I've read all the books from the Gabriel Allon series, not necessarily in the chronological order, but right now, with The Black Widow I am for the first time in sync with the story. In every case, I appreciated the carefully constructed intrigue and suspense and the feeling of being part of a reality movie, that might have resemblance with real cases, but are so well created that you can accept it as a thriller story. Every time, there are some fragments of the daily political reality - Cold War feuds, terrorism in the Middle East, the delicate condition of the State of Israel - featured as the main background of the story.
Out of all Daniel Silva's books, The Black Widow stands up for its elaborated story, connection and deep psychological understanding of the latest evolution on the international stage, mainly the raise of the ISIS, the terrific intelligence mistakes of France faced with the terrorist threat and the lenience of the current US administration regarding the Middle East, particularly Syria and Iraq. The legendary - as a literary character - Israeli spy Gabriel Allon is back from the death - to coordinate a world-wide coalition aimed to prevent another bloody terror attack, using a young Israeli doctor as a mole inside the terror camps of Syria. As in real life, the complex operation to stop the attack didn't succeed - probably there is something coming up for the next novel -, but the agent although captured is saved in the last minute.
There are more than 500 pages, hard to put down, with observations that you read not as a short lecture, but intelligently inserted into the story. All the details of the story are well documented, from the historical part until the elements of reality, particularly the latest wave of terror in Israel. The writing art turns the entire context into a credible story, full of the passion given by the special operations of the intelligence. It also raise human dilemma and approaches personal feelings, which give depth and authenticity to the characters.
My conclusion, after two days of intensive reading: probably this is one of the best and complex thriller book I've read - and wanted to read - this year. Recommended to anyone interested in stories from the Middle East, either imagined or real, and in a good entertaining and well written thriller story with a lot of intelligence and suspense.
Rating: 5 star book