House of Spies

House of Spies

A Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
12
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Four months after the deadliest attack on the American homeland since 9/11, terrorists leave a trail of carnage through London's glittering West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy, but with one loose thread. The thread leads Gabriel Allon and his team of operatives to the south of France and to the gilded doorstep of Jean-Luc Martel and Olivia Watson. A beautiful former British fashion model, Olivia pretends not to know that the true source of Martel's enormous wealth is drugs. And Martel, likewise, turns a blind eye to the fact he is doing business with a man whose objective is the very destruction of the West. Together, under Gabriel's skilled hand, they will become an unlikely pair of heroes in the global war on terror.Written in seductive and elegant prose, the story moves swiftly from the glamour of Saint-Tropez to the grit of Casablanca and, finally, to an electrifying climax that will leave readers breathless long after they turn the final page. But House of Spies is more than just riveting entertainment; it is a dazzling tale of avarice and redemption, set against the backdrop of the great conflict of our times. And it proves once again why Daniel Silva is "quite simply the best" (Kansas City Star).
Publisher: New York, NY :, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062354341
0062354345
Characteristics: 526 pages : map ; 24 cm

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gogo12127
Apr 18, 2018

Four months after the deadliest attack on the American homeland since 9/11,  a terrorist plot leaves a trail of carnage through London’s glittering West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy but with one loose thread. The thread leads Gabriel Allon and his team to the south of France and to the gilded doorstep of one of the richest men in the country, Jean-Luc Martel, and his companion, Olivia Watson. A beautiful former British fashion model, Olivia pretends not to know the true source of Martel’s enormous wealth. Martel, likewise, turns a blind eye to the fact he is doing business with a man whose objective is the very destruction of the West. Together, under Gabriel’s skilled hand, they will become an unlikely pair of heroes in the global war on terrorism. (Description slightly edited from the author's website.)

I initially thought that House of Spies was a lesser effort by Daniel Silva. I thought that here we go again, the same old kind of plot, same old Gabriel Allon team members. At least I thought that for a good part of the first half of the book. Then the narrative picked up steam, I once again found the plot and characters, old and new, interesting and I became engrossed throughout the remainder of the novel. I think my initial reaction might have been because I had other things going on in my life, and these things intruded on my reading process. Whatever.

One thing I've noticed when I read a Gabriel Allon novel is that I have to keep an atlas handy, because Silva introduces place names that sometimes are somewhat unfamiliar to me. Sometimes the places are so obscure that I have to resort to Wikipedia.

k
kmre_37
Jan 11, 2018

Felt like it was thrown together in a hurry which might explain the excessive filler details used to prop up the storyline

c
cambridgedon
Dec 29, 2017

This is the follow-up to the Black Widow and continues the hunt for the terrorist known as Saladin. Tense and heart-pounding this is especially entertaining when the story carries Silva's characteristic gravitas.

Some allusion to USA administration and the difficulty relying on the discretion of some nations when doing international co-operation in spy work. Great plot, great use of technology to track their bad guy.

k
Keogh
Oct 10, 2017

As is always the case with Daniel Silva, an exceptionally well crafted read. Following up with the end of his last book, this one has Gabriel Allon and his colleagues on the hunt for a familiar adversary, the ISIS mastermind calling himself Saladin. The author maintains the tension and suspense throughout the story, and brings in two not that sympathetic characters as unwilling chesspieces for the spies to make use of.

l
lblundell
Oct 04, 2017

Another winner. I enjoyed all of this author's books.

d
darladoodles
Aug 31, 2017

In my opinion, the very best Gabriel Allon installment to date. Silva is again almost prophetic in his ability to craft a plot that is so feasible in today's world. As with "Black Widow" a terrorist attack occurred in a location he had just written about in his latest book. That is what makes the plots of the Gabriel Allon series so compelling and believable.

What is most satisfying is to see the key players growing and changing yet not wavering in their resolve to flex and follow the threats -- as this story so clearly shows. As always making famous works of art a piece of the plot adds a dimension that makes this series unique. Highly anticipating #18. With the current world situation Gabriel and his team will never work themselves out of a job.

7
7626dee
Aug 06, 2017

Would that we could get this fictional character to head our CIA, wouldn't that be great? Guess we have to let him work his magic with Mossad. The writing is if anything better and the plot as always topical-what's not to like. One thing does stand out, our hero Gabriel is a really lousy husband and his wife is going to have to do some serious butt-kicking to shape him up.

k
kaminecki
Aug 01, 2017

The Silva books have been becoming a formula, but I found this one an exception and worth another look. Was wondering how Silva was going to deal with Gabriel becoming chief and he handled it in a way that is believable. Reading it was like sitting down and being engrossed in the lifes of old friends and I did not want it to end. A great read I could not put down.

b
bill556
Jul 30, 2017

Silva, like all my favorite authors (Connelly, Sandford, Berenson) has reoccurring characters who jump fully fleshed out immediately upon reading their names. It gives me a feeling of familiarity that I believe is hard to do for a writer.
And he sets the scenes so realistically that I can feel the cool evening breeze coming through the olive trees.
This is one of Silva's better books.

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