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Book Name: The Mark of the Assassin

Author: Daniel Silva

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Overall Rating: (3.78/5) View all reviews (total 27 reviews)
Description

When a commercial airliner is blown out of the sky off the East Coast, the CIA scrambles to find the perpetrators. A body is discovered near the crash site with three bullets to the face: the calling card of a shadowy international assassin. Only agent Michael Osbourne has seen the markings before - on a woman he once loved.

Reviews

A solid spy tale, but not as good as his other work

by Amazon Customer
(3/5)

I thoroughly enjoy Silva's Gabriel Allon novels. This book does not rise up to the same level. While the plot moves quickly, I felt like I had already read the book before. The main character is a supper CIA agent, who lacks the depth of character of Gabriel Allon. He is a plastic imitation of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan character. The assassin was your typical cold-blooded former KGB 1000% evil type. The deeply secret international cartel that controlled the senior members of the CIA and other parts of world governments was unbelievable and contrite. Silva's other books are known for their historical research and unique characters. Since this book was set in modern times, Silva was unable to flex one of his primary strengths. From now on, I will stick to the Gabriel Allon books and skip the CIA super agent tales. While there was nothing really bad about the book, it never really rose above the level of being an average run of the mill pulp spy novel.


Very nice.

by Amazon Customer "IM, therefore, I Am."
(4/5)

This is a fine book. My original review panned it, but I must have confused it with another book. I recently re-read this one after reading Silva's other books, and I loved it. It has the feel of the good old fashioned cold war spy novels of the past and creates the same urgency and intensity. The protagonist is a spy-master but not a super hero assassin, which worked well here.


One of the Best Recent Spy Thrillers

by Author Ty
(5/5)

Silva's book isn't perfect, but it's a darn good read nonetheless. His writing is far better than most spy thriller writers and is peppered with exotic European locales and interesting characters. This is a thriller for those who snooze through all the techno mumbo-jumbo of Clancy's books and their ilk. This is more of a character-driven thriller in the tradition of the better Robert Ludlum books. Excitement without the special effects. There are, of course, a few overused plot devices in this one, but all in all it's quite a fun read.


A Thriller That Will Keep You Glued To Your Seat!

by Bobbewig
(5/5)

The Mark Of The Assassin (originally to be titled The Society) is an exciting, fast-moving thriller that is well-worth reading. It has it all...interesting characters, good plot and sub-plots, lots of action and some good surprises. Silva can expect another bestseller when this book goes on-sale in March (possibly April); however, it is not without some minor flaws, such as occasional weak dialogue and a few secondary characters which could have been developed more. I think you'll be able to easily overlook these flaws.The Mark Of The Assassin is a very good second effort by Silva, but it is not as good as his previous thriller, The Unlikely Spy (which is now out in paperback). Enjoy!


The Perfect Thriller...

by C. Cunningham "Cris Cunningham"
(5/5)

A commercial jetliner is blown out of the skies over Long Island. A body is found during the recovery operation with three bullet holes to the face -- "the mark of the assassin" has just surfaced but his identity remains a mystery, even to the most notorious underground figures. Enter Michael Osbourne, a senior CIA "case worker" (the preferred term for "spy").. Osbourne recognizes the assassin's mark as that of the man who killed his former lover and many high profile political figures. As he gets closer and closer to finding the killer's identity, Osbourne becomes more entangled in the assassin's web, and unknowingly, places his life, and that of his entire family`s on the line.Silva masterfully includes all the cookie cutter elements that genre fans want in a really good read: a solid (and very visual) education of international locales, inside details of covert activities, rapid pace story telling, masterful plotting, lots of chasing, twisting and turning...but he adds something even more spectacular: a romantic undercurrent that humanizes the roles of the protagonist AND antagonist. Silva beautifully weaves in two riveting love stories right under the surface of the main plot.I have a couple of pet peeves (Elizabeth's whining throughout the first half of the book was particulary annoying) but they were immediately squashed as I raced throughout the night toward the last page.If you enjoy fast-paced spy thrillers that take you on a whirlwind of espionage action all around the globe, then this is the book for you. The pace is relentless and the writing is flawless.Enjoy.


Terrorism or Big Business?

by Cory D. Slipman
(4/5)

An American jetliner is shot down from the sky off of Long Island by a hand held Stinger missile by a two man team in a small boat, killing all aboard. The boat is discovered to be the tomb of a dead Palestinian terrorist with links to the militant group the Sword of Gaza. He had been shot 3 times in the face, the signature of premier assassin Jean Paul Delaroche, known as October.The attack had been orchestrated by a group called the Society, a clandestine group of wealthy businessmen, intelligence experts, career military men and criminals. The goal of the Society was the maximizing of profit by promoting world chaos. Mitchell Elliott, multi millionaire industrialist and owner of Alarton Defense Systems was a prominent member. Through years of political contributions, Elliott was able to control policy decisions of America president James Beckwith. Elliott now stood to make a fortune by supplying the nation with a missile defense system.Michael Osbourne, top CIA agent and Middle East terrorism expert is called in to investigate the tragedy. Osbourne, now married to beautiful and high powered lawyer Elizabeth Cannon, years ago, witnessed the killing of his girlfriend Sarah by Delaroche.Osbourne suspecting that the Sword of Gaza was not involved in the plot, starts to investigate Elliott and Delaroche. His speculation is confirmed when his wife's best friend, Susanna Dayton, investigative reporter for the Washington Post is found murdered. She had been working a piece that exposed the dirty dealings of Mitchell Elliott.Eventully Delaroche is commissioned by the Society to dispatch Osbourne, which begins a cat and mouse game across the globe between hunter and hunted.Silva does an admirable job in crafting an exciting ad revealing tale of international intrigue. I would suggest reading this novel prior to his follow up book The Marching Season,which I unfortunately did not do.


