Review: The Hell of Osirak by Jaye Rothman


The Hell of Osirak
Jaye Rothman
BookBaby; 1 edition (November 21, 2013)
Pages 220
Author provided a copy in exchange for an honest review
goodreads  buy from amazon

This is a grand panoramic lesbian spy thriller that is set in five countries and in three contents. In 1981 the Israelis launched a daring attack and bombed the Osirak nuclear reactor, this was code named Operation Opera. This exciting thriller by Jaye Rothman is loosely based on these events.

Nikki Sinclair is a British agent who has been sent into Southern Africa on a cover-up goose chase or is her assignment critical to her nation’s security?

Sinclair unexpectedly encounters her ex-lover, who is an agent for the Mossad. Sparks fly again…
Sinclair heads down a road fraught with danger, who can she trust? 
After a vicious assault by a revenging agent, Sinclair is seconded to desk duties. She is recalled to the field, to undertake a perilous mission that will tax her to the limits emotionally and mentally. 

Who can she trust? Her own side? Her lover? Or perhaps no one at all…..

This book has a number of lesbian sex scenes, if this offends don’t read….You have been warned…..

WARNING – There are a number of lesbian sex scenes in this story. So if this offends you – don’t read!

An espionage thriller with a very strong lesbian theme featuring British agent Nikki Sinclair and Mossad spy Dvora Bar Zahavi, who re-kindle their relationship after an absence of seven years.

 Freshman author Jaye Rothman certainly creates a riveting thriller with an entwined romance ingredient combining for a great read. The Hell of Osirak is a creative combination of multiple genres. I found the narrative fresh simply due to fact there is a substantial plot – this is not some lesbian erotica that’s a dime a dozen out there. True, this novel incorporates romance but that’s the defining line – a romance not erotica. I know the LGBT community, and others will enjoy all parts of this thrilling story.

Those of you that know me know I tend to favor strong female protagonists, especially when they take on occupations conventionally held by men. Dvora and Nikki are two very strong characters both in a position and field largely dominated by men. Being lesbians their sexual preference is used against them in field work as well as climbing the ladder of success. Their sexual orientation is ‘known’ but sadly unexpressed formally due to the nature of their position, risk of termination keeps their sexual preference a forced secret.

 “Are you a lesbian feminist?”

Dvora nodded. “I don’t think it’s possible to be a feminist and fuck men. Adrienne Rich wrote in one of her essays that heterosexuality is a condition forced upon women by men. I believe that if women were able to make choices for themselves, and they weren’t conditioned by society to be with men, many women would choose to sleep and live with women.”

 “Are you, Nikki?”

“Yes without a doubt. I’m longing for the day when I can be out of the closet and live openly with my lover, and not be threatened with unemployment or eviction. I want to be able to walk along a street holding your hand, without being derided and spat at. Do you think that day will ever come?”

Dvora and Nikki have an extremely complicated relationship. Working for different countries, duty for their respective countries prevent them from a formal relationship. Both have baggage from compromising requirements in the field, leaving to question each other’s sincerity and honesty. Always wondering if ulterior motives are a driving factor of their encounters, duty and obligation to their differing countries compound their romance. Employers from both sides are aware of their feelings toward each other, sadly, this is used (often against them) and as expected causes serious damage to their romance. The on again, off again, hot and cold relationship status creates enough conflict adding plausibility to the narrative.

Incorporating the nonfictional event of Osirak creates an enthralling read. Rothman has no problem capturing the readers attention with loads of suspense. A few surprise twists and turns gained my full attention and interest creating my focus to never stray. Rothman gave enough info on the background and history of the two characters without weighing the reader down. Having their past, present and questionable future explored transitioned well.

I enjoyed the setting as well, Rothman takes us to many counties once again adding to the interest and plausibility – South Africa, Israel, Iraq, England, New Zealand.

The Hell of Osirak is an exciting novel, with two incredibly strong women with a intricate past and shaky future in a field full of excitement and danger. The ending was superb, a true surprise. No doubt Rothman created a narrative with mass appeal, fans of any genre and orientation will more than enjoy this multidimensional novel. If you are sensitive towards same sex relationships/intimate encounters you might want to pass.

4 stars



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