“The Other Woman”, the 2018 effort by Daniel Silva, was one of the best espionage books I have read in recent years. Silva is at the top of his game and keeps improving as his Gabriel Allon series continues.
This story concerns Gabriel Allon, the spy, assassin, art restorer, and head of Israeli intelligence who learns of a highly placed mole from cold war days who has risen to a very high place in Western intelligence. Once again, it seems that Allon is the only person who can deal with the situation.
Although I felt the story was a bit contrived and somewhat preposterous, Daniel Silva makes it plausible, and provides a copious amount of research along the way, as well as some visits to exotic locales. This story held my attention from beginning to end, and I wound up reading it quickly. This is the sign of a great thriller. Silva uses short chapters and changing points of view to provide a very tight story that keeps the reader on edge throughout.
Gabriel Allon still reigns as my favorite thriller hero. His character is the best developed in this book which is to be expected. Whenever Allon speaks a line of dialog, his voice shines through, and you draw a picture of a capable, but somewhat cynical hero, who always wants to do the right thing but is not afraid to get his hands dirty or violate some set of rules.
My only gripes in this excellent book concern the minor characters. I may have had too high expectations here, since his other characters are not as well developed as I believe they have been in Silva’s previous books. One of my favorites, Julian Isherwood is not even present in this novel. The art world, which I have enjoyed reading about in Silva’s previous novels, has no role here. Christopher Keller, Silva’s assassin turned British agent is present, but strangely not given too much stage time and not as colorful as he has been in previous novels. The same goes for Allon’s usual fellow Israeli agents. They are present, but not really important or well constructed in this novel.
Please don’t let this last paragraph deter you from this novel, however. The fact that Silva is capable of making a truly preposterous premise seem very realistic is a testament to his storytelling skill. The fact that I was disappointed in the use of his secondary characters is a testament to the richness of the story world that he has created in his previous novels. I really wanted to see more of these secondary characters since I enjoyed spending time with them in previous novels.
Read this novel. You will not be disappointed.
I obtained a copy of this novel from my public library. I am a fan of Daniel Silva’s work, and I was anxious to read his latest effort. I also posted this review in Goodreads.