Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
on 31 December 2014
Hmm. A harsh rating. Silva writes well for the genre and, for an American writer, evokes European settings faultlessly. The story too isn't that bad. But as it twists and turns there are too many points where credibility is stretched beyond breaking point. The amount of Israeli resource devoted to finding a British citizen are beyond extraordinary. And to be in the English girl's council house in, er, Basildon at precisely the moment the KGB come to call is a coincidence too far but artificiallynecessary only in order for the story to proceed to Moscow.
And the characters are too pat. The Corsican don, the English hitman living in relative obscurity in Corsica, the plant in the Russian oil company - yes, secret services plant agents but the ease and rapidity with which this is achieved defies the laws of nature.
And then there's the occasional jarring detail that isn't quite right. There aren't first class flights between London and Marseilles. Nor do German passports get stamped at Heathrow. And no immigration officer welcomes you to Great Britain. To London possibly, to UK maybe, probably not at all actually. But certainly not to GB. Small points but these all occurred on one page and there's a few of them through the book. Found it unlikely that a 10 Downing Street press secretary would get their first wind of a story from a home-delivered first edition.
The charmed life of Allon continues. It's.a better yarn than many in the genre. Much of the spycraft rings true. But overall it lacked plausibility at the point the Russians took over from the French mafia.