Book Review - Jackie K Cooper
THE ENGLISH SPY by Daniel Silva
It's summertime and the temperature is heating up, and so are the best seller lists thanks to the arrival of Daniel Silva's latest novel THE ENGLISH SPY. Each year the warm weather heralds the arrival of another action packed thriller from Silva featuring his acclaimed Israeli operative Gabriel Allon. This is cause for great celebration within the camp of Silva/Allon fans and they are great in number. Each novel is written in Silva's amazing style which combines a ripped from the headlines plot with precise details as to how it could all play out on the world stage.
This story starts off with a bang as a paid assassin plants a bomb on board a yacht. A famous princess is vacationing on this boat and is killed. The work looks to be similar to that of Eamon Quinn, a known IRA bomb maker and also the man who supposedly created the bomb that killed Allon's son and fiercely injured his first wife, Leah.
So Allon is dragged back into another search for a killer. The timing is not good as Allon's second wife Chiara is pregnant with twins and is due to give birth in just a few weeks. Allon has also been named the new head of the Office in Israel, a job he has avoided for years. Still his country needs him and so he has accepted this new position as Chief of the Intelligence Center of Israel.
If you have been a follower of Silva's writing then you know how rich his words are and how intricately he weaves his plots. You also know his stories are amazingly timely. This novel deals with the Iran negotiations on nuclear weapons and brings that modern aspect into the story seamlessly. Silva has his finger on the pulse of modern events and has an uncanny ability to predict the future.
THE ENGLISH SPY brings back Christopher Keller as Allon's ally and partner in crime. This assassin for hire is despicable in concept but much appreciated in action. He does what he has to do to achieve whatever job for which he has been hired. He appears to be totally loyal to Allon and they work well together as a team.
This book also brings back Madeline Hart, the "English girl" of a previous novel. Once again she is caught in the cross-hairs of a killer and must depend on Allon for her safety. She becomes a pawn in the war between Allon and Quinn.
There is nothing as enjoyable as being caught up in a story by a master story-teller. There are no hesitations in Silva's stories. They speed along exuding confidence and skill. There is a grace to his language in his ability to describe amazing works of beauty on one hand and acts of total brutality on the other. Few can span that range with such deftness.
Readers will be caught up quickly in Allon's world. Silva sees to that. He opens with a suspenseful situation and then backs it up with more and more intrigue and adventure. It is a world like no other told by an author like no other. If you are not yet a Silva/Allon fan then you are missing out on one of the best series in modern literature. There is only one Daniel Silva and each new novel brings more and more success along with more and more fans. Jump on the bandwagon and enjoy the ride!
THE ENGLISH SPY is published by Harper. It contains 496 pages and sells for $27.99.
Jackie K Cooper