Monday, December 7, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "Silent Cats: Deadly Dance" by J.D. Wallace

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Book Description:

A woman and her two daughters are killed in a car bombing in Tel Aviv. The woman, Kat, a sophisticated academic, is also a Mossad assassin of nearly twenty years. Her husband, Pantera, identifies the bodies of his wife and children, swearing vengeance. Reaching as far back as 1989, to their meeting in Rome at a U.S. Embassy New Year's Eve ball, Deadly Dance starts the story of their relationship in the onion-layered world of covert operatives. Of necessity theirs is an encounter beset by lies wrapped in half-truths, concealed in shadowy realities. Kat and Pantera maneuver through action-packed covert operations, romantic encounters, torture and acrobatic combat, all while coming to grips about who they're hunting and who is hunting them.

Deadly Dance is based on the life of the youngest Kidon Katsa agent in the history of Mossad and her husband, the fabled Chief Black Site Interrogator, who worked under such special access programs as the Operation Copper Green (created under Donald Rumsfeld), the United Nations Security Council - Special Operations Group (UN-SOG), and Task Forces 88 and 121.


The mother waved the café owner over. “Moti, we’re ready to leave.”

Alyn felt at ease in Moti Lichtenfeld’s café. Moti, a squat man sporting a heavy beard approached with a limp, a permanent reminder of his Mossad days. The longtime family friend and son of the founder of Krav Maga placed the tab on the table.

“Thank you for coming, Alyn. Please tell your sister to come by next time she’s in town. We miss her and … dare I say … her energy,” he said in soft Hebrew, giving her a warm smile. 

“I will.” She pulled three fifty Skekel notes from her purse and placed them on the table to cover her tab.

 Moti looked at Alyn’s daughters, and said, “Good-bye girls. Next time I shall tell you about the bull your mother and I wrestled when we were kids.” He winked at Alyn.

Alyn grinned at her friend and stood up. “Let’s go, ladies.”

Jade, the youngest, looked up with intense interest. Her inquisitive eyes sparkled at Moti, “Really? A bull?!”

Moti nodded and chuckled.

Electra watched her sister’s antics with an I-don’t-believe-this look while Jade continued bouncing around her mother. “Aww

Mama, come on ... You wrestled a bull? Just a couple more minutes, pleeease.”

Alyn shook her head, pulling her long, straight black hair up into a high ponytail. “Later Jade, now move.”

“Yes Ma’am,” Jade replied, extending her lower lip.

Alyn glanced around the café, then up and down the street. She smiled at the patrons who thought they recognized her as a famous local model. Electra, her oldest, a near replica of her statuesque mother, streaked up the sidewalk followed by the younger brown-haired, green-eyed Jade. It was a beautiful sunny day in the city as Alyn put on her Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses and continued to scan the area.

The lone Palestinian’s dark eyes followed the mother and her daughters.

Jade jumped in the air and shouted, “SHOTGUN!”

“No way, you can’t call shotgun, Dad isn’t here,” Electra said, looking to her mother for support. 

“We only do that with Dad.


After spending the first ten years of his career with a US-based intelligence agency, Mr. Wallace went on to work for foreign intelligence agencies, law firms, political figures, royals, sovereigns and private corporations for the next twenty years. He is considered one of the top corporate infiltrators in the world. Mr. Wallace holds Bachelors' degrees in Mammalian Physiology and Environmental Chemistry and a Master's degree in Physiology/Nutrition and an MBA in Finance. Currently the widower resides in San Diego, California, with his Welsh Border Collie -- "Kelly." This is his first novel.

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First of all, for a debut novel this story was brilliant. Rarely do you see a debut so intricately written and plotted. The pace was set as fast, hard, and sometimes even shocking. The characters were fully developed and very realistic. The book read like a film, and I could really see Hollywood getting behind this.
For the flaws, of which there were few: Kat and Marcus were meant to be almost yin and yang, both hating the opposite sex and having to overcome that predjudice to be together. They were outrageously over-exaggerated, Kat more so than Marcus. I like Marcus: he's got sociopathic tendencies and a high IQ (two things that often go together in fiction).
However, I thought his lack of sympathies (seen during some of the torture scenes) are counterproductive to wanting most readers to like him. I liked him, but my tastes can be considered skewed. A lot of readers (especially women) might find him repellant.
Kat was also over the top in certain ways, and I did not feel much sympathy at her sudden death. Instead, my emotions were caught up with Marcus as he grieves for his lost family. While he might not be very emotional for a lot of the book, I got emotional for him.
The way the story is told keeps you reading. It's a great mix of action/adventure and romance, without the romance taking up too much space. The love is there and it is so thikc you an cut it with a knife, but it falls secondary to the excitement of the CIA and Mossad operatives' missions.
I think this was a great book, but not for evertone. Me? I will definitely be reading more from Wallace in the future!

4/5--action-packed and emotional.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review SILENT CATS: DEADLY DANCE. It is appreciated!
    Karen Bryson
    Short on Time Books