Desert Pawn is a contemporary, character-driven mystery that begins with the kidnapping of Mary Ann Berman, an American newlywed honeymooning with her husband, Dr. Daniel Berman, in Eilat, Israel. Shoshana Rich and Yonah Ferreres are the Shin Bet lead investigators who are charged to rescue Mary Ann and capture the perpetrators. In the backdrop of Israel's high stakes conflict with Palestinian fundamentalists, the investigators have many problems to solve. Who are the kidnappers? Is Mary Ann still alive, and if she is, where is she being held? What ransom are the kidnappers going to demand? Would Mary Ann's family or the United States break protocol and pay a ransom? The investigators are led through a series of twists and turns that involve the political and historical relationships between Israel, the United States, and the Hamas-led Palestinians.
A turning point in the investigation occurs when Mary Ann's stepfather, Leo Fields, a Baptist minister and ardent supporter of Israel, arrives to assist in the investigation. He is personally drawn into a world he thought he had left behind. Following his arrival, the characters are swept into a world of intrigue, global politics, and revealed past truths.
I have long been a fan of, what I call, "factual exposition through fictional storytelling" because, while you are being entertained, you are also being informed. It's a "two-for"...
Desert Pawn is loaded with facts, figures, insights and information about Israel, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and their neighbours. If you wish to learn more about the area's history, its people, politics and geography, while being entertained by an action-thriller story-line, you should give this book a listen.
I have to admit to a personal bias - I generally prefer male narrators. Having said that, Ann Simmons, the narrator of Desert Pawn, gives a flawless performance.
I was provided with a free copy of this audiobook, by the narrator, in exchange for providing an unbiased review.