I was mesmerized by news coverage of the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in his Dubai hotel room. Al-Mabhouh was a co-founder of the paramilitary wing of Hamas, the militant Islamist group that governs Palestinian populations in Gaza. January surveillance video from the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel shows the Hamas commander checking into the hotel along with guests from various European countries who are now presumed to be members of a Mossad hit squad. After observing al-Mabhouh for a few days, the team entered his room (its electronic lock had been surreptitiously reprogrammed) and they drugged, strangled, and electrocuted him. Before his body was discovered, the assassins calmly and quietly checked out of the hotel and disappeared into the wind. As I watched the report unfold it looked like the pages of a Daniel Silva book coming to life. This weekend I finished Silva’s latest book, The Defector.