Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I so enjoyed Ruth Ware's thriller The Woman in Cabin 10 and couldn't wait for her newest book to hit the library. It is another taut, exciting psychological thriller mixing the elements of friendship, coming of age, mysterious death, and loyalty. 

Kate, Isa, Thea, and Fatima were all girls at a boarding school when they met and became close, playing a game where they scored points for telling random lies to those they thought would believe them. They liked to see who they could dupe into believing their ridiculous tales. They also shared their living quarters and their desire to be individuals as well as part of a family who would love them unconditionally. They all found that their family was the four of them. They then clung to the only adult they knew who would allow them the freedom to explore and experiment, Kate's father. But then, one night Kate summons them to her house to help her with a big problem. Someone is dead.

Years later, Kate summons them again with a short text that says simply, "I need you." The other women don't hesitate to come to her aid, leaving their new, adult lives behind as with strings of lies in their wake. The question they then face is: how far do you go to protect those you love? Should we be willing to risk everything to be loyal and uphold a promise? When do the lies have to stop?

Don't miss this spooky, twisty gem of a mystery filled with great characters you won't soon forget!

I do not read series fiction very often, but I never miss a Daniel Silva right as it comes out of the box of new books at the library. Gabriel Allon is the star once again in this one, and I just can't seem to resist someone who is not only a spy, but an assassin, and an art restorer too.

This newest Allon tale begins in the wake of the terrorist attack on London depicted in Silva's book The Black Widow. It was a well-constructed and secret attack with few holes, however Allon's team finds one in the form of an ISIS operative known only as Saladin. The team from The Office has history with Saladin, and is determined to bring him down. To do that, they enlist a wealthy drug dealer and his wife, under threat of prosecution and possible health hazards, to bring Saladin closer so they can take him out for good. It is a plan that takes money, planning, patience, deceit, and the help of the one woman who knows Saladin's looks and nature from up-close experience. 

Besides all this exciting espionage, the core of the novel is always Allon's character and the personalities of those on his team. Their honed spy-craft and irresistible, quirky personalities draw you in and make you care deeply about the dangerous outcome of the mission. Allon is an enigma who cares and fights for not only his own home of Israel, but his beautiful wife, his children, the art he lovingly restores in his "down time" and indeed, the safety of the entire world. Silva's extensive research and thrilling writing style bring them all together into a seemingly current-day world where disaster is on the horizon on any given day. 

While you certainly do not have to read all of the other 16 wonderful books in this series to understand the plot of this one or any of the others, it would certainly be a joy to go back to some earlier books such as one of my favorites, The Secret Servant, to get to know the core characters and their history. Enjoy!