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on 9 June 2015
Gabriel Allon is back in the Vatican, restoring a priceless painting by Caravaggio. A female archaeologist is found dead beneath the gallery in the dome of St Peter's Basilica. The pope's private secretary asks Gabriel to investigate whether she jumped or was thrown to her death.

Since Gabriel is not just an art restorer but also a retired superspy-cum-hitman for the Israeli secret service, we can guess that the signorina did not commit suicide. And, as we always anticipate from Daniel Silva, solving her murder will uncover a planned terrorist outrage (another one!) against the Vatican and the State of Israel. The trail leads from Rome to Vienna and Jerusalem - the Pope is about to make a visit to the Holy Land.

OK, these are locations Mr Silva has guided us through before and the conspiracy is also something of a 'revamp' (with a bit of Dan Brown-style archaeology thrown into the stew), but Silva's writing is superior to most other thriller-writers and he always gives Zion's enemies (it's Hezbollah and the Iranians this time) a scarily plausible fanaticism. Pope Paul VII, Silva's imagined successor to the Polish prelate, appealingly combines characteristics of Benedict, Francis and John Paul.

THE FALLEN ANGEL builds its suspense up to a cinematic finale beneath the Temple Mount. A story that seems to be torn from tomorrow's headlines, this is another total 'humdinger' from one of today's best thriller-writers.

[Reviewer is the author of THE BEXHILL MISSILE CRISIS]
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on 20 August 2012
A death in St Peter's while Gabriel is restoring a Caravaggio leads him into investigating the murder for the Vatican. The story soon spirals into a web of antiquity theft, international terrorism and a plot to start a middle eastern war. I love the detail about the Vatican and Israel, especially the web of tunnels under the Temple Mount (a blend of fiction and fact). Gabriel is certainly tired in this book, will Silva (or the Office) ever let him retire in happiness with Chiara? Hopefully not for a few more books. Highly recommended for fans of Silva but also those who love Jerusalem and Rome.
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on 17 August 2012
I so look forward to the publication of the next Daniel Silva Gabriel Allon book and I have relished and savoured all 12 In the series.

With great difficulty I managed to hold back The Fallen Angel for my holiday and devoured it in less than a couple of days.

All the expected and long established elements were there,the book was impeccably researched and was bang up to date in terms of the political sensitivities of the Middle East. As always the writing was of the highest order and the plot was gripping and credible.

And yet.......and yet.

Reading a Gabriel Allon story is like being reunited with an old friend.you know who you will meet and to a large extent how they will look, react, speak and behave.

For example the bickering yet brilliant group of his Office support team, Chiara's hair etc etc.

Allon does acknowledge his age with a few self-deprecatory senior moment jokes - he has be be about 62 years old now and whilst I am happy and eager to read Mr Silva 's annual offering I just feel that the format needs updating.

In no way am I suggesting that the books are now being written by rote,the amount of research confirms that and Silva at half-cock is still far superior to 99.9% of the other thriller writers out there but I just feel that something needs to change.

I think that comparisons are invidious but another wonderful thriller writer, or perhaps I should say another wonderful writer who just happens to write thrillers is Michael Connelly. He is now up to I believe his 25th book and yet his main protagonist, the detective Harry Bosch maintains and even increases our interest through his continual evolution and as a man and the way in which his character and life develops as iAs the case with most people in real life.

He changes role and job, he has a daughter, there is his interrelationship with the newer character Micky Haller.

All this and more keeps the reader's interest high and somewhere in there I think there might be a message for Mr Silva.

His books are wonderful, and he has a formula that works,and it certainly ain't broke but in my humble opinion I think there might be just a little bit of fixing to be done for the next book.
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on 7 March 2014
I have read a fair amount of the thriller genre and I think Daniel Silva is a fine exponent of it. The characters he creates really come off the page and I love the way one gets to know all the characters over the series of books. I think I have read most of them.

I also love Daniel Silva's research and authenticity. On the art restoration one really believes that Gabriel is a restorer and the funny world of the art galleries is brilliantly done. I love the Julian Isherwood character. Also as a UK citizen I am very impressed with the language he gets his British characters to use and how he describes their quirks. I don't think I have seen that done better by a non-Brit.

