No one writes international spy thrillers better than Silva, this one doesn't disappoint
This international spy thriller opens with the death of a Vatican art curator Claudia Andreotti. While her death is officially classified as a suicide the pope’s private secretary Luigi Donati knows that it is not. Conveniently working at the Vatican restoring a painting is Gabriel Allon, retired Mossad operative. Donati cajoles Allon out of retirement (surprise, surprise) and Allon and his wife Chiara investigate her death.
Allon’s investigation leads him into the intrigues of Vatican politics, the underground world of antiquity theft, organized crime and money laundering and the methods of funding international terrorist networks. Silva provides enlightening detail about all of these subjects throughout the story. The thriller moves rapidly from St. Moritz, to Scandinavia, to Berlin, to Rome, and to the Mideast. As you’d expect in a Gabriel Allon story there is no shortage of threats. Whenever Allon shows up the body count starts to rise although the violence is not graphically described. All of the favorite characters from earlier novels make an appearance – Allon’s mentor Avi Sharom, the head of Mossad Eli Lavon and Uzi Navot. The denouement of this story is particularly good. It is set in Jerusalem at the Temple Mount and has a page turning intensity to it.
I’ve always enjoyed Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon books. I think they have a ripped from the headlines intensity and while the premises of these stories might seem farfetched I think the hatreds in the Mideast make these stories all too possible. Silva is a good writer and doesn’t pander to the reading public; you need to come with some level of understanding of current affairs to keep up. No one writes international spy thrillers better than Silva, this one doesn't disappoint. Allon is a likeable familiar character; tormented and unable to find peace in his life but reassuring in his devotion to justice.
I’ve read the previous 15 Gabriel Allon novels but I listened to this one. I had a problem believing the soft spoken George Guidall as the narrator. I guess that I had a vision of this character in my head that his voice just did not support. If you are new to the series I suspect this might not bother you. So for me I’d give five stars for the story but a lot less for the audio rendition.
I listened to a copy of this story that was provided by Harper Audio