The English Spy weaves together reams of continuity and backstory into an utterly masterful spy novel. The latest in the Gabriel Allon series is not just an exemplary thriller, but a spellbinding portrait of the damaged lives lead by spies, their handlers, and their bureaucratic allies.
While the wait for Allon to finally ascend to the role of Chief of Israel’s top secret spy organisation seems eternal, Daniel Silva is at least filling time with compelling escapades in the life of his protagonist. In this instance, his target is Eamon Quinn, an IRA mercenary famed for his bomb-making skills, who is found responsible for the murder of the ex-wife of the future king of England. Partnered with Christopher Keller – ex-SAS, turned mercenary, now on track to become an agent of MI6 – it soon becomes clear the former Princess’s death was engineered to lure Allon and Keller into pursuit in order for a grander foe to enact revenge for past sins. As the saying goes: this time, it’s personal…
As always, Silva executes his narrative in lyrical form. Throughout The English Spy he moves confidently between characters, blending explosive action with bureaucracy, and streamlining the events of previous novels into a palatable form for new readers. The novel’s end feels distinctly like the conclusion of Allon’s career as a field operative, but certainly not the end of his story. And given Silva’s proclivity for producing output of such excellence, readers can expect riveting things from future tales involving the head of ‘the office.’ In the meantime, The English Spy is a thriller to savour.
Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Jul-2015
Country of Publication: Australia