Tuesday, September 20, 2011
This will be perhaps the third or fourth thriller in this series that I’ve reviewed so I won’t write a lengthy review of this novel. Let me just say that it is every bit as good as the earlier books in this series. Daniel Silva through his lead character Israeli spy Gabriel Allon does a fantastic job of educating the reader about Mideast politics, rivalries and factional fighting. So often his stories have a real ripped from the headlines feel. This one is particularly topical dealing with terrorist attacks in London and the US. Allon’s adversaries are a post Bin Laden terrorist group centered in Yemen; he is assisted by a progressive billionaire Saudi woman, Nadia al-Bakari who quietly is trying to improve conditions for women in the Mideast. All of the familiar characters from earlier Silva novels are present, Allon’s wife Chiara, British gallery owner Julian Isherwood, the complete Mossad team, Allon’s mentor Shamron and the principals from US and UK intelligence. The plotting is intelligent and tight, the writing is first-rate and the characters are realistic. Silva doesn’t shy from sharing his feelings about rights and wrongs in the Mideast – the treatment of women and minorities in the Mideast (wrong), the tepid US support for Israel (wrong), the Saudi financing of terrorist groups (wrong), the support of Israel among the Western intelligence agencies (right).
If you’ve enjoyed Silva’s earlier novels you will like this one, if you haven’t read any novels in this international spy series this one can stand alone as a satisfying read. I listened to the audio version of this thriller and for me it was quite a different experience than reading it. Simon Vance did a first-rate job narrating, he was able to give voice to a myriad of accents that really gave the story a theatrical feel. I would be hard pressed to compare the experience of listening v. reading this story. Both are enjoyable just different!
I would offer the audio edition of this novel that I received from the publisher as a giveaway. Rules are in the box to the right of this review. Giveaway ends September 28.