With the release of his latest novel, The Fallen Angel, readers are once more exposed to the brilliant writing of Daniel Silva. Year after year this popular writer merges current day events with terrific political plots involving his lead character Gabriel Allon. As a driving force in Israeli Intelligence this character circles the globe putting out fires that could lead to his own death and to the destruction of Israel. Reading about these exploits creates a fascinating and informative experience.
In this latest novel, Allon, who also has a career as an art restorer, is working inside the Vatican. The subject of his attention is a masterpiece by Caravaggio. Before he can finish this task, he is contacted by his friend Monsignor Luigi Donati and told of a murder within the Vatican walls. Allon has sworn he is retired from Intelligence work but as a favor to his friend he agrees to investigate the murder.
This investigation leads him to discover an illegal ring of art thieves who are also involved in a planned attack on a Jewish community in Austria. Allon gets together his team and begins planning a way to avert disaster. It takes all of his natural skills as well as his training to get a plan in place. The clock is ticking and the situation boils down to the necessity of a sudden strike against the assassins. It has to be quick, decisive and done without creating an international incident. That last part is the trickiest.
Silva knows how to give the readers just enough information to make for maximum suspense. He uses foreshadowing to make you aware of the worst that could happen and what the probabilities are. Plus he makes Allon, his team, and others in his circle of friends important enough to the reader that the thought of any mission of Allon's failing is just not acceptable. Still, Silva makes his stories realistic and there is always the thought that any person of importance in the book could be the victim of a wrong move.
Silva generally produces one book a year and the anticipation for it is always intense. His fans hunger for the next adventure, and each year they are not disappointed. Silva's writing has improved with each novel and his plotting is as good as his characterizations, which are as good as his incorporation of current events. Basically this means he has earned the right to be called one of his generation's most talented authors.
Gabriel Allon is back and in the thick of things in this new adventure. He is getting older, a little tired, and is always seeking a type of peace that continually eludes him. As much as readers would like for him to find that "peace," they still want him to have a few more adventures. When an author and character enhance each other the way Allon and Silva do, you don't want it to end.
The Fallen Angel is published by Harper. It contains 405 pages and sells for $27.99.
Jackie K Cooper