Following last year’s bestselling novel The Black Widow, Daniel Silva picks up the story four months later with seventeenth Gabriel Allon novel, House of Spies.
Gabriel Allon, the wayward son of Israeli Intelligence who once served as the most lethal assassin in Israel’s arsenal, has now assumed the position of chief of the Office (the Mossad) after finally taking his long-awaited promotion.
For the first time in the Office’s history, the former director has stayed on after being replaced. Uzi Navot, who was once Gabriel’s career rival, is now his most trusted advisor. With Navot filling a variety of roles and overseeing some of the day-to-day tasks, Allon is able to remain hands-on in the operations department–similar to how his mentor, Ari Shamron ran things back in the day–where he has his work cut out for him.
Saladin, the ISIS mastermind who terrorized the West, and Gabriel–on a direct and personal level–remains at large. With most of the world’s foreign intelligence agencies dedicating significant resources to finding him, Saladin still manages to oversee a number of successful attacks. But when a single loose end presents itself, Gabriel clings to it and begins the difficult process of once again getting close to the world’s most dangerous terrorist.
Fueled by revenge, Gabriel Allon partners with several allied nations and launches a daring mission. Along the way, Silva weaves multiple fan-favorite characters into the fold, forming a strong supporting cast that, among others, includes Christopher Keller, the former British special ops soldier turned Corsica-based assassin turned newly minted MI6 agent.
Keller is just one in a long list of names that longtime fans of Silva’s series will recognize. Also back are Mikhail Abramov and Natalie Mizrahi, relatively new characters who are fleshed out and developed further in House of Spies, each playing a prominent role in Gabriel’s operation.
After a long and successful career, Silva is still finding new ways to surprise his readers. Any worries that the series would shift in a negative way once Allon officially left field work can be put to rest. Silva might have tweaked his arsenal a tad, but he can still command his fastball with lethal accuracy and laser-like precision. And while his universe is rich with compelling characters, Allon is still the ace of his staff– and he can absolutely still carry this franchise.
House of Spies is just the type of relentless, high-powered, headline-beating thriller that readers have come to expect from Silva, one of the truly great, must-read authors of his time.