THE ROMAN RUSE a novel by Mark Perakh (120,000 words)


The year is 1989. Roman Debrin, a highly trained professional of the Soviet intelligence, is assigned by the KGB to penetrate a maverick Palestinian gang named AFAM, based in Lebanon. This will be a part of a KGB's plot dubbed the Homer plan. The plan's aim is to lay foundation for the future takeover, by the Soviets, of the Saudi Arabian oil by first preparing a beachhead in Israel.

Rachel Gal-Or works for Shin-Bet, the Israeli security service. Rachel and Roman come from two different worlds and nothing could ever forebode their encounter, on a hot summer day, at a bridge over the Jordan.

Even though Debrin has long lost illusions about the Soviet system, he continues to serve the state loyally. He spends a brief vacation with his girlfriend Alina. She also works for the KGB, training professional whores in the service of the infamous organization. She loathes her job. Debrin leaves the pregnant Alina in a state of deep depression.

To penetrate AFAM, Debrin stages an abduction of AFAM's leader Ghafour by a fake rival gang. Then Debrin plays the role of a Palestinian, Rasoul, who saves Ghafour's life.

Debrin-Rasoul has to take part in the terrorist actions. A complicated web of relationship develops between Rasoul and AFAM's top brass which includes a ferocious woman-warrior Samia.

To meet the messengers from his KGB superior, Debrin often travels from Lebanon to Israel. At the Jordan bridges he runs into Rachel who is there to verify information about weapons being smuggled into Israel. A strong mutual attraction develops between the blond Israeli security operative and the handsome 'Arab' traveler.

For further investigation, Rachel sends her sidekick Moshe, disguised as a money-changer, into the Arab part of Jerusalem. A former informant betrays, and, ordered by Hamas, kills Moshe.

The investigation leads to the house of bishop Croccia who has been smuggling Soviet weapon from Lebanon into Israel in the trunk of his Mercedes. This is a part of the Homer plan. In the meantime Debrin finds an ally in another member of AFAM, a cripple named Ali. For reasons Debrin does not understand, Ali assists Debrin in undermining AFAM's strength. Using an intri- cate plot, Debrin succeeds in removing Samia from the gang.

Having navigated between many dangers, Debrin is close to taking full control over AFAM.

Then Debrin learns that Alina has committed suicide. This is the last straw; he will defect to the USA via Israel.

A dangerous path lies ahead, as Debrin leaves the AFAM base behind. At the end of this path he will discover Ali's true identity. Debrin's revelations will help to thwart the Homer conspiracy. He will meet Rachel. The former hunter and the former quarry will realize that they are in love with each other.

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