Mini-Book Review: Operation Joktan

12 Jan

I read Operation Joktan by Amir Tsarfati and Steve Yohn a few months ago, but it has remained on my mind. I admit I had my doubts about liking this book. Some military-type books set in the Middle East that my husband loves leave my eyes glazed over. 😉 Not the case with Operation Joktan! While the book centers on Israel’s Mossad and their clandestine operations to circumvent terrorists, the characters and their relationships were not lost in the action. (If you know, you know.) The book takes some time to build with backstory for the two main characters and the terrorists. There is a great balance between the edge-of-the-seat action and the characters’ development. A couple of the story threads seemed superfluous to me, until, in retrospect, I found the authors making me see those who are swept up in a terrorist’s plot. Those incidental characters teach of the real human costs and the necessity for action by elite groups like the Mossad. While the operation is concluded, the relationships are left with some loose threads. Last, but certainly not least, the book explores the faith journeys of the characters in a natural, never preachy way. I look forward to reading book 2, By Way of Deception which released last fall.


Audience: adults.

(Thanks to the publisher for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

“It was the perfect day—until the gunfire.”

Nir Tavor is an Israeli secret service operative turned talented Mossad agent.

Nicole le Roux is a model with a hidden skill.

A terrorist attack brings them together, and then work forces them apart—until they’re unexpectedly called back into each other’s lives.

But there’s no time for romance. As violent radicals threaten chaos across the Middle East, the two must work together to stop these extremists, pooling Nicole’s knack for technology and Nir’s adeptness with on-the-ground missions. Each heart-racing step of their operation gets them closer to the truth—and closer to danger.

In this thrilling first book in a new series, authors Amir Tsarfati and Steve Yohn draw on true events as well as tactical insights Amir learned from his time in the Israeli Defense Forces. For believers in God’s life-changing promises, Operation Joktan is a suspense-filled page-turner that illuminates the blessing Israel is to the world.

Amir Tsarfati was born in Israel and has lived there most of his life. Since fulfilling his mandatory service in the Israeli Defense Force, he has continued as a major in the IDF Reserve. Amir has been a tour guide in Israel for the last twenty years, and served as chief tour guide of Sar El Tours and CEO of Sar El Tours and Conferences. In 2001, he became founder and president of Behold Israel – a non-profit organization which provides worldwide real-time access to reliable sources of news and information about Israel from within the powerful context of Bible history and prophecy.

Amir is married to Miriam, and together they have four children. His home overlooks the valley of Megiddo (Armageddon) which is a constant reminder of the call that the Lord has placed on him to teach from the Bible what God’s plans are for the end of times.

Steve Yohn grew up as a pastor’s kid in Fresno, California, and both of those facts contributed significantly to his slightly warped perspective on life. Steve graduated from Multnomah Bible College with a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies and barely survived a stint as a youth pastor.

While studying at Denver Seminary, Steve worked as a videographer for Youth for Christ International, traveling throughout the world capturing the ministry’s global impact. Later, he spent a decade as pastor of Strasburg Community Church in Strasburg, Colorado. Currently, he is the Senior Writer and Editor at Behold Israel. Steve has co-written five books, and ghost-written five others.

Surprisingly, although his hobbies are reading classic literature, translating the New Testament from the Greek, and maintaining a list of political leaders of every country of the world over the last 25 years, he still occasionally gets invited to parties and has a few friends. His wife, Nancy, and their daughter are the joys of his life.

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