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Full Name: Shai Shaham
Nationality: Israeli
Organization: Mossad
Occupation Agent

Creator: Howard Kaplan
Time Span: 1977 - 2018


Shia Shaham is an agent with Mossad.

Ramzy Yusuf Awwad is a PLO intelligence officer.

I mention the second person here even though the series is about the first because while we will follow the first through what amounts to two phases of his life with the Israeli intelligence agency, his strange relationship with the second is key to everything that happens.

The first phase, depicted in the first recorded adventure, takes place in 1982 when terrorist leader Abu Nidal was the number one target for Mossad. Shaham is given the task of finding and eliminating him. Another larger team had been on that assignment for some time and Shaham's task would not stop that one but the Mossad director had another avenue to try and he chose Shaham to be the one to take that road. It would involve making use of Ramzy Awwad.

The second phase takes place during the next two adventures and occurs three decades later. Shaham is still an operative but now one of the most senior in the department. Shaham's health is a constant worry for himself and for his much younger wife both because of the gun shot wound he had suffered a year before and because of his not unnoticeable girth that over the years had accumulated. Meanwhile his old friend and often enemy Ramzy Awwad had moved from being in the PLO and therefore a natural opponent to Shaham to being an accomplished author with several best-selling books about the Palestinian life.

In that first phase, Shaham and Awwad are both very reluctant to work with each other because there is absolutely no trust nor friendship between them and each would not have missed the other should one have died. In the second phase, both are reluctant to work with each other because neither wants to see the other in danger.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1977
Last Appearance:2018

0 Damascus Cover Damascus Cover
aka The Damascus Cover
Written by Howard Kaplan
Copyright: 1977

This book is a prequel to the events in the Shaham series. The author lists it as the first book in his Jerusalem Spy Series which includes the Shaham adventures though the main characters do not appear each other's stories.
Anxious to reenergize his lagging career, Ari Ben-Sion agrees to take on a mission he would certainly have rejected in his younger days. He is to find a way to smuggle a group of Jewish children out of the Damascus ghetto where they currently live.
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1 Bullets Of Palestine Bullets Of Palestine
Written by Howard Kaplan
Copyright: 1988

In order to stop a terror threat, Shai Shaham must somehow win the confidence of a Palestinian agent name Ramzy who will help him get close enough to nab or eliminate the notorious Abu Nidal. Shaham is ordered to take out Ramzy when the job is over but their new friendship gets in the way.
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2 The Spy's Gamble The Spy's Gamble
Written by Howard Kaplan
Copyright: 2018

The Israeli Prime Minister is invited to take a ride in a new stealth submarine out of Norfolk. Then the submarine with him in it disappears. Shai Shaham is put on the case and he calls upon old friend and enemy Ramzy Awwad to help.
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3 To Destroy Jerusalem To Destroy Jerusalem
Written by Howard Kaplan
Copyright: 2018

The year is 1990. A vital piece needed for a nuclear bomb has been stolen in New York and the CIA asks Shai Shaham for help in recovering it. He heads to Amsterdam to enlist the aid of Ramzy Awwad, a Palestinian agent he is friends with, sort of.
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Number of Movies:1
First Appearance:2017
Last Appearance:2017

1 Damascus Cover Damascus Cover
Director: Daniel Zelik Berk
Writers: Daniel Zelik Berk, Samantha Newton
Actor: Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Ari Ben-Sion
Released: 2017

The author considers the book on which this movie is based to be the first in his Jerusalem Spy Series which includes the Shai Shaham adventures.
Ari Ben-Sion is still reeling from the death of his son when he agrees to undertake an impossible mission into the Syrian capital not knowing that he is being used as bait.


The first and most important thing to say, IMHO, about this series is that the writing is terrific! The author has a fantastic skill with words and setting moods and atmosphere and putting the reader in that crowded street or climbing those steep stairs or about to open a door to who know what waiting. The suspense is thick and near constant.

The characters feel real and you get a great sense of knowing both Shia and Ramzy and worrying about both.

It is fascinating to me that the author wrote the first one, marked as #0 above for a good reason, in 1977. He waited over a decade to pick up the lives of these men for another adventure. He them went 30 years before giving two more stories. Obviously the man had his reasons.


My Grade: A


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