*Silva, Daniel. The Messenger. G. P. Putnam's Sons. Aug 2006. c.352p. ISBN 0-399-15335-7. $25.95. Fiction.

In his ninth novel, the sixth Gabriel Allon thriller, Silva (Prince of Fire) focuses on the threat of Saudi-funded terrorism. Allon, art restorer extraordinaire by cover, Israeli assassin by profession, faces a daunting task. The Brotherhood of Allah, a group sponsored by a Saudi billionaire and headed by a reclusive terrorist living in the West, is preparing an attack on the Vatican. When the terrorists succeed in damaging St. Peter's Basilica and its cupola, in the process slaughtering more than 700 tourists and nearly killing the pope, Allon accepts a mission sanctioned by the U.S. President and the Israelis. He must track down the terrorists, infiltrate their organization, and assassinate their leaders. Silva, a master craftsman, offers a perfect blend of all that matters most in fiction—a significant theme, believable and engaging characters, authentic settings, and an engrossing plot—detailed in precise prose that flows with seductive ease. Unlike other thriller writers who rely on tricks and seemingly endless (and ultimately unrealistic) twists for effect, Silva builds suspense through realistic threats, harrowing situations, and gripping action. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries.

Library Journal, 131, no. 12 (July 2006), 72-73.

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