Phoenix by Amos Aricha and Eli Landau

The other night I finished another novel, my second in two weeks. Phoenix, subtitled: His Name Is Phoenix, His Trade Is Death, His Time Is… Now is an international thriller set in mid 1997 and finishing 1 day after I was born.

The book had one main similarity with Star – they were both gripping!

The copy I read was a paperback, falling apart at the seam. Sevil gave it to me, along with some Readers Digests (hey, one reads anything they can get here). Ahmet had read the book 15 years ago and I guess Sevil decided now was time to get rid of the book.

Without giving too many details, Phoenix is centred on a plot to kill a government minister as part of an international political dispute. The story takes place in several different parts of the northern hemisphere. Issues covered by Phoenix include inter-governmental cooperation/non-cooperation, assassin hiring, identity theft, Arab-Israeli relations, antiquity smuggling, security and project planning.

One thing I do ponder is how would such a story work out in the current world. With the book set 27 years ago (and published in 1979) there is no mention of mobile telephones, the Internet, global positioning systems, powerful computer databases, digital images, phone call tracking or iris scans. These and other recent technologies would totally transform the story of Phoenix, making it almost unrecognisable to the 1977 version.

Phoenix, the title character, is the supreme assassin. He has so many talents and abilities it is hard to see him making a mistake. Does he take out the target this time? I highly recommend you to read the book and find out.

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