House of Spies

House of Spies

by Daniel Silva

Overview: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Black Widow comes the thrilling new summer blockbuster featuring legendary spy, assassin and art restorer Gabriel Allon. 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).

Deanna Boe (08/30/17): How does Daniel Silva do it? He just gets better and better with his writing and the plots that he so capably crafts for us to read and enjoy. His writing has always been first-class, but somehow his conspiracies are enhanced in such a way that you never want to put the book down. He skillfully weaves his previous characters into the changing times and in so doing makes us, the readers, feel as if we know what is happening all around the world right now today. This is Silva’s 17th book written about the spy master, Gabriel Allon. Many authors have written books using the same character over and over; they, unfortunately, become redundant and their plots weak, this is not true with Daniel Silva and Gabriel Allon! The writing and the strategy Silva uses only reaches out and continues to capture our attention in such a way we never want the book to end.

This book, HOUSE OF SPIES, was particularly terrifying. Why? For two reasons: Silva incorporates ISIS and the impact it has rained down upon not only upon us but the rest of the world. The second reason the novel is upsetting is because Silva shows how we, the United States, is becoming weaker in our world standing as viewed by our allies. All of this is skillfully written into the plot throughout this book. Daniel Silva has an understanding of the political situation all around the world as viewed in 2017 and the impact it has upon us; all of it is ingeniously entwined in a cleverly written storyline using Gabriel Allon.

Gabriel has recently been promoted to head the Israeli unit comparable to our CIA. He has not wanted this position but finally was forced into it by his superior - Shamron. How Silva conceives these “point-on” plots is amazing. This novel, which has ISIS contriving to take down the area of London’s Westminster Abby, was released days before an actual terrorist occurrence in that area of England. There are naturally several villains in this novel. Jean-Luc Martel is an extremely wealthy Frenchman who actually owes his wealth to drugs supplied from a Muslim fanatic, Mohammad Bakkar, in Morocco. Bakkar, it just so happens, works hand in hand with the ISIS mastermind, Saladin, who Gabriel is after. As always Silva’s books are not only historical, they are also politically current with what is happening around the world today. He manages to write a smooth flowing storyline that captures your attention in such a way that you do not want to put it down. Even when it is finished you want more!

Silva carries over characters that we have “met” in previous novels, one of them is Christopher Keller. Keller had defected from the British military to become a cold-blooded murderer for hire. He was persuaded to return and work for the British Joint Intelligence Committee. He is a very cool character who I am sure we will meet again in future novels; along with the beautiful, former fashion model Olivia Watson, who had become the mistress to Jean-Luc Martel and perhaps Keller’s in future novels?

In short, this is another well crafted story that one does not want to end. Compared to many authors who have developed popular characters that soon lose their appeal, Silva’s Gabriel Allon only becomes a personality you never want to die. I can’t wait for his 18th book next July!
Rating: *****

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