By Eli Gray

How did the most valuable (and unlikely) source the Mossad has ever recruited wind up spying for Israel?

The Angel By Uri Bar-Joseph Harper, 384 pages, $29.99

The Angel
By Uri Bar-Joseph
Harper, 384 pages, $29.99

When Ashraf Marwan placed a call to the Mossad office in London, the intelligence officer on the other end could not imagine that the greatest spy coup in history had just deposited himself in Israel’s lap.

Uri Bar-Joseph’s “The Angel” is an intriguing read about the now-famous Egyptian government insider who decided to spy for Israel and provides an excellent behind-the-scenes look at how it all came to be.

Marwan was the son-in-law of former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and a close adviser to Anwar Sadat, Nasser’s successor. The book opens with Marwan’s funeral after his death from a suspicious fall off his balcony in London, then doubles back to the beginning of his story to probe the life and career of this singular spy.

What motivated the well-to-do and highly connected Marwan to turn on his country and pass crucial information to Israel?

Delving into his personal life and surrounding circumstances, Bar-Joseph provides the first in-depth look at Marwan’s psyche and what drove his decision. The author also details the pivotal information Marwan gave Israel, saving the Jewish state from defeat in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and ultimately changing the course of Middle East history.

As former Mossad head Maj. Gen. Zvi Zamir said, “This book is an accurate and reliable account of the career of one of the twentieth century’s most important spies.” Those with an interest in Israel’s history will find it to be an intriguing peek into the life of a famous spy and an eye-opening account of the events leading up to the 1973 war.