Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Black Widow (Gabriel Allon, #16)” as Want to Read:
The Black Widow (Gabriel Allon, #16)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Black Widow

(Gabriel Allon #16)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  28,570 ratings  ·  2,228 reviews
A network of terror.
A web of deceit.
A deadly game of vengeance.

Legendary spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon is poised to become the chief of Israel’s secret intelligence service. But on the eve of his promotion, events conspire to lure him into the field for one final operation. ISIS has detonated a massive bomb in the Marais district of Paris, and a desperate French gover
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Harper (first published July 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Black Widow, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Paul There are advantages to starting at the beginning but that's a lot of books. If you like this one, you'll want to go back and read them in order. A lo…moreThere are advantages to starting at the beginning but that's a lot of books. If you like this one, you'll want to go back and read them in order. A lot of recurring characters and a definite time line.(less)
Christian Doherty Daniel Silva is absolutely the greatest! I can't wait!…moreDaniel Silva is absolutely the greatest! I can't wait!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  28,570 ratings  ·  2,228 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Black Widow (Gabriel Allon, #16)
Alex is The Romance Fox
Daniel Silva has entertained and even educated us, throughout the last 15 novels featuring the brilliant and enigmatic hero, Gabriel Allon - Israeli intelligence agent, super spy extraordinaire, art restorer, family man. We have been taken on journeys to different places throughout the globe, met a cast of varied, interesting and compelling characters. Creative and inventive plots filled with present day situations and past history that affects our lives today.

The Black Widow, the latest 16th b
Marvin Fein
Jul 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
For over fifteen years, Daniel Silva has rewarded his readers with one of the best spy/action heroes of the last half century. Not only were the books page turning thrillers but they illuminated subjects such as the Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
With Black Widow, Silva has departed substantially from his former format. He has written an anti-Obama/Clinton political polemic with very little of Allon in the book. It is fitting that the book blaming the rise of ISIS solely on Ameri
David Putnam
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I'm not much of Daniel Silva fan and picked this one up after reading the reviews. It was tough dropping into the story but once the conflict was set it really took off. I'm going to go back and read the others now. Maybe they are constructed the same way. I really enjoyed the main character and the new secondary character who played the Black Widow. I hope we see more of her. Part of how I rate a book is based on how much I think about the book afterward. This book was well worth the read. I ju ...more
Lewis Weinstein
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another excellent high tension Gabriel Allon story, this one more frightening than most since it deals with current unresolved and perhaps unresolvable terrorist acts. I won't say more about the plot since I don't want to spoil it. It's a good read.

HOWEVER ... With one important exception, Silva repeatedly expresses great disdain for a not at all disguised President Obama, which I find overdone and offensive. On the other hand, there is almost no criticism of Israeli actions which, in my mind, h
Jessica Jernigan
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been rereading the Gabriel Allon novels this summer, and, while I still find the early installments entertaining, it’s been interesting to see how much Silva has grown as a writer. The Black Widow is his best yet—which is bittersweet, since it seems that Allon really is about to assume a less active role. There’s the sense, in this novel, that one era is coming to a close and a new era is beginning. And, if this is the darkest of Silva’s stories so far, it’s because the real world is provid ...more
Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

In this 16th book in the 'Gabriel Allon' series, the Israeli agent is after an ISIS terrorist. The book can be read as a standalone, though familiarity with the characters is a bonus.


In the last few 'Gabriel Allon' books the Israeli agent has been preparing to take charge of his country's spy agency, 'The Office.'

Gabriel's just about to start the top job when ISIS terrorists stage horrific attacks in France and Belgium.

Several Israeli citizens, as well as Gabriel's friend Hannah
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
A gripping spy thriller from Daniel Silva that reaches for heights set by John Le Carre but does not quite get there. The Black Widow was my introduction to Silva, even though he's been a prolific author for years and I'm a lover of spy novels and thrillers. How I let this excellent writer go unnoticed for so long, I do not know.

I enjoyed the first quarter of the book; thoroughly adored the second two quarters of the book; then found the last quarter didn't live up to the intelligence of the mi
Aug 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
I love Gabriel Allon and have read all of the previous 15 books, but I found this book tiresome for a few reasons. First, Daniel Silva has apparently never met a non-beautiful woman worth writing about. As a female reader, this has gotten quite old by now. Isn't it enough to make the new woman featured in this book a multi-lingual, courageous doctor? Can't she just be normal looking and still be worth writing about? I've found Silva's insistence on creating a world populated almost exclusively b ...more
The Real Book Spy
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read this review and more at

Gabriel Allon, the wayward son of Israeli intelligence, returns to star in his sixteenth novel authored by Daniel Silva. Set shortly after the events of last year’s The English Spy, Gabriel is finally nearing the day when he will forever leave behind his dangerous work in the field to instead sit behind a desk as director of Israel’s foreign intelligence service, known simply as the Office.

Gabriel, who apart from being the Office’s most legend
L.A. Starks
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! A classic Daniel Silva novel--the best yet. Much has been made, and rightly so, of Silva's prescience. However, like all good thriller authors who dive deeply into their characters and settings, it is possible to extrapolate a fictional but very credible future from the present as Silva has done here.

