For listeners of John le Carré and viewers of Homeland, a slow-burning psychological spy thriller by a former brigadier general of intelligence in the Israeli army.
After attending her father's funeral, former Mossad agent Rachel Goldschmitt empties her bank account and disappears. But when she makes a cryptic phone call to her former handler, Ehud, the Mossad sends him to track her down. Finding no leads, he must retrace her career as a spy to figure out why she abandoned Mossad before she can do any damage to Israel. But he soon discovers that after living undercover for so long, an agent's assumed identity and her real one can blur, catching loyalty, love, and truth between them. In the midst of a high-risk, high-stakes investigation, Ehud begins to question whether he ever knew his agent at all.
In The English Teacher, Yiftach R. Atir drew on his own experience in intelligence to weave a psychologically nuanced thriller that explores the pressures of living under an assumed identity for months at a time.
"An extraordinary page turner, told with clarity, insight, and compassion, The English Teacher offers a rare and realistic portrait of the unrelenting sacrifices of living a double life." (Gideon Raff)
"[Yiftach R. Atir] probes how leading a double life can erode the foundations of a spy's former existence; how all of the lies are rooted in truth, and the truth, especially when it comes to love, is often coated with a patina of lies.... Masterful." (The Times of Israel)
"The book...does exactly what a novel of its kind should do: re-examine the Mossad. Throughout the book...doubts are cast on personal as well as national morality.... Atir seeks to pinpoint the fine line separating the moral actions that operatives perform for their country and their own exploitation." (Ha'aretz)
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Reminiscent of John LeCarre novels
I'd rank it close to the very top.
The return of the protagonist to her one time lover after 15 years. But don't think this book should be classified with the romance genre. The story is more profound and reveals an in-depth look at what covert agents must do and how they are "used".
Her performance was fine just not remarkable.
I really enjoyed the story but there seemed to be parts that were missing...didn't flow smoothly. Not sure if this was due to the author's requirement to edit out some of the details that were too revealing regarding covert work or some other reason. I did find it very interesting and character development was great.
don't waste your time or money
- Beverley Hunter