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Human Error

Ruth Perlmutter has been in the Mossad for her entire working life, has taken part in many hush-hush operations and has become a legend in her time. Now retired, she’s running a flourishing travel business and providing occasional small services to the spy agency. But after her friend Arthur, also a former Mossad agent, is found dead on the Tel Aviv beach, she is asked to re-enlist and investigate. It soon becomes clear that Arthur was murdered and Ruth’s probe leads her to espionage operations that went wrong, to a meeting with a Scottish lover she hasn’t seen for years, and to historic letters written by Theodor Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement. Arthur had claimed that the letters were given to him years before by an Austrian agent. But are they authentic or counterfeit? Was Arthur killed because of them? Is there a connection between the letters and a mysterious road accident in which a Jerusalem historian who was examining them lost his life?

Shulamit Lapid, author of the successful Lizzy Badihi series, has once again created an unforgettable female investigator. Ruth Perlmutter may wear unfashionable dresses and prefer plastic bags to leather ones, but she catches on quickly and has a photographic memory. Her mind is razor-sharp, and no one can fool her, even her comrades in the Mossad who are seen here in a new light. But Human Error is much more than a suspense story. It is also about people who have risked their lives in the service of their country, but have strayed from the straight and narrow path; a novel about a last chance to rectify a mistake and perhaps make a new start.

Title Human Error
Writer's Last Name Lapid
Writer's First Name Shulamit
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
No. Pages 219pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Taʹut Enosh
  • “ Shulamit Lapid is a genre all of her own. She creates suspense heroes that are... shadowy, complex and, most importantly, they say a thing or two about the society they live in. ”

    Israel Hayom
  • “ Lapid has spun an engrossing tale, replete with the minutest details of life in the underground organization. ”

    Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “ Shulamit Lapid is a superb writer… and a wizard at writing suspense novels… She sees both the good and the evil in everything just as they are… A fun book, an Israeli thriller that is wonderfully engaging. ”