(For example, in Strike Price, the Chechen in the opening scene was written and accepted for first publication well before the Tsarnaev brothers' Boston attack.)

What I particularly liked was t
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
I love the spy parts of the Allon series, but this book is really just a vehicle to write nasty things about "the American President" and blame Obama for all the woes of the world and to espouse the divine righteousness of Israel in dealing with the Muslims/Arabs. The last few books started to get more political, but they never took away from the story or the characters. This book is almost all political statement with very little else going for it. I hope Silva gets back to writing actual spy n ...more
Jul 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Good plot and story, although the author's disdain for President Obama was distracting and tiresome. ...more
4.5/ rounded up to 5 because...Daniel Silva
This is the novel Daniel Silva almost didn't write. When the attacks in Paris happened, he considered dropping the novel. I'm so glad he didn't. This was such a beautifully written story, rich in detail and growing menace. Placing a Jew in the line of Fire of ISIS was ingenious. I loved the references (perfectly described, IMHO) of the President at the time of the novel. Bringing ISIS was how I imagined it would happen, too. My only "complaint" is that
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Can the Gabriel Allon series get any better? This may be the best book in the series to date. Daniel Silva's writing skills continue to grow. The story could be something straight out of the news headlines. Silva's prescience is uncanny.

Gabriel, new father to twins, is about to be named the Chief of The Office. Before this promotion though he will have to go back into the field for one final operation. ISIS detonates a massive bomb in a Jewish neighborhood of Paris. One of the victims was a frie
Bobbie Kalman
Jul 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Not as good as previous books. I wish he would not insert his political feelings in his books.
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
In his foreword, Silva talks about his decision to leave his plot the same as it was prescient about all of the violence that has occurred recently by terrorists. Starting with a horrific bombing of a Jewish Center in Paris, Gabriel Allon is compelled to find the mastermind by recruiting someone fresh to penetrate ISIS. He is almost too successful as the female doctor plays a central role is the subsequent mayhem perpetrated by the mastermind (code named Saladin.) The intelligence forces of Fran ...more
Judith E
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Another well developed spy novel that unfortunately reads very similarly to Mr. Silva’s previous book in this series, Portrait of a Spy. Both books recruit and train women to fight terrorism and both books have in depth portrayals of the characters and well developed plots. Really 3.75 stars because of the almost identical stories of his last two novels.
Steven Z.
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
While discussing his new book THE BLACK WIDOW in the Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH author Daniel Silva pointed out that the Paris bombing described in his sixteenth installment of his Gabriel Allon series was a complete fabrication. In light of actual events that seem to coincide with the book’s publication, Silva seems clairvoyant, a trait that allows him to create plausible scenarios when compared to real events. In part, this characteristic is responsible for the popularity of his work, along ...more
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to believe this is the 16th book in the series featuring Gabriel Allon, perhaps my all-time favorite "hero." He's a sought-after restorer of priceless paintings, a spy, soon-to-be chief of Israel's secret intelligence service (albeit reluctantly) and, with his beautiful wife Chiara, the father of twins Raphael and Irene. So much do I love the books that I didn't even break a sweat at the thought of 544 pages - much longer than most books I read these days - and once I started, I admit ...more
Hope Mueller
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Always enjoy the Gabriel Allon cast of characters. This installment is not bloated as some of the earlier in the series became. Although somewhat predictable, immersing yourself in this world for a period is like visiting friends, comfortable and entertaining. Always love the history lessons built in, along with the scary level of premonition found in these books.
Gabriel Allon is once again in top form in this timely novel! Called in to service to thwart a terrorist attack by ISIS, Allon places an agent, a would-be recruit, into the heart of the caliphate in Syria.

She is a young doctor who travels from Jerusalem to Paris and then to Syria in an attempt to learn the identity of the plot's mastermind, an elusive leader who calls himself Saladin.

This novel is tense and suspenseful, while building a sense of urgency and foreboding that will hold your intere
Thyago | MrsMargotBlog
This is a story that flows naturally, with an easy reading due to its small chapters and I must say it was my first reading of this highly successful author, but this book is the 16th in a series entitled "Gabriel Allon" and although Read very well as an independent reading, because the author knows how to contextualize everything, the truth is that I believe that there may be details and even relations with some characters that we would understand better if we ha
Steve Sparks
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
I am a big fan of Silva, so it pains me to give this book a 2-star rating. Normally, I would never give 2 stars because I don't finish books that warrant that rating. But I did finish this because I have read everyone of his other books and I really like the Allon character and Silva's writing. Like his other books, this one was well-written and fast-paced. I have 4 problems with it, which are a little hard to describe without spoilers, but I'll try. (1) In this book Allon almost felt like a sec ...more
Jul 13, 2016 rated it liked it
I absolutely love the Gabriel Allon series, but I'm afraid this latest is a disappointment.
I love the reoccurring characters, but after 16 episodes they are starting to wear a little thin. Especially since the author feels the need to explain them in every book, using essentially the same boilerplate. It is starting to get cheesy.

