30 July 2016
Danel Silva: The Black Widow
Daniel Silva has written his latest book in the outstanding Gabriel Allon series about the reality of ISIS terrorism. While he commenced writing this book before the ISIS-inspired bombings and shootings in Paris and Brussels he is not proud of his prescience that has made him even more aware of the dangers of murderous terrorism of the Islamic State.
Gabriel Allon is again back in Israel as an art restorer, delighting in the joys of parenthood of twins with his wife Chiara, and waiting for the unwelcome call to become the head of Israel's secret intelligence service. But as that time approaches events lure him back into the field when ISIS detonates a massive bomb in the Marais district of Paris devastating a Jewish centre and killing its principal Hannah Weinberg who was one of the key characters in "The Messenger". Once again Gabriel gets pulled into working with intelligence services throughout the world, even from Jordan, to defeat such evil.
The name of that evil calls himself "Saladin" after the 12th-century sultan who created a caliphate across the Middle East and Egypt. He is elusive and dangerous and will certainly strike again. Allon plans to insert an agent into his network, and again it will be a beautiful woman. At Gabriel's behest, a young French/Israeli doctor, Natalie Mizrahi takes on a brave and dangerous role acting as a radicalised Moslem woman - a black widow who is looking for vengeance - to flush out "Saladin". Her role takes her from Paris to Syria to meet "Saladin" face to face and eventually to the US as a key part of his planned night of terror which could change the face of the world.
Silva takes us into the world of ISIS, its beliefs and brutal ways of life. He draws a chilling picture of "Saladin", a creation of radical Islam who is also a creation of recent events in the Middle East. He draws a picture of what can happen and actually did happen recently in Paris and other places.
This is another brilliant exciting and adrenaline packed thriller by Daniel Silva. I only wish that the topic was not so contemporary or chilling.