My reading pleasure has been focused on mysteries for the past several years, but I still love a good spy thriller. We had a couple books by Daniel Silva laying around, but I hadn’t read anything by him yet. So last week, I gave “The Mark of the Assassin” a try.
That was one very good book. Not great. Not in a Robert Ludlum category (“The Bourne Identity” is still the best thriller I’ve ever read, and so much better than the movie, which was not too shabby). But satisfying.
Silva’s hero in this one was Michael Osbourne, a CIA guy who was pitted against a deadly assassin-for-hire. The plot relied on the government, including the presidency, being infiltrated by bad guys with evil agendas, and that usually strains credulity for me. But such are the tools of authors of international thrillers.
I decided to go straight into a second Silva novel, “The Confessor.” This one, set mostly in Italy with stops in other European countries (the US never entered the picture), involved intrigue in the Vatican. Here, the infiltration of bad guys involved the upper echelons of the Roman Catholic Church. The plot focused around the Pope’s silence during World War II as Jews in Italy were being rounded up and carted off to death camps.
In this book, and in others by Silva, the hero is Gabriel Allon, an art restorer who, in his spare time, is a top-flight Israeli operative who had become legendary for carrying out numerous assassinations of Palestinian terrorists.
Both books started rather slow, I thought, as Silva introduced an awful lot of characters. But I enjoyed the books, and will no doubt read more Silva thrillers. Especially ones involving Gabriel Allon.