Joyce Lagow's Reviews > The Messenger

The Messenger by Daniel Silva
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Apr 20, 10

really liked it

6th in the Gabriel Allon series.[return][return]Allon s cover has been blown, and he is now working as an art restorer in Israel. But Ari Shamron, Israel s ex-officio overseer of Israeli Intelligence, wants Gabriel to get back into the Service, as director of Special Ops. He shows Gabriel some interesting images taken off the laptop of a Palestinian agent: they are of the Vatican and Pope Paul VII, and are excellent indicators that both are targets for a massive terrorist attack. Monseignor Luigi Donati, the pope s private secretary is at that moment on his way to Jerusalem to meet with Allon to discuss the seriousness of the situation and the steps to be taken.[return][return]Allon goes to Rome, where he participates in the heightened security arrangements and tries to determine how the attack will be carried out. During an outdoor audience in St. Peter s Square, a terrorist attack occurs, which nearly kills the pope and succeeds in blowing a massive hole in the dome of St. Peter s Basilica.[return][return]So begins the story. [return][return]I had a hard time with this book initially because in general I dislike books that have as a central part of the plot an event in modern times that never happened. I can take a different pope not a problem but blowing up St. Peter s? It s not that I think it an unlikely event; it s just that it didn t happen, and I don t like stories that depend on such plot devices. It also seemed to me that Silva s writing was not up to his usual standard.[return][return]But once Allon gets into the field, all of Silva s strengths in plotting and writing such stories come to the fore. The story turned into a typical Silva gripping thriller, a page-turner, where you race through the book, tension at the max, to find out what happens next. Silva is at his best with the action-adventure parts; the characters are good enough to serve his plot purposes.[return][return]While I feel that this is not the best book in the series, it s certainly no slouch, so long as you can overlook fictional events happening to famous landmarks that re crucial to the plot. I found it hard to swallow, but otherwise thought the book was excellent.[return][return]Highly recommended.
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