In 1973, on a Saturday night, a lone gunman hiding behind a tree stepped out and fired five shots into Josef Alon. Alon, an Israeli Air Force pilot with a family, was living in Bethesda, Maryland. His neighbor, Fred Burton, was sixteen years old at the time. The murder shocked him and it was never solved. In 2007, Burton, now a State Department counterterrorism special agent, reopened the case, and this book tells the story of his effort to solve it. Alon was not a mere pilot. He was a high-ranking military intelligence officer. Burton had to chase clues all over the world. His account of the investigation reads like a spy thriller. Readers will be turning the pages, eager to see where the case leads Burton. The story also demonstrates how international power is used, misused, and sometimes sold to the most convenient bidder. Anyone interested in international affairs and the history of the Cold War era will be fascinated by Burton’s efforts to find his neighbor’s killer.
Barbara M. Bibel is a librarian at the Oakland Public Library in Oakland, CA; and at Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley, CA.