Allon is recovering from a grueling showdown with a Palestinian master terrorist, when a figure from his past arrives in Jerusalem. Monsignor Luigi Donati is the private secretary to His Holiness Pope Paul VII, and a man as ruthless as he is intelligent. Now, however, he has come to seek Allon's help. A young Swiss guard has been found dead in St. Peter's Basilica, and although Donati has allowed the official inquiry to determine that it is suicide, his instinct tells him that it is murder-and that his master is in grave danger. He has trusted Allon in the past, and he is the only man he trusts now.
Allon reluctantly agrees to get involved, but once he begins to investigate he concludes that Donati has every right to be concerned, as, following the trail from the heart of the Vatican to the valleys of Switzerland and beyond, he slowly unravels a conspiracy of lies and deception. An extraordinary enemy walks among them, with but one goal: the most spectacular assassination ever attempted.
Filled with remarkable characters and breathtaking double and triple turns of plot, The Messenger solidifies Silva's reputation as his generation's finest writer of international thrillers.
Bestseller Silva continues to warrant comparisons to John le Carrý, as shown by his latest thriller starring Israeli art restorer and spymaster Gabriel Allon. Ahmed bin Shafiq, a former chief of a clandestine Saudi intelligence unit, targets the Vatican for attack, in particular Pope Paul VII and his top aide, Monsignor Luigi Donati, who both appeared in Silva's previous novel, Prince of Fire. Shafiq, who now heads his own terrorist network, is allied with a militant Islamic Saudi businessman known as Zizi, a true believer committed to the destruction of all infidels. Gabriel's challenge is to infiltrate Zizi's organization, a task he assigns to a beautiful American art expert, Sarah Bancroft. Gabriel promises he'll protect her, but plans go awry, and by the end Sarah faces torture and death. While Sarah's fate is never in doubt, the way Silva resolves his plot will keep readers right where he wants them: on the edges of their seats.
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-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . Just keeps getting better
Posted October 12, 2010 by Fred Hermann , Caledon. ONI have read the entire series. Like the others this book is tight, moves along and while skewed somewhat to one side of the issue you take that in stride. Advice to new comers to Silva start at the beginning. Unfortunately I read out of sequence and while each book can stand alone it is better to start with the first.
2 . Silva gets better with each book
Posted April 28, 2010 by mysteryfan218 , MonroeI am a huge fan of the Gabriel Allon series. Beginning with The Kill Artist and through the 5 following books in the series author Daniel Silva gets better and better with each release. Loved this one!
July 25, 2006
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Excerpt from The Messenger by Daniel Silva
IT WAS ALI MASSOUDI who unwittingly roused Gabriel Allon from his brief and restless retirement: Massoudi, the great Europhile intellectual and freethinker, who, in a moment of blind panic, forgot that the English drive on the left side of the road.
The backdrop for his demise was a rain-swept October evening in Bloomsbury. The occasion was the final session of the first annual Policy Forum for Peace and Security in Palestine, Iraq, and Beyond. The conference had been launched early that morning amid great hope and fanfare, but by day's end it had taken on the quality of a traveling production of a mediocre play. Even the demonstrators who came in hope of sharing some of the flickering spotlight seemed to realize they were reading from the same tired script. The American president was burned in effigy at ten. The Israeli prime minister was put to the purifying flame at eleven. At lunchtime, amid a deluge that briefly turned Russell Square into a pond, there had been a folly having something to do with the rights of women in Saudi Arabia. At eight-thirty, as the gavel came down on the final panel, the two dozen stoics who had stayed to the end filed numbly toward the exits. Organizers of the affair detected little appetite for a return engagement next autumn.
A stagehand stole forward and removed a placard from the rostrum that read: GAZA IS LIBERATED--WHAT NOW? The first panelist on his feet was Sayyid of the London School of Economics, defender of the suicide bombers, apologist for al-Qaeda. Next was the austere Chamberlain of Cambridge, who spoke of Palestine and the Jews as though they were still the quandary of gray-suited men from the Foreign Office. Throughout the discussion the aging Chamberlain had served as a sort of Separation Fence between the incendiary Sayyid and a poor soul from the Israeli embassy named Rachel who had drawn hoots and whistles of disapproval each time she'd opened her mouth. Chamberlain tried to play the role of peacekeeper now as Sayyid pursued Rachel to the door with taunts that her days as a colonizer were drawing to an end.
Ali Massoudi, graduate professor of global governance and social theory at the University of Bremen, was the last to rise. Hardly surprising, his jealous colleagues might have said, for among the incestuous world of Middle Eastern studies, Massoudi had the reputation of one who never willingly relinquished a stage. Palestinian by birth, Jordanian by passport, and European by upbringing and education, Professor Massoudi appeared to all the world like a man of moderation. The shining future of Arabia, they called him. The very face of progress. He was known to be distrustful of religion in general and militant Islam in particular. In newspaper editorials, in lecture halls, and on television, he could always be counted on to lament the dysfunction of the Arab world. Its failure to properly educate its people. Its tendency to blame the Americans and the Zionists for all its ailments. His last book had amounted to a clarion call for an Islamic Reformation. The jihadists had denounced him as a heretic. The moderates had proclaimed he had the courage of Martin Luther. That afternoon he had argued, much to Sayyid's dismay, that the ball was now squarely in the Palestinian court. Until the Palestinians part company with the culture of terror, Massoudi had said, the Israelis could never be expected to cede an inch of the West Bank. Nor should they. Sacrilege, Sayyid had cried. Apostasy.
Professor Massoudi was tall, a bit over six feet in height, and far too good looking for a man who worked in close proximity to impressionable young women. His hair was dark and curly, his cheekbones wide and strong, and his square chin had a deep notch in the center.