Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Guest Review: House of Spies

Summary: A heart-stopping tale of suspense, Daniel Silva’s runaway bestseller, The Black Widow, was one of 2016’s biggest novels. Now, in House of Spies, Gabriel Allon is back and out for revenge – determined to hunt down the world’s most dangerous terrorist, a shadowy ISIS mastermind known only as Saladin.

Four months after the deadliest attack on the American homeland since 9/11, terrorists leave a trail of carnage through London’s glittering West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy, but with one loose thread.

The thread leads Gabriel Allon and his team of operatives to the south of France and to the gilded doorstep of Jean-Luc Martel and Olivia Watson. A beautiful former British fashion model, Olivia pretends not to know that the true source of Martel’s enormous wealth is drugs. And Martel, likewise, turns a blind eye to the fact he is doing business with a man whose objective is the very destruction of the West. Together, under Gabriel’s skilled hand, they will become an unlikely pair of heroes in the global war on terror.

Written in seductive and elegant prose, the story moves swiftly from the glamour of Saint-Tropez to the grit of Casablanca and, finally, to an electrifying climax that will leave readers breathless long after they turn the final page.

But House of Spies is more than just riveting entertainment; it is a dazzling tale of avarice and redemption, set against the backdrop of the great conflict of our times. And it proves once again why Daniel Silva is “quite simply the best” (Kansas City Star). -- Harper

I know my dad is a big fan of author Daniel Silva. Mr. Silva's 17th (and latest) book in his Gabriel Allon series HOUSE OF SPIES looks like a good one. It is already a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, #1 NYT Bestseller, #1 USA Bestseller, and a #1 WSJ Bestseller; and I think my dad agreed. Here are his thoughts:

HOUSE OF SPIES is author Daniel Silva's 17th novel featuring Gabriel Allon as the main character. Allon is a rare combination of spy, assassin and art restorer who has been recently promoted from field duty to chief of Israeli intelligence service.

This novel opens with a major ISIS attack on London killing hundreds. The attack is orchestrated by ISIS mastermind Saladin who also is a major adversary of Allon. It appears that after losing significant territory ISIS has transformed itself to inflict as much damage as possible on Europe and the United States. Allon joins forces with France and England, and to some extent the United States, to develop a complex and expensive con to force a France business/drug dealer and his beautiful partner to lead them to Saladin. The plan, which is financed by plundering the bank account of the Syrian ruler, includes using two Israeli agents to portray a Russian gun merchant and his spoiled wife. In an unusual and risky step for the chief of Israeli intelligence service, Allon goes into the field to actively participate in the ruse he has created. What results is an exciting thriller that moves from headquarters in Israel, France and England to Saint-Tropez to the Morocco desert in an effort to save a European city from a dirty bomb attack.

Characters are well developed and many, like assassin turned spy, Christopher Keller, doctor turned spy, Natalie Mazarin, undercover operative, Mikhail Abramov and English art dealer, Julian Isherwood have appeared in prior Silva novels. However, it isn't necessary to read any prior novels to fully appreciate these characters.

Author Daniel Silva does an amazing job of forming a storyline that appears to come right out of today's headlines. His portrayal of the United States as an arrogant, but necessary partner that can't totally be trusted also fits some countries current attitude towards the United States. HOUSE OF SPIES is a thriller that I recommend for anyone interested in this genre.

Thanks to Booking Pap Pap for his review and thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.


bermudaonion said...

Wow, that sounds like a story snatched from the headlines. I don't think I've ever read Silva.

The Book Sage said...

I have read and enjoyed them all. This one I liked a little less than the others. But I still liked it. Actually my favorite Silva is a standalone called The Unlikely Spy. That one is totally terrific.