General Security Service known variously by its Hebrew acronym Shabak or just the first two initial letters of its name in Hebrew, Shin Bet. The spooks’ antennae begin to twitch following the interception of small parcels of information, insignificant in themselves but together beginning to add up to a pattern and a sinister one at that. The plot is well constructed and plausible (although these days the once utterly unimaginable has become chilling fact) and the tension builds as the object of the terrorist threat heaves into view.
The story’s settings are the two previously-mentioned countries whose relationship is all-too-accurately described by one of the book’s characters as ‘love-hate’. (Recently the Swedish Parliament voted to recognise Palestine unilaterally requiring no concession or negotiation from the Palestinian Authority despite the Oslo Accords prohibiting this and the P.A.’s president being in the eleventh year of a four-year term.) However in the cold, grey real world, all democratic countries’ security services collaborate in the interest of self-preservation.
Bridges Going Nowhere is a cracking good yarn and is to be the first of a trilogy, with part two due out in 2015. I look forward to reading it.
© Brian Fink (26 JANUARY 2015)