Book Review | Israeli Agent 10483 Fights the World


Last Instructions

Nir Hezroni


St. Martin’s Press (May 22)

Agent 10483 has some problems, the least of which is that he doesn’t have a catchy name like 007.

Believed dead, the former Israeli secret service operative returns with a vengeance. Not only is he working to shutter his former employer, but in Last Instructions he’s seeking revenge against the people behind the Organization’s betrayal.

Around the world he goes, in search of a hidden nuclear warhead he plans to use.

Of course, the Organization isn’t taking the threat lying down. There are two teams trying to find 10483. One is comprised of twin assassins working under someone with suspect motives.

The other is an Organization subcontractor named Carmit, who has a history with 10483 — he “performed transformations on him to manipulate his behavior during the course of his assassination missions abroad,” as per the press materials, which is probably the best way to describe it.

Jerusalem-born author Nir Hezroni spent several years of military service working intelligence and it shows — even in the English-language version translated from Hebrew. In both his first book, Three Envelopes, and Last Instructions, which is a sequel, Hezroni deftly moves from scene to scene without relying too heavily on jargon and keeping the reader engaged.

The early inclusion of “classified documents” and conversations effectively advances the plot and sets the scene for what’s to come. The use of cutting-edge technology throughout — does this kind of stuff really exist? — adds another effective element.

The plot moves at a brisk, almost breathless pace that’ll keep you hooked until the end. 10483 may not have as catchy a handle as 007, but Last Instructions makes for an enjoyable read that the late James Bond creator Ian Fleming would likely endorse.


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