The Black Widow
By: Daniel Silva
After reading Daniel Silva’s latest novel, The Black Widow, it’s no wonder why or how he’s become a New York Times best selling author, or why his past 19 thrillers have people totally addicted and clamoring for more. After reading his latest novel, it is my opinion, that if you are a fan of hair raising thrillers, enigmatic spies, or just like a good novel and you have not yet read one of Silva’s books, you are doing yourself a disservice. Unfortunately for me, The Black Widow was my first of Silva’s acclaimed bucks, but luckily for me, there are 19 others that I can go sink my teeth into! I can promise you that this won’t be the last book I read by this author.
At first glance, this novel sounds like it’s ripped from the headlines, but unfortunately it’s more of a case of life imitating art, unwittingly to life. Silva was working on finishing this novel when terror attacks rocked Paris and parts of Europe. Before the story starts he talks about his qualms over potentially being thought of as taking advantage of of terrible events. I am so glad that he decided that the story was bigger than the thoughts of a few small minded people. In fact, for me, this story helped me, an American who has never been to France or Israel, put modern events in context and give me a better understanding of what it’s like to live in these places, fearing more attacks, like we fear homegrown terrorists here.
The Black Widow is another installment in the Gabriel Allon chronicles. An art restorer, assassin, and now the head of Israel’s secret intelligence service, Allon fights to bring terrorists to justice, and prevent another attack from happening – even if it might be far from his beautiful homeland. From Paris, to Brussels, to Greece and the US, the book moves quickly, unfolding a plot that poises Allon to take down some of the biggest terrorist leaders in our modern war. Allon leans on an unlikely source to deliver his justice, a female doctor, formerly from France, now living in Israel. He brings her under his wing, trains her, turns her into someone else, the opposite of who she really is. He turns her into a black widow, a lonely Islamic widow who lost her love to infidels.
The Black Widow was so good, I just could not get enough. I took the book with me on vacation and had to tear myself away from it’s pages in order to spend time with my family. It was my first Silva novel, so my first experience with Gabriel Allon, but I loved him. I wanted to get to know him, to learn his past (Now I can by reading some of Silva’s earlier novels). And how he brings a sweet young doctor whose duty is to save lives into the fight for justice, to bring down terrifying men, it felt empowering. But it also felt real. He breathed life into his black widow, letting the reader see her vulnerability clash with here determination. It was a great novel and I highly recommend it.