Honor Among Thieves * Jeffrey Archer

Another quick and fast paced failed book (in my eyes) by Jeffrey Archer. He’s written some good ones and he also took his time with some cash cows riding on his popularity.

The plot:

Spring, 1994, Washington, D.C. — While the Clinton Administration grapples with its domestic policies, a sinister plot is being masterminded six thousand miles away in Baghdad. By using $100 million as bait and spinning a deadly web of corruption, forgery, and terror, Saddam Hussein seeks to embarrass the U.S. with the ultimate revenge: to steal a treasured historical document and then destroy it before the world’s media — on July 4, 1994.

Or in short: Saddam Hussein wants to embarrass the USA by stealing the declaration of independence.

Knowing what we know now, does this story seem outlandish. The technology of the times (early 90s), makes the story seem quaint and hard to take seriously. Towards the end I chuckled on the various development scenarios. The story moves along, but the characters fell flat of proper development.

You have Hannah, a Mossad agent, who falls in love with Harvard professor and James Bond wannabe Scott Bradley. Bradley is a Christian American. He did work abroad in the Middle East, and presumably became fluent in Arabic, but Arabic is not Hebrew. Nowhere does it say that he spoke Hebrew.

Yet we are to believe that Hannah thought he was an Israeli Mossad agent? Are we really to believe that a Mossad agent meets another Mossad agent and speaks to him only in a second language? That, of course, makes absolutely no sense.

Also no woman in her right mind (a Mossad agent, no less), can be caught bursting into tears screaming “I love you, I love you!!”, no matter what the situation. Also CIA and MOSSAD never will give a field job to an agent who is so emotionally weak and romantically involved.

Book was burn pile material from the first 20-odd pages or so. I kept on reading to see whether it would at least reach the Charity Pile but it didn’t… Sadly… as it could have. But no, Mr. Jeffrey Archer had to make a sex-starved woman with bird brain play the lead role alongside a stud who was both educated and highly trained and fit. I’m sure they hired a rom-com novelist to write this one…


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