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The Fallen Angel: A Novel (Gabriel Allon) Hardcover – July 17, 2012
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“Daniel Silva’s The Fallen Angel soars with authenticity….The Fallen Angel delivers the goods….Riveting espionage adventures that have timely, real-world relevance.” (Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
“Meticulously researched....The Fallen Angel is a first-class spy mystery painted on a grand scale.” (Columbus Dispatch)
“Another heart-pounding escapade of art restorer and Israeli intelligence legend Gabriel Allon gets masterful treatment.” (AudioFile Magazine)
“His past 12 books, all featuring enigmatic spy/art restorer Gabriel Allon, have kept Silva’s name high in the ranks; the latest, the Vatican-set The Fallen Angel, seems unlikely to reverse the trend.” (Arizona Republic)
From the Back Cover
After narrowly surviving his last operation, Gabriel Allon, the wayward son of Israeli intelligence, has taken refuge behind the walls of the Vatican, where he is restoring one of Caravaggio's greatest masterpieces. But early one morning he is summoned to St. Peter's Basilica by Monsignor Luigi Donati, the all-powerful private secretary to His Holiness Pope Paul VII. The body of a beautiful woman lies broken beneath Michelangelo's magnificent dome. The Vatican police suspect suicide, though Gabriel believes otherwise. So, it seems, does Donati. But the monsignor is fearful that a public inquiry might inflict another scandal on the Church, and so he calls upon Gabriel to quietly pursue the truth—with one caveat.
"Rule number one at the Vatican," Donati said. "Don't ask too many questions."
Gabriel learns that the dead woman had uncovered a dangerous secret—a secret that threatens a global criminal enterprise that is looting timeless treasures of antiquity and selling them to the highest bidder. But there is more to this network than just greed. A mysterious operative is plotting an act of sabotage that will plunge the world into a conflict of apocalyptic proportions. . . .
An intoxicating blend of art, intrigue, and history, The Fallen Angel moves swiftly from the cloistered chambers of the Vatican to the glamorous ski slopes of St. Moritz to the graceful avenues of Berlin and Vienna—and, finally, to a shocking climax beneath the world's most sacred and contested parcel of land. Each setting in this extraordinary novel is rendered with the care of an Old Master, as are the spies, lovers, priests, and thieves who inhabit its pages. It is a story of faith and of the destructive power of secrets—and an all too timely reminder that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Top Customer Reviews
Allon learns that before Andreatti was killed, she was conducting a secret investigation into the provenance of the Vatican's holdings. Had she made a discovery that posed a threat to someone with a great deal to lose? Gabriel and, to a lesser extent, his beautiful wife, Chiara, become entangled in a complex case involving stolen art works, money laundering, organized crime, and terrorism. One of the villains Allon would like to crush is Carlo Marchese, "a criminal without borders, creed, or conscience."
Daniel Silva's "The Fallen Angel" will feel familiar to those who have followed Allon over the years. Our master Israeli spy once again is dragged out of retirement to foil a nefarious plot; his well-organized team assembles under the watchful eye of Allon's mentor, Ari Shamron, to come up with a plan of attack; and the action takes place in various countries, including Italy, France, and Germany, and Israel. Allon is aging, and even makes a self-deprecating remark about having a "senior moment," but he is still as mentally and physically sharp as a man half his age. Although he relies on his colleagues to do research, provide advice, and help execute strategy, Allon is the man you want on the ground when everything is on the line.
Silva delivers an enlightening glimpse into the inner workings of the Vatican, the serious problem of stolen antiquities, and the convoluted ways in which terror organizations raise money to conduct their bloody operations. As usual, the author holds our attention with his fast-paced, action-filled, and suspenseful plot. Can Gabriel and company prevent a cataclysmic event from upsetting the world's delicate balance of power? Allon's almost superhuman ability to vanquish his enemies requires a sizeable suspension of disbelief. Still, fans of this "legendary operative" and "gifted but melancholic loner" will likely find Silva's latest entry every bit as diverting as its predecessors.
While restoring a Carvaggio to its former glory, a female curate falls from near the top of the Basilica at St. Peters. Only in Gabriel's world would a Catholic priest ask him to "look around, but don't ask too many questions". This is the same Catholic church that in our world is one scandal from oblivion. The death of the curate from one of the Vatican's museums could be the lynch pin to pull the church to the ground. Ask too many questions? I believe they asked the wrong person!
Gabriel and his wife Chiara are not noted for being low-key. Anywhere they go bodies seem to just drop from the sky. While the Vatican would love for the death to be just a suicide, Gabriel knows better, so how to discover the cause of her death without asking "too many questions"?
Then there's what the curator was working on, and it's somehow related to either a terrorist group or the Mob. Or worse, Hezbollah, which makes both look like school kids throwing rocks. Hezbollah is noted for wanting Israel wiped off the face of the earth. So how does an ex-Mossad spy get back into the fray without anyone knowing what he's trying to achieve?
From Rome, to Paris, to St. Moritz, to Berlin, to northern Denmark, and then Vienna whatever happens in Gabriel's world could affect our own.
All our old favorite characters are present to support Gabriel: Ari Sharom, Uzi Navot, and the new Mossad leader Eli Lavon. All are terrified for Gabriel as well as their country and the rest of the world.
Only in the fertile mind of Daniel Silva are these answered and many more questions examined.
"The Fallen Angel" will keep you turning pages, afraid that you will miss one word, rolling and sliding from one page to the next and not wanting to wait another minute to discover how the Catholic church, Hezbollah, and Gabriel will survive yet another of Silva's masterpieces.
Of all Daniel Silva's 15 novels, this is by far the best. While this book builds on his past books, it can and does stand on its own.