I finished reading the latter half of this novel on a Sat., after I realized that I needed to return it the coming Monday. It's fun. This is the first time that I read this Gabriel Allon series of Daniel Silva's. I had no knowledge and feltI finished reading the latter half of this novel on a Sat., after I realized that I needed to return it the coming Monday. It's fun. This is the first time that I read this Gabriel Allon series of Daniel Silva's. I had no knowledge and felt quite surprised that Gabriel is an Israeli and works with/in the Israeli secret service (and he's going to be its chief in a year). The author himself seemed to have converted himself to Judaism from Catholicism. Unavoidably, I immediately became aware that the story-telling is from the point of view of Israelis. The book has mixed a lot of realities and history with fictitious stories. The readers might find it difficult to distinguish what part was real history and what part was only fiction. It's certainly contemporary and there was quite a bit about the situation in Syria. This very new novel was published 2 months old ago. But it's not new enough to mention "ISIS" or "Islamic State" ! And it's still al-Qaeda vs al-Assad in Syria.
In order to make the novel interesting and keep the readers guessing, the author has made his protagonist's life and operations very difficult and problematic. Gabriel and the Israelis are not always winning. In the middle of the novel, we got to understand a bit about his bitter past with his former wife Leah and their son Dani who died in a car bomb. Jihan Nawaz is not the usual heroin but her story in Hama of Syria does touch us. Her unsuccessful operation made me feel pity for her but I'm happy that she's still alive at the end. The Israeli's or Gabriel's willingness to pay 8.15 millions for Jihan seemed to show how much they value human life, an obvious exhibition of self-righteousness.
Overall, though the processes and the twists in the novel are fascinating and have kept me at edge of my seat, the lack of an obvious victory at the end makes me feel somewhat unsatisfactory. The characters are generally all too smart for me and they usually seem to be the best in what they do. I guess it's necessary in order to for what have happened in the novel to happen. Nevertheless, there is a thick sense of aloofness and it's not easy for me to fully indulge in the story.