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House of Spies

Review

House of Spies

Gabriel Allon, master Israeli spy and art restorer, surfaces again for his most important job yet. Over the years, he has chased some extraordinarily dangerous people. Now, as the new chief of the cryptically named Office, it is time for him to take the management reins in favor of fieldwork. But the deadly ISIS leader Saladin eluded him before, and Saladin will continue his relentless terror attacks unless stopped. He has proven that already, leaving mass casualties in Washington, Paris, London and Amsterdam, with the promise of more to come. So Gabriel can’t sit back and watch from the chief’s office. It is simply not in his nature.

Once again, Gabriel and his team of brilliant operatives set up an elaborate scheme of deception that, if it works, will not only neutralize their target but leave a gaping hole in ISIS as well. However, it will take a lot of money, endless patience and strict adherence to the plan --- plus the involvement of British intelligence, the French and the Americans. But it is dependent, too, on the help of the wildly successful French businessman Jean-Luc Martel and his not-quite-wife, Olivia.

"Daniel Silva knows how to craft truly powerful heroes and terrifying villains. But more than that, he knows how to tell a story that chills to the bone, for it hits all too close to the realities of the day."

Gabriel’s team plays hardball to sway the couple, using whatever resources they have at their disposal to ensure Martel’s assistance. The problem is, sometimes coercion breeds resentment. Because of that, Jean-Luc and/or Olivia could turn on them at any time. And, in reality, they cannot afford betrayal, especially when one of the players is Saladin. The slightest mistake could mean lives lost. Controlling a man like Jean-Luc will not be easy, for he didn’t get where he is by being a soft touch. But Gabriel didn’t get where he is by being soft either.

The plan is set in motion on the beautiful Côte d'Azur in the south of France. Office operatives pose as a rich couple with a massive villa across the water from Jean-Luc’s place. There, they throw lavish parties and make a huge show of overindulgence. It is inevitable that the two couples will meet, being of similar social standing. Or so Jean-Luc thinks. The trap is set; the prey is within their sights. They snare Jean-Luc. Now for the big prize: Saladin. But the best laid plans, as they say, don’t always go well. So it is with this one.

Saladin has always been a very careful soul and senses when something is even the slightest bit off. His prolonged existence depends on it, although he would lay his good fortune more at Allah’s feet. His path is that of the righteous. He has a calling and a purpose. So in the event he were to die, has he set up a doomsday trigger to cause a spectacular disaster? Gabriel knows well enough to worry about that.

In THE BLACK WIDOW, a new face, that of Natalie Mizrahi, splashed on the scene. An unlikely candidate for the Office, she nonetheless pursued Saladin, vowing to take him down. She wanted his demise as much as Gabriel did. In HOUSE OF SPIES, she gets to work once again toward her goal. Will they be successful this time around? The world should hope so, because the likes of a terrorist leader like Saladin is the worst thing imaginable. Daniel Silva knows how to craft truly powerful heroes and terrifying villains. But more than that, he knows how to tell a story that chills to the bone, for it hits all too close to the realities of the day.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on July 13, 2017

House of Spies
by Daniel Silva

  • Publication Date: July 11, 2017
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Harper
  • ISBN-10: 0062354345
  • ISBN-13: 9780062354341