Gabriel Allon, No 12
July 17, 2012 / ISBN 978-0062073129
by Elise Cooper
Daniel Silva's latest book, The Fallen Angel, is one of
his best. In a gripping story he takes off the gloves and writes
a cautionary tale about Israel's continuing struggle to survive.
With his main character, Israeli Mossad agent, Gabriel Allon, he
is able to weave a story involving all of Allon's professions: art
restorer, assassin, spy, and family man.
As the story unfolds, the book begins with Allon working for the
Vatican to restore a Caravaggio masterpiece. After a beautiful woman
falls to her death in St. Peter's Basilica he is asked by his dear
friend, the Pope's private secretary, Luigi Donati, to investigate.
Silva noted, "Donati is one of my favorite characters in the
series. I loved this relationship of Donati and Allon so much. In
the book, The Confessor, it started, continued a bit in the
book that followed, A Death in Vienna, and in the book, The
Messenger, it had Gabriel working closely to try to prevent
an attack on the Vatican. This relationship came about organically,
When the reader thinks this book will follow in the path of the
books mentioned above, the plot takes a fork in the road and becomes
a defense of Israel. He stated, "The spine of the novel and
why I chose to write about this theme is to remind us that there
were great civilizations that came before. They created these beautiful
objects and at that time everyone thought whether it was the Greek
Empire, the Roman Empire, or the Egyptian Empire, they would last
forever. A warning that the Jewish hold on this little slice of
land is very tenacious."
The Vatican is not the only setting Silva has Allon return to in
this novel. He is able to describe many places in such detail the
reader can close their eyes and picture the area as if they were
there. Woven within these descriptive settings is his commentary
about certain countries. After detailing Vienna's attempt to destroy
the Austrian Jews he writes in the book, "The Austrians, it
seemed, felt compelled to slaughter their Jews from time to time."
He is no kinder with Switzerland when he writes, "
is not a real country. It's a business, and it's run like a business."
When asked to explain this, he directly commented, "Austria
has a terrible history when it comes to the treatment of Jews who
live there, that is a historical fact. Regarding Switzerland, I
involved this country throughout the series. Gabriel has had many
operations and run-ins with this 'business country.'"
As with the recurring quote, "Blood never sleeps," The
Fallen Angel, is a book that explains there is always a price
to pay, that vengeance will eventually come. This novel blends art,
intrigue, and history within its plot ranging from a murder at the
Vatican, to an explosion in St. Moritz, a kidnapped Iranian diplomat
in Germany, and a dramatic counterterrorism operation in Vienna,
to a shocking climax in Jerusalem. After reading The Fallen Angel
it's evident why Daniel Silva is a number one best-selling author
who writes captivating and insightful books.
Reviews of other titles by this author
Rules [Gabriel Allon #8]
of a Spy [Gabriel Allon #11]