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House of Spies: A Novel (Gabriel Allon) Hardcover – July 11, 2017
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“Silva spins his web, lays his traps, stuns the reader with mind-curdling suspense and sudden twists.... Breathtaking.” (Providence Journal)
“An irresistible thriller…. The phrase ‘#1 New York Times best-selling author’ gets bandied about a lot (Which list? For how long?), but in Silva’s case, it means exactly what it says.” (Booklist, starred review)
“Written by one of our greatest living spy novelists, House of Spies gives us protagonist Gabriel Allon in his 17th adventure. The novel features Silva’s taut and compelling dialogue and keen insight into the human psyche.” (Dallas Morning News)
“Silva’s success lies in his mix of authenticity and charm; his swings from global fears to domestic comforts.… There’s exotic scenery, insight into both history and current events, wit, romance, and a lot of heart.... It’s a recipe that keeps his readers coming back for more.” (Pittsburg Post-Gazette)
“Riveting…. Silva’s writing has lost none of its elegance. He provides readers with just enough real-world geopolitics to make sense of his narrative, and his depictions of the different styles of the world’s diverse intelligence services is fascinating as always.… Another chilling glimpse inside global terror networks from a gifted storyteller.” (Kirkus, starred review)
“One of Silva’s most entertaining books.... It’s uncanny how Daniel Silva keeps doing this. The opening chapters... feel like they were ripped from the headlines.... But when Silva created the scenario in his book, the headlines hadn’t been written yet.” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
“Outstanding.... Readers will eagerly await the next installment in this deeply fulfilling series.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
From the Back Cover
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Black Widow comes the thrilling new international blockbuster featuring legendary spy, assassin, and art restorer Gabriel Allon.
A heart-stopping tale of suspense, Daniel Silva’s runaway bestseller The Black Widow was one of 2016’s biggest novels. Now, in House of Spies, Gabriel Allon is back and out for revenge—determined to hunt down the world’s most dangerous terrorist, a shadowy ISIS mastermind known only as Saladin.
Four months after the deadliest attack on the American homeland since 9/11, terrorists leave a trail of carnage through London’s glittering West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy, but with one loose thread: the French-Moroccan street criminal and ISIS operative who supplied the combat assault rifles.
The thread leads Gabriel Allon and his team of operatives to the south of France and to the gilded doorstep of Jean-Luc Martel and Olivia Watson. A beautiful former British fashion model, Olivia pretends not to know that the true source of Martel’s enormous wealth is drugs. And Martel, likewise, turns a blind eye to the fact he is doing business with a man whose objective is the very destruction of the West. Together, under Gabriel’s skilled hand, they will become an unlikely pair of heroes in the global war on terror.
Elegant, sophisticated, and filled with unexpected moments of wit and grace, the story moves swiftly from the glamour of Saint-Tropez to the grit of Casablanca and, finally, to an electrifying climax that will leave readers breathless long after they turn the final page. But House of Spies is more than just riveting entertainment; it is a dazzling tale of avarice and redemption, set against the backdrop of the great conflict of our times. And it proves once again why Daniel Silva is “quite simply the best” (Kansas City Star).
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It basically opens right at the start of a deadly terrorist attack, and though I have to admit it's not an overly complex book (more on this later), it sucked me in almost instantly. The story is told from multiple POV's, all third person. They were all enjoyable, but my favorite was Keller, who reminded me a lot of John Clark from Tom Clancy's books. Keller is the bad-guy-turned-good, special black ops type, who has a natural tendency toward violence, but who solves situations with speed and precision. Gabriel as usual was great, but I'd have loved to get more of Keller in this book. Anytime he showed up the action and tension intensified.
Pacing was well done in my opinion. Not every scene was an action scene. There was a lot of the actual investigation mixed in, which I think made for a great balance between action, danger, and intrigue. The ending was grim, but extremely satisfying. This book was an easy read. It isn't overly complex. Everything happens about like you expect, but you don't really care because the overall ride is worth it. I read it in one sitting.
Overall, I was extremely happy with this book. Not sorry I waited up for it, and definitely not sorry I read it. I'd recommend it to anyone. This is not a book that disappoints.
The Israeli spy and now chief of its intelligence service, Gabriel Allon, enlists the help of Christopher Keller in an elaborate plot to hunt down the man known as Saladin, an Iraqi who is responsible for planning and funding the attacks.
It’s a phenomenal read, and the last 100 pages or so will leave you breathless.
And beyond this one book, I actually think Daniel Silva will be remembered as one of the most important authors of his generation. His thrillers are literary quality – and House of Spies is no exception – with lyrical prose, brilliant plotting, and a perceptive wisdom about the modern world and what ails it.
A lot of thriller authors are writing about ISIS but few grasp its history or even the fundamental nature of its barbarity. Instead they plug it into a cookie cutter plot and promote the result as something profound when it’s anything but – and worse are the authors who bash readers with their personal politics rather than being creative enough to give their characters life with actions that reveal what the author is “trying” to communicate.
Daniel Silva does not resort to such tactics. He doesn’t need to.
I highly recommend House of Spies to thriller fans: 5/5 stars.
This is such a case. I found Daniel Silva after thoroughly exhausting first Lee Child, then John Sandford, then Preston and Child, and lastly Michael Connelly. I literally stumbled upon Silva and I am so glad I did! House of Spies is his 20th installment in the on-going Gabriel Alon canon. There is something about the 20th book in any series (I am thinking of Patrick O'Brian's 20th book, his "farewell to arms"), some 'je ne sais quoi'.
In any event, after reading all of the preceding books after they were published, I finally caught up with the maestro and had to (1) actually wait for a book to be published, and (2) buy it new (for gosh-sakes). So when my crisp new copy arrived last week, with its beautiful black and gold dustcover, I saw it as a fine old wine meant to be sipped not chugged.
At this point in both my reading of Silva and in Silva's own writing of these books I come to the Alon Saga as to old friends and home. By now I know all of the Barak team, and Graham Seymour and Adrian Carter, and of course the inimitable Julian Isherwood. And the new guy on the block is back, Chris Keller. But so is that mastermind villain par excellence, Saladin!
I've settled into a slow reading pattern each evening before bed. I'm now on chapter 39 and a bit past midway. The stage is has been meticulously and patiently set, as if Silva himself is also "sipping" a fine wine; and now we are truly ready to set off in pursuit of the prey. I won't say "I can't wait" because...I can! I will!
And just to second another reviewer as I close, no, Gabriel is not going to sit in his office and let us all down. Just as his mentor Ari Shamron was, and just as Ari intended, Gabreil will be a "working director" - a field director. And we are all the better for it.
Post script: I've now finished the book and without any spoilers, I do want to amend my review. My previous remarks stand until I got to the climactic ending pages. At that point what had been a carefully crafted and believable plot became sloppy and unbelievable. This change-over seemed to me to be done solely for the purpose of having Alon once again be the "action-adventure" hero that Silva must think his fans demand. He even repeats himself with the last scene at a well-known landmark in downtown London complete with Mikhail as his sidekick in a blazing guns finale. Only Gabriel could have pulled off this "saving of the day"? Seemed a stretch to me and left a bad taste in my mouth after an otherwise satisfying book.