Gabriel Allon’s attempt to live a quiet life is under threat, again. He is living in the English countryside with his wife Chiara and his identity as art restorer Giovanni Rossi is well established. A brilliant new commission to restore a Titian which had been mistaken as a much lesser painting has come his way and this new life away from politics, espionage and treachery is very appealing. But a chance encounter with a suicide bomber means he is called back into the fray and the convoluted Middle East relations require all of his considerable skills.
A plot to recruit a wealthy Palestinian woman to help Gabriel, the US and a myriad of agencies and personnel to break up a terrorist organisation is fraught. The woman, Nadia is sympathetic, and even though she is dealing with the man who killed her father, she is supportive of the ‘good guys’ intentions. Her bravery is astounding, even though she considers herself to be well protected by her personal security entourage.
Silva paints a fascinating picture of the espionage world, while poking sly fun at the US way of doing things, which is big. Their need to know basis, means thousands of people will know. The action takes place over Europe, England the US and the Middle East, and it is all scarily plausible.
Daniel Silva writes an intelligent thriller, that doesn’t ram home one side or another of Middle East Politics. He is Israeli and that informs a lot of what he does, but he can still see the bigger picture. A smart read. Good for Father’s Day, but it is certainly not just for the boys. $33