Article first published as Book Review: The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva on Blogcritics.
The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva brings back Israeli spy Gabriel Allon in this seventh installment. This time we find Allon as a weary, tired agent ready to hang up his holster and, unwillingly, accept his fate in management.
- 385 pages
- Publisher: Putnam Adult
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399154221
My rating for The Secret Servant – 5
I found The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva (website) to be a more current, at least in atmosphere, of the Gabriel Allon series. As usual with the rest of the series, the book is difficult to put down, a fast paced adventure and thriller which brings back familiar characters.
The characters age with the books, which I like. None are superheroes, but people with issues and problems who only justify their acts to themselves by holding a high moral ground. However, this high moral ground must be broken from time to time which leaves them feeling confused and filled with regrets.
The book is filled with many characters, bumbling politicians, Islamic extremists, non-extremists Islamic people and other hot button issues from current day world. However, what I especially liked about this book is that Mr. Silva constantly challenges the reader to rethink preconceived notions and ethical issues within the context of the story.
Mr. Silva chose an omniscient narrator for this book, and it is a wise choice due to the many personal struggles the characters go through. Much like another favorite spy of mine, James Bond, the author chose to blur the differences between the acts of the villains and the heroes (I am talking, of course, about the Bond books, not the movies of the tongue-in-cheek superhuman spy). The villains justify killing for their religions, the heroes – for their country. The villains resort to torture, in the name of their G-d, the heroes resort to those same tactics for their cause, justifying it to themselves
The Islamization of Europe is also covered some very interesting sections. I have read a few articles about the subject in the past several years. I think Mr. Silva, while with some obvious opinions, did a fair job in presenting the subject from various points of view. The fall of Mubarak and how his regime of Egyptian oppression bred hate is also weaved into the story.
While the Gabriel Allon books become formulaic at this point, they are still very enjoyable and well paced. The woven current events and weaknesses within the main characters add another dimension to this novel which I found fascinating and thought provoking.
Master art restorer and Israeli agent Gabriel Allon is on his way to Amsterdam to look through the archives of an Israeli asset that has been murdered. A routine assignment perhaps, but Allon soon discovers that the Islamic underground plots to commits acts of terror in England.
Elizabeth Halton, daughter to the ambassador to the Court of St. James, is kidnapped. In order to save her Allon has to confront his conscious and make unlikely allies along the way.
Zohar – Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I bought this book
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