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The Secret Servant

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The Secret Servant

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The Secret Servant
By Daniel Silva
Putnam Adult (2007)
ISBN: 0399154221

This book is also available in Large Print

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - August 20, 2007

In this fast-paced thriller, Gabriel Allon, Israeli super-spy and famed art restorer, is once again working for the Israeli government. This time the assignment seems almost benign. Simply go to Amsterdam and 'clean up' any sensitive or incriminating material left behind by a murdered sociology professor who just happens to have also been working as an Israeli intelligence officer in Holland. What should have been a quick in-and-out job soon takes on a life of its own as Allon stumbles upon a terrorist plot that threatens to destroy London.

Matters are further complicated when Elizabeth Halton, the daughter of the American Embassador to Great Britain is kidnapped and held for ransom - the ransom requested being the release of a highly placed terrorist in American custody. Soon, Allon finds himself hunting down not one, but two, vicious groups of terrorists (one with ties to al-Qaeda, and the other part of Sword of Allah) while also trying to save Halton before she becomes yet another deadly statistics in the war against terrorism. Along the way, Silva, via Allon, takes the reader on a tour of Londonistan, i.e., the Islamic underbelly of London.

Written by Daniel Silva, The Secret Servant is another outstanding addition to the body of work he has produced. Well-paced, and up-to-date, this book takes on the all to real threat posed by Islamic extremist, both in Israel and throughout the world. The Secret Servant is in large measure a traditional thriller with the hero (Allon) trying to track down the terrorist before they can enact their hellish plans. Allon is also racing against time to save the kidnapped victim before the terrorists execute her. The Secret Servant is also a psychological thriller, with Silva delving into the mind-set of the terrorists, exploring their motivations, aims, and what they hope to gain from their bloody attacks.

From beginning to end, The Secret Servant is a real page turner. Silva's writing is fluid, gripping, and he has a knack for crafting realistic scenarios. The story is full of action, and lots of twists and turns that will keep you wondering how things will really turn out in the end. The Secret Servant is a fascinating story that will delight long times fans of Silva, as well as anyone looking for an intriguing and well-crafted thriller to read. Although this is the seventh entry in the Allon series, it is a stand-alone book, so readers new to the series can easily begin their foray into the series with this volume.


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