Mossadnik Writes Spy Thriller

Published: February 10th 2010

Dave Sheskin
Pic: dave sheskin
Dave Sheskin
Pic: Dave Sheskin and wife Leah


The mystique that surrounds Mossad, Israel’s Secret Intelligence Service, fascinates the world. Respected and emulated by its colleagues, it is considered in the intelligence community to be a template. Eliminating unnecessary layers of bureaucracy, reporting only to the Prime Minister, its counterterrorism division alone supervises and directs all terrorist-related intelligence obtained from overseas sources. The intelligence received is processed and quickly put into the hands of end-users who will use it to address the threat.


Montreal born Dave Sheskin was one of the end-users. A retired officer (Major) he spent 19 years in Mossad in virtually every country in the world, but primarily in the European theatre of operations. His expertise is in radical Islam, Sharia law and the tracking down of terrorist leaders and bringing them to justice.


His recently published novel, Waltzing with the Wicked: Embracing the Darkness takes us deep into the life of an undercover agent working on the front lines of terrorism in early seventies Europe, especially in France. It is also a story of the price he pays in the loss of family relationships, for his all-consuming profession.


“The book is a soul-baring chronicle of regret and remorse,” says Sheskin, who now lives in Niagara on the Lake. Fact-based fiction, he says it is 85 per cent fact and approximately 15 per cent fiction. The names of the leaders and terrorist organizations are all true.


Nathan Sheppard, a native Montrealer lives in Israel with his Israeli wife and three children. He is recruited by Mossad and becomes an undercover operative. "It was a clandestine occupation where nothing was as it seemed. It was all smoke, morrors and subterfuge. I couldn’t even reveal my true self in my family relationships,” he writes.


He and his female partner are sent to France. In the early seventies, there was a sharp escalation of Islamic terrorist groups that threatened the communities in Europe. The Jewish community was specifically targeted. Their task was to infiltrate and destroy the groups.


“...petrol bombing of synagogues, tearing at the beards of the reverent old men and shattering windowpanes of Jewish owned establishments...Our intelligences sources in Paris feared the worst. They determined that a terrorist attack would take place sometime around the Passover holidays. Now it was up to us to uncover the hiding places of the terrorists and methodically rid ourselves of the enemy. In case of suspicion, we carried counterfeit Canadian passports.”


Highly charged, insightful and riveting, the book is a visceral understanding of the lives, risks and critical roles of Mossad agents that affect all of us, wherever they might be in the world. The meticulous details and character descriptions bring it to life.


It soon becomes apparent that it is a thinly veiled story of Sheskin’s own life – his profession that he loved and that cost him the devastating loss of his family.


At 67, wearing well-cut jeans, the six foot two Sheskin is fit, savvy and candidly outspoken. Born in Montreal, growing up in Park Extension, one of his earliest memories is his collection of GI Joes on whose backs he painted blue and white Magen Davids. 


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