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
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.