"We have prayed for impossible things. Peace without justice,
forgiveness without restitution, love without sacrifice."
Since the very creation of Israel, unrest has kept the land uneasy.
Emotions run high on both sides. Dispossessed landowners never give
up the fight for what they believe is rightly theirs. The bloody
course of action they have taken slaughters the innocent daily.
("Count the sirens….You can tell how bad it is by the
number of ambulances they call.")
When a bomb destroys the Israeli embassy in Rome, intelligence
suggests that the mastermind behind the massive assault is the
grandson of an Arab terrorist whose hatred for the Jews took seed
as far back as 1910. The family story is compelling, the shaping of
the terrorist explained, almost understandable. With such radically
disparate views, the eternal strife between Palestine and Israel
Mario Delvecchio, a man many Daniel Silva fans met in A DEATH IN
VIENNA, has come to the end of his career --- at least, his cover
career --- as an art restorer in Venice. Born Gabriel Allon, he
must now return home to Israel and assume several new identities to
accomplish his task: finding and stopping this leader of
terrorists. He chases Khaled --- "avenger of past wrongs, sword of
Palestine" --- the elusive and brilliant murderer of hundreds, a
man who assumes as many aliases as Gabriel himself, and a man who
has the blessing of Yasir Arafat. Pitting Gabriel's genius against
that of Khaled reveals a nearly even match. Both men have teams who
fervidly believe in their cause. Both men have great means to back
them up. But each man also has his Achilles heel, a passionate
woman who will wage her own fight for her lover. However, the
scales might be tipped by the wild-card factor of Gabriel's wife,
badly burned by a car bomb in Vienna many years before. Silent
since that day, she is now arousing new interest.
Working with the best in Israeli intelligence, Gabriel's team
hatches a plot to take Khaled out. The man's known acquaintances
are placed under surveillance, his entire life is studied, and he
is set up for execution. But nothing ever is as simple as it
appears on paper. As Gabriel puts in motion the steps to eliminate
Khaled, it seems he just might have a traitor in his own
organization. And they have very little time, for they know when
the next spectacular attack will be --- within a few short weeks.
To Khaled, this date and hour has profound significance. Striking
at that precise time will once again avenge past wrongs. It
literally comes down to the exciting race against the clock.
From the genesis of a frightening new genre, the terrorist
thriller, comes this novel so explosive as to rocket its author to
the top of his class. Extraordinarily relevant in today's world,
Daniel Silva's newest masterpiece will delight --- and utterly
chill --- his readers.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on January 19, 2011