Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Black Widow

I am a big fan of Dan Silva and The Black Widow is his 19th novel in the Gabriel Allon spy series.  The Black Widow begins with master spy Gabriel Allon putting off becoming chief of Israel's intelligence service in order to do one more operation.  ISIS agents have attacked France's Jews and killed Allon's friend Hannah Weisberg.  The man running ISIS has taken the name Saladin and Allon has decided to put a live agent in the caliphate in order to destroy it.  He recruits a young female doctor for the job who will pose as a possible ISIS recruit.  She will be a black widow - a woman who becomes radicalized after losing her boyfriend to an attack from the West.  The recruit will travel from Israel to Paris to Greece then to Raqqa and eventually to Washington DC while performing her mission.

The Black Widow is one of my favorite installments of the series.  Here we get to see how a spy is recruited and trained. Also, Allon's personal life has changed as he now has two kids and he is beginning to see how his life will change when he becomes the head of the Office, as the intelligence service is called in the series. These are interesting character developments which we don't get to see too often.  Our Gabriel Allon is moving on with his life.

This book is a thriller writer's thriller. There was so much suspense that it kept me reading until I finished its 500+ pages in one Sunday morning.  It has been a long time since I have had the luxury of reading a thriller this good.

If you have never read a book in this series I highly recommend that you give it a chance.  They all move fast and have a good balance between exposition, rising tensions, and action.  I doubt that you would be disappointed.

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