Once again, our hero-Mossad-super-agent Gabriel Allon is saving the world. Or at least in this case, saving the hide and political career of the present British Prime Minister.
Here comes some of our favorite factional characters to set the story into motion. We are treated to a short history lesson while on Israeli soil, well you can't talk the Middle East without historical context (not if you are an intelligent person anyway). We move deftly back to Corsica and learn about that little island enclave, complete with its brigands, superstitions and vendettas. But in true conspiratorial tradition, it doesn't end there.
Gabriel, against common sense, ends up once again in Russia and this is when the story really gets good. Silva has a habit of interjecting real world politics into his novels. We become aware of some undercurrents that are happening in the world that most of us might miss.
Russia is a cruel nation. It always was. But this time it is not the communists or the Tsars that are ruining people's lives. Those brought up in the Communist system, the former elites of their society, who were suddenly thrust into a world that they had not prepared for when the Communist dynasty came to an end, have regrouped and have found a way to come out on top. They are evil and viscous in their pursuit of power. No one and nothing gets in their way.
The predators of the former KGB are alive, well and running Russia. We learn that Russia has returned to her former ways and has more spies in the west today than during the Cold War. But now she is interested in corporate secrets and compromising the western economy for her own financial glory not out of any political theory. Russia wants to rebuild her former Empire, and looks to accomplish that by holding western Europe hostage to her oil and gas dependency.
Russia, which has more oil in Siberia than Saudi Arabia, is poised to become a global oil superpower. She is stretching her tentacles out into the globe once again, in the hopes of destabilizing and ensuring her place as a master of the universe. Russia has resurfaced as our great enemy. The United States electorate, and especially the MSM, owes Mitt Romney an apology for belittling him when he pointed this out during the presidential debates.
As usual this is a fast paced thriller. It will keep you engaged. Twists and turns are the hallmark of many a good spy novel, and this one will keep you guessing til the end.
Just on a personal note: This entire novel begins simply because a
politician with extreme power couldn't keep his pecker in his
pants. While I know this is without a doubt more true to life than the
exploits of one Gabriel Allon, I wonder if some politicos might take a
look in the mirror and think twice about becoming blackmail bait, and
endangering the nations they represent, merely because they want some
illicit hoopdeedo. Just ask General Petreus what happens when your peccadilloes come to light. Guess in the real world, people really don't have a fictional superhero on speed dial that could save their hides afterall, even if they were the head of the CIA.