Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Superspy Gabriel Allon, now director of the Israeli Intelligence Service, is on the track of Saladin, the ISIS mastermind who orchestrated the devastating attack on Washington, D.C., in The Black Widow (2016) and followed that with another in London. Refusing to run the operation from his office, Allon throws himself into the action, which stretches from London and Paris to Saint-Tropez, where an elaborate sting designed to force the cooperation of a drug dealer working with Saladin is launched. Readers familiar with this series will recognize the pattern: Allon gathers his team, surveils his potential assets in this case, the drug dealer and his somewhat naive partner, art-gallery owner Olivia Watson presents them with a proposition they can't refuse, and uses them to gain access to the real target, which here is the elusive Saladin, who may be every bit Allon's equal. Silva again manages a delicate balance between tradecraft (the intricacies of the sting, the technology behind it, the specialized skills of his team); interpersonal drama (Allon's family, the growing attachment to those, like Watson, caught in the sting's web); and, of course, excruciating tension (dirty bombs in the wind, all while the clocks tick). So, yes, there is a formula behind this best-selling series' construction, yet it's both airtight in design and flexible enough to allow for maximum improvisation and leave room for multiple characters to show us what's in their heads and hearts. Throw in Silva's extensive knowledge of the morass that is international politics, and you have an irresistible thriller. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The phrase #1 New York Times best-selling author gets bandied about a lot (Which list? For how long?), but in Silva's case, it means exactly what it says.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2017 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In Thriller Award-finalist Silva's outstanding 17th novel featuring Israeli art restorer and spy Gabriel Allon (after 2016's The Black Widow), Gabriel has little time for art restoration, as he has now become chief of Israel's secret intelligence service. His first order of business is to find and eliminate the man who has become the face of Islamic terror, who operates under the nom de guerre Saladin. After the terrorist's successful attack on Washington, D.C., he turns his wrath on the U.K., unleashing 12 suicide bombers on the streets of London's West End. More than 900 Londoners and tourists perish. The head of MI6, Graham Seymour, enlists Gabriel in joining him in the hunt for Saladin. As usual, Gabriel devises an incredibly intricate plot involving a score of team members buttressed by millions of dollars in support money, sets his agents in motion, and sits in the background directing events until the enterprise succeeds-or fails. The introduction of new characters, in particular master spy Christopher Keller, keeps the story fresh. Readers will eagerly await the next installment in this deeply fulfilling series. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Gabriel Allon is back in the field.Well, that didn't take long. By the end of Black Widow (2016), spy Gabriel Allon had finally agreed to become chief of Israel's intelligence services. All it takes is a terrorist attack on London's West Endand a whisper that Allon's current nemesis was the mastermind behind itto get this storied spy out from behind his desk and back into the thick of it. As they track the man known only as Saladin, Allon and his team travel from Britain to Saint-Tropez and Morocco. They enlist the grudging assistance of a glamorous French entrepreneur (who is in reality a drug smuggler) and his partner, a beautiful onetime model. And they discover the Islamic State has plans that go beyond suicide bombers and vehicular homicide. As usual, Silva has crafted a story that feels ripped from the headlinespossibly tomorrow's headlines. His characters are confronting an Islamic State that is redefining itself as a virtual entity as it loses physical territory. They're also fighting against an organization that is shifting its focus from building a caliphate in the Middle East to inflicting casualties in Europe and the United States. This is a less psychologically intense novel than Black Widow, and fans drawn to this series by Gabriel's sideline as a restorer of Old Master paintings might miss the art history. But this is still a riveting thriller, and Silva's writing has lost none of its elegance. He provides readers with just enough real-world geopolitics to make sense of his narrative, and his depictions of the different styles of the world's diverse intelligence services is fascinating as always. What's different in this installment is the sense that the role of the United States is diminishing in the world. Even though the U.S. asserts itself into the search for Saladin, there's a clear sense among the British, the French, and the Israelis that their American counterparts are no longer reliable allies. Another chilling glimpse inside global terror networks from a gifted storyteller. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.