The Little Drummer Girl
Martin Kurtz, an Israeli spymaster, recruits Charlie, a radical left-wing English actress, as part of an elaborate scheme to discover the whereabouts of Khalil, a Palestinian terrorist. Charlie’s case officer and furtive lover is Joseph.
Khalil’s younger brother Salim is abducted, interrogated, and killed by Kurtz’s unit. Joseph impersonates Salim and travels through Europe with Charlie in order to make Khalil believe that Charlie and Salim are lovers, the goal being that, when Khalil discovers the affair and contacts Charlie, the Israelis will be able to track him down.
Khalil does contact Charlie through intermediaries, and she travels to Palestine refugee camps in Lebanon to be trained as a bomber. She becomes more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, and her divided loyalties bring her close to collapse.
Finally, Charlie is sent on a mission to pretend to place a bomb at a lecture given by an Israeli moderate whose peace proposals are not to Khalil’s liking. She carries out the mission under the Israelis’ supervision. As a result, Khalil is killed, and Charlie’s mission comes to an end. She subsequently has a mental breakdown caused by the strain of her mission and her own internal contradictions. Whereupon Joseph comes to her aid: “locked together, they set off awkwardly along the pavement, though the town was strange to them”.
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