I have read all the Gabriel Allon novels and each one seems to get better. This one is the sequel to "Moscow Rules". High paced action and plenty of twists. It is touted as being Silva's "finest novel yet".
Grigori Bulganov once saved Gabriel Allon's life in Moscow and Allon repays his debts. When the former Russian spy vanishes Allon gets his ten to go after those responsible. As the chase begins across the globe Allon's wife is kidnapped, now Allon has two quests to deal with or does he. A continuation of Moscow Rules this is another excellent addition to an additive series.
Daniel Silva realizes that there is an inherent pitfall in writing espionage thrillers about the Mossad who are the villains going to be? Obviously, we can anticipate having to deal with terrorist organizations in the Middle East, and perhaps the governments that back them. Perhaps there are some ex-Nazis or neo-Nazi groups that need to be observed and battled. BUT what about after that?
The Defector brings art restorer and Mossad agent Gabriel Allon up against a Russian businessman whose businesses include supplying arms to those who have the money to spend on them, including the enemies of Israel. They've already done battle once, which resulted in the defection of Ivan Kharkov's family to the west. Kharkov does not forget an insult, and wants them back his children alive, the rest, dead.
I made a mistake in picking up this particular book I normally read series in order, but in this case, I accidentally skipped over the earlier Moscow Rules. This was a BIG mistake on my part, as The Defector is a flat-out sequel to the earlier book. The author was kind to me and those like me; he provided enough explanation along the way so that I was able to follow along without having read the earlier book. However, now, I have to wonder just how much I'll ENJOY that book, already knowing so much of what is in it!
All in all, this is a typical Daniel Silva / Gabriel Allon book. Our proverbial white-hatted heroes have shades of gray, while our black hatted villains do not have the same yin-yang counterbalance of soul. Gabriel and the Mossad mission team are darned good, quick to plot and quick to implement, but even they cannot allow for every contingency this is where their real opportunity to shine, or to go down in flames, truly comes in. BUT if you've read Silva in the past, you know what to expect and you're either eager to grab the next book in the series or you gave up long ago.
I fall into the former camp. Bring on the next book in the series. (And, at some point, let me catch up on Moscow Rules, as well!)
FOLLOW-UP: Having just finished "Moscow Rules", I see I would have enjoyed "The Defector" much more if I'd had the background that the former provided. "The Defector" is an out-and-out sequel to "Moscow Rules".
This is Daniel Silva at his best. Gabriel leads us through perilous adventures and intrigue as he always does, but in The Defector, he reaches new heights. A real page turner that holds our complete attention to the very end.
At the time it was written, The Defector was the strongest Gabriel Allon story line yet. Carrying over Grigori Bulganov and Ivan Kharkov with the ever vivacious Chiara (now as his wife) ensures a fast paced and enjoyable story line--hard to put down and reaching once again for the next book! bogie & tene'
Once again, Silva has given us a can't-put-it-down thriller. Silva is a writer who knows history and can relate it clearly to current events. Suspenseful, thought-provoking,compelling,intriguing plots--what more could one say? After reading 12 of Silva's books, I still say he is one of best writers.
In the #1 New York Times bestseller Moscow Rules, Gabriel Allon brought down the most dangerous man in the world. But he made one mistake. Leaving him alive Over the course of a brilliant career, Daniel Silva has established himself as the gold standard of thriller writers (Dallas Morning News), a master writer of espionage and intrigue (The Cincinnati Enquirer), and the creator of some of the most exciting spy fiction since Ian Fleming put down his martini and invented James Bond (Rocky Mountain News). Now Silva takes that fictionand his hero, the enigmatic art restorer and assassin Gabriel Allonto a whole new level, delivering a riveting tale of vengeance that entertains as well as enlightens.
Six months after the dramatic conclusion of Moscow Rules, Gabriel has returned to the tan hills of Umbria to resume his honeymoon with his new wife, Chiara, and restore a seventeenth-century altarpiece for the Vatican. But his idyllic world is once again thrown into turmoil with shocking news from London. The defector and former Russian intelligence officer Grigori Bulganov, who saved Gabriels life in Moscow, has vanished without a trace. British intelligence is sure he was a double agent all along, but Gabriel knows better. He also knows he made a promise.
Do you know what we do with traitors, Gabriel? Many things have changed in Russia since the fall of Communism. But the punishment for betrayal remains the same. Promise me one thing, Gabriel. Promise me I wont end up in an unmarked grave.
In the days to come, Gabriel and his team of operatives will find themselves in a deadly duel of nerve and wits with one of the worlds most ruthless men: the murderous Russian oligarch and arms dealer Ivan Kharkov. It will take him from a quiet mews in London, to the shores of Lake Como, to the glittering streets of Geneva and Zurich, and, finally, to a heart-stopping climax in the snowbound birch forests of Russia. Faced with the prospect of losing the one thing he holds most dear, Gabriel will be tested in ways he never imagined possible. And his life will never be the same.
Filled with breathtaking turns of plot and sophisticated prose, and populated by a remarkable cast of characters, The Defector is more than the most explosive thriller of the year. It is a searing tale of love, vengeance and courage created by the writer whom the critics call the perfect guide to the dangerous forces shaping our world (Orlando Sentinel). And it is Daniel Silvas finest novel yet.
The book was extremely well writtten; however there were too many words and too many characters involved. The story dragged at times as you tried to figure out who was who and what they were contributing. The story premise was sound. Overall, the story was good. The ending made it all worthwhile. I only wish he had used fewer words to get there.