J's Reviews > The Defector

The Defector by Daniel Silva
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Aug 15, 12

Read in February, 2012

BEWARE. I DON'T FLAG SPOILERS. BUT I DON'T PUT MY REVIEWS OUT ON ANY FEED, EITHER.

Disclaimer - my "reviews" are not truly that. Rather than a critical analysis, each "review" is mostly my quick summary of the plot -- so I can refresh my unreliable memory. Also, I find that once I journal a book, it's easier for me to give it away. That's important, as our house is getting "overgrown" with books.

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Interesting -- how this novel picks up the story so swiftly from "Moscow Rules," which precedes it.

Grigori Bulganov, a relatively minor Russian character in "Moscow Rules," is a key player in this adventure.

Having been safely relocated to England, he is kidnapped back by his homeland foes including Ivan Kharkhov, to retaliate for his role in exposing and wrecking the business, assets and marriage of Kharkhov, who's an illegal arms dealer.

The emotional crux in this book is that Chiara, wife of star Israeli agent Gabriel Allon, is kidnapped -- along with Bulganov -- to bait Allon into a dangerous situation. Kharkhov is counting on Allon to ride to Chiara's rescue so that said evil oligarch can kill all three of them (Bulganov, Chiara and Gabriel).

Bu Gabriel concocts a clever scheme to make Kharkhov think he can get custody of his kids back (who are residing in hiding in States with their mother, his estranged wife.)

But Kharkhove counter-concocts -- he promises to deliver Chiara safely back in exchange for his kids.

When neither side delivers, Gabriel and his trusty team raid the remote dacha where Bulganov and Chiara are being held prisoner. It's a real cliff hanger when Kharkhov takes Gabriel and Michail (fellow Israeli agent, Russian born) captive, too.

Bulganov give his life by stepping in front of Chiara to take Kharkhov's bullet. He dies not knowing that his own wife -- whom he loves and was trying to reunite with -- was alive, rather than killed as he'd been told.

Chiara had lost a pregnancy during the time she was held, so the story ends on a bitter-sweet note.
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