Monday, May 22, 2017

The Black Widow by Daniel Silva

The Black Widow
by Daniel Silva

After several years of considering a Daniel Silva title, the libraries’ Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group finally discussed one of this suspense writer’s espionage novels this past month — The Black Widow — the 16th volume in Silva’s Gabriel Allon series.

For the most part, this novel can stand on its own, but it is very obviously part of a series, and I think that reading the preceding volumes would help a lot in understanding some of the recurring characters’ relationships and motives. Former assassin, Israeli spymaster Gabriel Allon (also a renowned art restorer), is next-in-line to become head of Israel’s espionage services. But first, he has one more major operation to supervise in the field. A jihadist mastermind in ISIS has been behind more than one recent terrorism attack in Europe, and the intelligence world believes he’s planning something even bigger, to lure the United States into a holy war in the Middle East. That terrorist mastermind, who goes by the name Saladin, has a track record of using disaffected single Arabic women as his pawns, so Gabriel Allon has recruited a woman he believes can infiltrate Saladin’s network and possibly bring him down.

This is both a character-drive and plot-driven novel. The characters and situations are all extremely well imagined and very realistic. The plot ranges from fast-paced and action-oriented to slow and methodical. In the fifth of the novel, when Saladin’s plans are put into action, the suspense and terror levels are very intense. Silva was writing this at the time of the Paris terror attack, and his novel felt as real as the events that did actually occur. I really enjoyed this novel, and highly recommend it.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the early works of Robert Ludlum, prior to his passing in 2001, particularly The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum.]

[ official The Black Widow page on the official Daniel Silva web site ]

Don't miss the May 2017 Just Desserts meeting -- it is our annual Series Share session. Participants are encouraged to read the first volume in ANY new mystery, thriller or suspense series that has started in the past 3 years, and share your thoughts on that series with the rest of the group! Join us at South Branch Library, May 25th, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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