I suppose its hard to come up with a story that is truly original, but seriously you might as well just re-read le Carré's Little Drummer Girl.
Unfortunately one cannot
Aug 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I downgraded this book from 4 stars to three because the more I thought about it, the more disappointing the end game was. Daniel Silva has crafted a page turning spy thriller populated by strong, memorable characters and present Israel's more muscular approach in confronting ISIS than the US via his protagonist Gabriel Allon. Unfortunately, without divulging the plot, the ending left justice deferred until the authors next book. I would think that Daniel Silva would find it completely unnecessa ...more
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Didn't we do this before? Smart young heroine gets trained as a spy and infiltrates a very bad man's evil network. Sadly, one of my favorite summer guilty pleasures has gone steadily downhill the past few years. Not sure if Gabriel Allon will return next year or not, but sadly I might have to retire. ...more
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
“The Black Widow” is the first novel of Daniel Silva’s I have read. I picked it up because I heard a TV commentator mention how prescient it was with what was going on the world today. And sadly, it is.
This is the 16th novel in the Gabriel Allon series, I have read none of them before this one. There are moments when there are references to previous works that I knew I was not getting, but overall the plot of this text stands alone and one can read “The Black Widow” as a single entity. Its endin
Tom Mathews
The 16th adventure of art historian turned Israeli assassin Gabriel Allon is entertaining and reads like the author has put a lot of research into his subject. I use the term 'reads like' because there are very few people who have a comprehensive knowledge of the inner workings of ISIS. The ISIS that Silva created in his book differs only slightly from the ISIS of my imagination.) I haven't previously read any of Daniel Silva's books but that didn't hinder my enjoyment if this book. There was so ...more
Robert James
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book. If you want a lesson on how ISIS started and the current US policy toward ISIS all wrapped up in a thrilling Allon adventure, this book is for you. And if it's not for you, you should read it anyway. ...more
Alex Cantone
Behind the avenue soared the giant gray slabs of the cités, public housing estates that warehoused the poor and the foreign-born, mainly from Africa and the former French colonies of the Maghreb. This was the part of France where the poets and travel writers rarely ventured, the France of crime, immigrant resentment, and, increasingly, radical Islam. Half the banlieue’s residents had been born outside France, three-quarters of the young. Alienated, marginalized, they were ISIS recruits in waitin ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Black Widow; 4 Stars 1 13 Apr 30, 2017 12:03PM  
The Mystery, Crim...: * March/April 2017 Group Read: The Black Widow, by Daniel Silva 19 201 Apr 16, 2017 03:13AM  
What will Silva do now? 3 39 Feb 18, 2017 03:15PM  
Crime, Mysteries ...: Black Widow, The - November 2016 20 73 Dec 19, 2016 07:56AM  
Monthly Best-Sell...: This topic has been closed to new comments. THE BLACK WIDOW, by Daniel Silva 1 9 Aug 24, 2016 09:29AM  
Daniel silva 1 24 Jun 02, 2016 10:13AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Daniel Silva Complete Series Reading Order
  • Total Power (Mitch Rapp, #19)
  • The Sentinel (Jack Reacher, #25)
  • The Law of Innocence (Mickey Haller, #6; Harry Bosch Universe #34)
  • Fair Warning (Jack McEvoy, #3)
  • Walk the Wire (Amos Decker, #6)
  • Daylight (Atlee Pine, #3)
  • American Traitor (Pike Logan, #15)
  • Relentless (Gray Man #10)
  • The Apostle (Scot Harvath, #8)
  • Foreign Agent (Scot Harvath #15)
  • The Masada Complex
  • The Night Fire (Harry Bosch, #22; Renée Ballard, #3; Harry Bosch Universe, #32)
  • Daniel Silva Gabriel Allon Series Reading Order Checklist
  • Order to Kill (Mitch Rapp, #15)
  • Backlash (Scot Harvath #18)
  • Masked Prey (Lucas Davenport #30)
  • A Minute to Midnight (Atlee Pine, #2)
See similar books…
Daniel Silva was born in Michigan in 1960 and raised in California where he received his BA from Fresno State. Silva began his writing career as a journalist for United Press International (UPI), traveling in the Middle East and covering the Iran-Iraq war, terrorism and political conflicts. From UPI he moved to CNN, where he eventually became executive producer of its Washington-based public polic ...more

Other books in the series

Gabriel Allon (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1)
  • The English Assassin (Gabriel Allon, #2)
  • The Confessor (Gabriel Allon, #3)
  • A Death in Vienna (Gabriel Allon, #4)
  • Prince of Fire (Gabriel Allon, #5)
  • The Messenger (Gabriel Allon, #6)
  • The Secret Servant (Gabriel Allon, #7)
  • Moscow Rules (Gabriel Allon, #8)
  • The Defector (Gabriel Allon, #9)
  • The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon, #10)

Related Articles

In 2019, does Malcolm Gladwell even need an introduction? In the past two decades, all five of his books have made The New York Times' bestseller...
93 likes · 18 comments
“Like many Vatican pronouncements, the official version of events would bear little resemblance to the truth.” 7 likes
“America could leave the Middle East, thought Gabriel, but the Middle East would follow it home. At” 2 likes
More quotes…