Gabriel Allon, the hero of Daniel Silva’s “The Fallen Angel” is the perfect hero for our time. He is an art reporter, assassin, Israeli spy and scourge to terrorists in this dangerous post-9/11 century. He’s also a Renaissance man, an appealing thing to be.
The book is Silva’s 15th novel of espionage and suspense and not the first time Gabriel Allon has been called upon to save the world.
This time, Silva eases Allon back to work at the Vatican where he’s working on a Caravaggio masterpiece. A woman’s body has been found in St. Peter’s Basilica, which Vatican police are calling a suicide although someone in high authority wants an independent investigation. Thus an investigation begins under Michelangelo’s splendid dome.
This book is not a conventional murder mystery. The plot’s ramifications stretch back to Europe and the Middle East in shocking and violent ways. In addition to solving the murder, The Fallen Angel dabbles in the antiquities trafficking trade, Vatican politics (a timely subject), organized crime, religious mythologies and histories, and the growing threat of radical Islamic fundamentalism. For a rich, engrossing, multi-faceted experience, read this book.
Silva has been called his generation’s finest writer of international intrigue and one of the greatest American spy novelists. He burst onto the literary scene in 1977 with a debut novel, The Unlikely Spy, a novel of love and deception set around the Allied invasion of France in WWII.
The author was born in Michigan and reared in California; raised Catholic and converted to Judaism as an adult. His writing career began as a journalist working with United Press International. He went on to serve as UPI’s Middle East correspondent in Egypt. He worked for CNN in Washington, D.C., where he was executive producer of such programs as “Crossfire” and “Capital Gang.”
>>”Fallen Angel” is available on Amazon.com, $16 hardback