The English Spy
The English Spy by Daniel Silva. (Harper, 484 pp. $27.99)
Daniel Silva has invested more than his usual meticulous plotting in The English Spy, his latest book in the popular series featuring Mossad spy Gabriel Allon. Unfolding across several countries—with the seminal events occurring in Ireland and England, but moving to Austria, the Netherlands and Germany—the story’s threads seem to be moving toward a decisive solution, when an out-of-left field question must first be analyzed and a change in direction taken.
If all this sounds deliberately mysterious, the story begins in a straightforward way. Allon, who is set to become the head of Mossad, is awaiting the birth of twins with his wife, Chiara. He is drawn in by the head of British intelligence agency MI6 to find the killer of the popular former wife of the prince of England (a Diana-like figure). Because the killer is Eamon Quinn—a former IRA master bombmaker and terrorist for hjre—the case is personal. This is true both for Allon and Christopher Keller, a former British Commander turned assassin, who is at his side for this operation. Under Quinn’s tutelage, Hezbollah planted a car bomb that killed Allon’s son and destroyed his wife’s life; Quinn was also responsible for the murder of Keller’s girlfriend, after Keller’s undercover disguise was discovered by the IRA.
There are many twists and turns—some shocking and unexpected, sometimes stretching the story beyond patience—but not allowing a reader to close the book until the final resolution is reached.