Jonathan de Shalit, the pseudonym of a former high-ranking member of the Israeli Intelligence Community, drew comparisons to Daniel Silva (or, perhaps more accurately, Silva’s fictional character, Gabriel Allon) earlier this year when his debut thriller, Traitor, hit bookstores back in January.
Opting for more of a slow-burn, thinking man’s spy thriller, de Shalit’s style is more slanted towards suspense than action. He’s more Forsyth than Thor. Still, though the sample size is small, Jonathan de Shalit has shown a natural talent for growing tension, carefully plotting out his story, ramping things up as events unfold.
During an interview earlier this year, I asked the author about his next book, which at the time still hadn’t been announced. Back then, he explained that his second thriller (which was published in Israel last month under the title Cadets) is a “standalone book” but that “some of the characters of Traitor also appear in it.”
“Ya’ara takes the whole book on her shoulders, she is brilliant and successful, but she starts to pay a heavy price. I am proud to say that it was also a bestseller in my country, and I hope it will be published in the USA in the not-too-far future,” said de Shalit.
Now, nearly eight months after that interview, we finally have all the plot details, along with the title and cover art of his anticipated follow-up to Traitor. Check it out below!
From the author of the internationally bestselling “supremely effective, cunningly crafted” (The Providence Journal) thriller Traitor, a cerebral and suspenseful novel of high-stakes intrigue in Israel’s top intelligence agency.
After Ya’ara Stein is forced out of her job at the Mossad—the secret intelligence service of Israel—she is called upon by the Prime Minister for a classified job. Known for her aptitude, beauty, and deadliness, Stein is asked to set up a secret unit that will act independently, answerable only to the Prime Minister.
This streamlined and deadly unit, filled with bright young men and women recruited and trained by Stein, quickly faces threats both old and new. Descendants of the lethal militant Red Army Faction have returned to terrorize Europe and fears of a radical Islam splinter group force the unit to distinguish between facts and smoke screens. As Stein’s cadets struggle to crush these threats, they soon discover how easily the hunter can become the hunted.
A dazzling, tension-filled novel that sheds light on the world hidden just below the surface of our everyday lives, this thriller offers a peek into the dark behind the curtain where today’s deadliest conflicts are fought. With breathless pacing and shocking twists and turns, it proves that Jonathan de Shalit “has learned well from the likes of Mr. le Carré” (The Wall Street Journal).
If you’re looking for a solid, old-school spy thriller series to invest your time into, de Shalit also previously told me that he’s working on a third novel which, presumably, would come out in 2020.
“I am now in the middle of writing the third book of what appears to be a trilogy. After that, I hope Ya’ara will be able to rest a bit. I already have a detailed idea of another novel, something totally different. It will tell the story of Israel in the early 1960s, and then it will try to discover and show how the Israeli story is perceived from a contemporary American perspective.”
A Spy in Exile is currently scheduled to come out on February 5, 2018, and is currently available for pre-order here or anywhere else books are sold.
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.