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George Jonas.

Toronto, Lester & Orpen Dennys, c1984.
376pp, cloth, $22.95.
ISBN 0-00-217269-0.

Grades 12 and up.
Reviewed by Joan McGrath.

Volume 12 Number 5
1984 September

Munich, September 5, 1972. Eleven Israeli Olympic athletes are massacred by Arab Black September terrorists. This cowardly assassination, though neither the first nor the bloodiest outrage perpetrated against Israel, drove the nation to unappeasable fury. This time, Israel would have revenge.

Vengeance is the absorbing story of the making of a hit man, as recounted by Avner, leader of the team of five young Israel is designated to hunt down and kill those responsible for the Munich atrocity. Avner and his comrades were ordinary citizens, not espionage agents; but they were carefully selected for this deadly mission for their special skills, talents, and abilities. It was a horrible task, almost as dangerous for the hunters as for the hunted. In fact, only two of the five survived, but they regarded it as a trust laid upon them by the homeland.

As grimly absorbing as any fictional espionage thriller, with the added chill factor of real-life victims lying in pools of real blood, Vengeance follows the team through its training, the actual mission, and the rather depressing aftermath. Avner, no longer a secret agent, now lives in careful anonymity somewhere in North America. His story was entrusted to George Jonas, who has done it justice.

Joan McGrath, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, ON.
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