Chas­ing Shad­ows: A Spe­cial Agen­t’s Hunt to Bring a Cold War Assas­sin to Justice

Fred Bur­ton and John Bruning
  • Review
By – October 31, 2011
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.

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