I also cannot claim to have a deep understanding of the realities of the Middle Eastern tensions. I haven't been there and most of the media we get tends to be either biased or glosses over certain aspects. Having read most of these books I really feel that I have a better handle on a few realities - and I have far more respect for the seriousness of the issues.

My only problem with the books is that there is a lot of 'tell don't show' - there is a tendency to tell us how mean, tough, kind etc the characters are rather than just show it. I think a lesser writer could not get away with this at all, and when Daniel Silva does show us things, he really is good.

To end this review on that note would be wrong as I think these really are excellent books. On one level they are thrilling thrillers with cool characters and nearly perfect pacing - you never get bored reading them. On another level these books are also highly informative - the research and work that has gone into them is really top drawer.
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on 27 July 2012
I've been a Silva fan since The Secret Servant, but really didn't get on with the limply structured Portrait of a Spy and worried that his switch to HarperCollins meant he had lost a useful editor somewhere in the transition.

I was wrong. This, the second of his HarperCollins books, is not quite up there with the superlative Ivan books (Moscow Rules and The Defector) or his very best work, The Rembrandt Affair, but it's really good - wonderful summer reading, with pace to rival any thriller on the market, but a thoughtfulness and turn of phrase that sets it above 99.9% of them.

Structurally, about two-thirds of the way through there is again a strange (if brief) listlessness: the goal seems not quite so pressing, the enemies not quite so relentless, the odds not quite so bad. This killed 'Portrait' for me, but here it's fleeting enough here that things do recover.

I wish things got tighter and tighter, more and more focused, as the novel progresses - as they do with amazing skill in 'Secret Servant', 'Defector' or 'Rembrandt' (Silva's best by far). When Silva's plotting is on the mark, only Lee Child rivals him, and no one comes near him for sheer impish narratorial grace.

But this is still an extremely pleasant eight or so hours in the company of much-loved characters; a chance to visit some of the finest cities in the world with an author who has done his research; and a superbly compelling peek into the tradecraft and traumas of life in one of the world's most legendary intelligence agencies.

NB. Obviously, pricing will probably change over time and this may not be relevant in future, but I also want to record how impressed I was with the pricing policy taken for this book - £16 in hardcover, but £4.99 on Kindle on day of release. This is far more reasonable than most publishers, and very much appreciated - the money saved will be reinvested in further Silva books, that's for sure.
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on 3 May 2017
Speaking about the audiobook it's extremely well read by Simon Vance, by far and away my favourite voice actor / narrator.

The story is enthralling, gripping and that's coming from somebody who wouldn't usually go for this kind of book (I'm primarily a Sci-Fi reader).

Highly recommended!
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on 23 December 2013
I have all of Daniel Silva's novels , and he has become one of my most read authors. Gabriel Alon the avenging angel for Israel develops as the books progress From a young artist to a well traveled ruthless killer....The research that goes into each book shows a dedicated staff of researchers to make sure the story flows and for me housework takes second place.Set in the Vatican the book begins with the body of a young woman found on a stone cold floor in St Peters....By the end of the novel we have been taken to the middle east, Germany and England. I found this book east to get lost in...well worth the price.
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on 19 July 2014
anything silva writes i'm on for - and Allon is one of my favorite characters - there's a bit of 'a man's got to do what a man's got to do' and sexism and a little too fervent in praise of israeli brutality in the international space - but it's unputdownable - the women glamorous even if there is a lot of casual sexism going on - his wife is stunning and an absolute impossible agent in her skill and determination - hmm but one of my favorites
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on 20 August 2012
Waited a long time for another Gabriel Allon story and it was worth the wait.Those who haven't indulged in this author should start at the beginning. This one brings the 'family' together again. Will Shamron ever retire? I hope not. Gabriel is getting a little old now for physical exploits but his brain is fast and so is his shooting arm.I like these novels as it gives an insight as to how much the author has worked on detail of the Arab states. Gabriel although retired is once again drawn into a political hot potato. The next one hopefully will bring a child to the long awaited Chiara.
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on 29 August 2013
We had only just returned from a trip to Israel - quite a coincidence then that I should read this book. Silva's descriptions take you right into the location. His prose keeps you turning the pages.

I have been following this series from the beginning and this certainly shows that Gabriel Allon still has unfinished business.

Just wondering who would take the role if ever a film series were to be made.

Am a few chapters into The English Girl. I thoroughly recommend this author.
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