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!