Shalva Hessel: Passion Undercover in Tehran

Shalva Hessel
Independently published
pp. 470

Never underestimate how dangerous a woman on a mission can be: Sally Amir never wanted to be a spy. Her life in espionage was revealed to her the day she discovers that her husband was not, in fact, a mere embassy attaché, but a top-level spy for the Israeli Intelligence Service. Mossad.

But now, undercover in Tehran, posing as a businesswoman and tasked with infiltrating the highest levels of the Iranian government, she doesn't have time to reflect on the life choices that got her there. Sally rises through the ranks to earn the trust of some of the world's most dangerous terrorists. Sally's loyalty to her country never wavers, but she soon realizes that she may be beyond her abilities to navigate this complicated world of politics, corruption and suspicion. And by the time she realizes the real danger, which is that her cover is being compromised, it may be too late to bail out of her.

Secret missions, passionate romantic encounters, constant dangers and, behind it all, a strong woman forging her own character.

"Passion Undercover in Tehran" is the new novel by Israeli author Shalva Hessel, engineer by profession and widow of Yoram Hessel (a Mossad agent), who continues her experience as an author with this novel following her first book "Married to the Mossad".

The text was translated from the Hebrew by Yossie Bloch. The same catches the reader's attention already when the author introduces the story with these lines: “There was nothing in the flight supervisor's smile that foreshadowed the drama that was about to unfold in the tiny cabin of the Gulfstream IV twinjet. mouth a moment later." With this suspense begins one of the author's most engaging true stories.

In almost cinematic prose, Hessel's novel unveils the action-packed life of a woman who faces extraordinary odds as she skillfully and passionately navigates her way through the world of espionage in an undercover role in Tehran.

Brilliantly written it is one of the most eloquent demonstrations of the ability of courageous women in roles often dominated by men.

The main character (an alter ego of the author herself) becomes a role model as well as a memorable figure in the genre of suspense novels.

Maria Grazia Labellarte