J's Reviews > The Messenger

The Messenger by Daniel Silva
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U 50x66
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Mar 30, 2012

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Read in March, 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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Terror and mayhem -- wrought by Middle Eastern Arabs -- descends on the Vatican. Gabriel Allon is called in to figure out the doers and prevent further action.

This book delves into how Gabriel and American Sarah Bancroft became close. She's an art curator, who volunteered for spy work after her boyfriend died in one of the 9-11 planes. U.S. agencies discarded her, but then she turns out to be perfect for assignment whereby she is "inserted" into inner circle of a key terrorist financier by posing as an art consultant. (She knows art, plus knows Frnech, being educated in Europe).

Her job is to "sell" an obscure Van Gogh that just came on the market (which is, in fact, the prize possession of a Jewish family that was largely decimated during the Holocaust. Single woman who owns allows it to serve as "bait" to capture intereste of the the targeted terrorist, who financed the Vatican attack that happens at start of book. But Allon is able to use Sarah -- and eventually rescue her, as she gets found out -- to learn about a pending worse Vatican attack.

Silva goes in for realism. Allon does save the day -- he stops a Vatican Swiss guard (compromised) from killing the visiting U.S. president. But Allons' good friend who's asst. to pope, is seriously injured. Said guy takes a bullet by stepping in front of president, while Allon shoots the guard dead before he can take aim on Pope or anyone else.

Sad - I read this book just about time that a mentally unbalanced French Arab took out several French soldiers and fired into a crowd at Jewish school in Toulouse,killing three children and one teacher. The young shooter -- who'd recently separated from his wife -- claimed he was avenging against the Jews and their supporters (FRench military has presence in Middle East through U.N.) He filmed his attacks by strapping a video camera to his chest, I read.
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