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by Daniel Silva
Harper, July 2018
496 pages
ISBN: 0062834827

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

THE OTHER WOMAN, Daniel Silva's 18th thriller featuring Israeli spymaster Gabriel Allon, takes us into Allon's now familiar world of international intrigue. Mixing real spies and well-known historical events with fictional characters and story line, Silva has created a novel that keeps the reader in suspenseful engagement.

Allon's most important asset in the Kremlin is murdered in the streets of Vienna just as this agent is about to be extracted. Someone leaked information and compromised the operation. Because only a very few high-placed officials knew how the extraction would happen, it is clear that a mole is operating at the highest level in the world of Anglo-American intelligence. This person has been leaking operational information, like the names of double agents and the location of safe houses. Details of the asset's killing appear to implicate Allon and the Israelis, and the media rushes to condemn them. This brings urgency to the search for the mole. A highly placed diplomat falls under suspicion. When he too is killed, Allon begins to realize that everything that happened has been a set-up, designed to manipulate the intelligence services to keep them away from the real mole. It takes a while for Allon and his partners, chiefly Graham Seymour, the head of Britain's MI6, to realize what is going on. Each time they think they have discovered the mole, they realize that they are being led down a blind alley and distracted from what is really happening.

Meanwhile, the reader is introduced to an old woman living a lonely existence in a remote village. As she tries to write a memoir, it becomes clear that in her youth she was involved with political issues that shaped her life. Her relationships with certain men haunt her. And there was a child who was taken away. The connections are elusive.

Because the Israelis, and Allon in particular, have been accused of murdering people in the streets of Europe, Allon becomes obsessed with finding the true mole in the system. As the new chief of the Israeli intelligence service, he could stay behind a desk, but prefers to be directly involved with the operations. His brilliance lies in his ability to figure out what is really going on and who is responsible. Gabriel Allon has changed and grown older since we first encountered him, but he is no less a potent force in his current position. No matter the disguise, his bright green eyes and slight appearance make it clear that it is he who is involved.

The premise of this book, although fictional, is plausible at a time when sleeper cells of spies and traitors have become front-page news. In his insightful "Author's Note," Silva makes important connections between what is happening in our world and the tale he has penned. The reader comes away from THE OTHER WOMAN with a deeper understanding of what goes on behind the scenes of media coverage as well as a desire to encounter Gabriel Allon again.

Anne Corey is a writer, poet, teacher and botanical artist in New York's Hudson Valley.

Reviewed by Anne Corey, June 2018

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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