Everything you would want in a thriller...

by Cynthia K. Robertson
(4/5)

After reading the entire Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva, I decided to check out his other books. The Mark of the Assassin is everything you would want in a thriller.Michael Osbourne is a former CIA field agent who is now assigned desk duty in their Counterterrorism Department in Langley, VA. He is married to Elizabeth--a high-powered DC lawyer and the daughter of an influential US senator. When a US plane is brought down by a stringer missile over the Atlantic, Osbourne is brought in on the case. Originally, it looks to be the work of an Arab terrorist group, the Sword of Gaza. But there is one thing about the case that bothers Michael: one of the terrorists is found dead in the Atlantic and he was killed with three gunshot wounds to the face. From past cases, Osbourne knows this is the trademark of a former KGB assassin. Unfortunately, Osbourne doesn't know his name, his identity, or who hired him, although he doesn't believe he was hired by the Sword of Gaza.Silva weaves a tale that involves a secret organization called The Society. "The Society's founding creed declared peace was dangerous. Its members believed constant controlled global tension served the interests of all." This group is made up of powerful men in business and government, with far-reaching results and lots of cash funding. While Osbourne isn't aware of the existence of the The Society, he realizes that he's been pitted against a formidable foe. The Society also realizes that Osbourne is incredibly intelligent and has been well-trained for his profession. The competition makes for an exciting plot.The Mark of the Assassin is interesting in that it gives us an inside look at the life of a CIA agent. Silva also shows the difference between a field agent and a desk agent--they're two different worlds. This book also includes some of the characters I've come to enjoy in his Allon series including CIA executive, Adrian Carter. Unfortunately, The Mark of the Assassin does not tie up everything in a neat little package at the end, but that is actually a good thing as Silva has written a sequel to this story. It's already on my list.


Quite the Crescendo

by Daniel T. Ferry
(5/5)

To say I really enjoyed this one would be a marked understatement. I came to this one after reading some novels which most people consider good, and I've found this to say... "Daniel Silva has found a way to engage the reader, make them want to turn the pages, and make them care about all characters."The character development is the best I've come across yet. The plot was very good (aside from the fact the whole governmental conspiracy thing is getting a bit tired). The description of setting is great too (without being elementary, as some other more popular authors tend to do). I found myself caring about all of the characters in this story. Both the good, and the bad.For those fans of action, a strong plot, and characters worth reading about and caring for, this is a great read. This will be on my top recommendations list for a long time to come.Thanks for the great story Mr. Silva!


Pretty good, nothing spectacular

by David W. Nicholas
(3/5)

This is one of those books that you should read when you're on a plane. You're somewhat distracted, you're sleepy, and you need something you can shove in your pocket absentmindedly when the plane lands. You *don't* need something involved, esoteric, or complicated. This book fits that bill perfectly.Our hero is a CIA "case officer" who hunts terrorists. For years he's been tracking, vaguely, an assassin who used to work for the KGB but has branched out on his own with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Interestingly, highly-paid assassins don't make that much money, so he lives in a cottage on the coast of Brittany and paints watercolors, which supplement his income. As the book starts, the assassin has been sent on an unusual mission, and when he concludes it everyone's looking for him, including his old nemesis at the CIA. There are all sorts of twists and turns to the plot, but nothing particularly original or surprising.I liked the way the book worked out, after a fashion. The characters are reasonably good, if a bit stereotypical, and the action is very well-done. The whole thing reads quickly. It's sort of on the level of a Stuart Woods spy novel, nothing really there, but suitably diverting.


Disappointing

by debvh
(2/5)

Having loved "The Unlikely Spy" for its depth, subtlety, and complexity, I was especially disappointed by the shallow, cliched characterizations and predictable plot of "Mark of the Assassin." Taken on its own, it has a compelling premise - political and economic intrigue surrounding a terrorist attack on a commercial airline flight. The author raises interesting issues but doesn't go anywhere with them, staying instead with a race-against-time or chase-scene type approach. The ending set the stage for a sequel, but I'm not in a hurry to read it.


Too Many Cliches

by Donald E. Gilliland
(3/5)

A good readable novel, but not nearly as gripping or believable, as the ones in Silva's Gabriel Allon series. The main problem is that the book is packed with espionage and "thriller" clichés, and follows a very predictable formula. It's as if Silva used a paint-by-numbers espionage sketch book to weave his plot.This is by no means a horrible book --- it was interesting enough that I wolfed it down in only two days --- but it's just not as original or compelling as his other novels. The characters also aren't as endearing as those in the Allon books, although we are introduced to a few of the "extra" cast members from those novels in this book too. But the novel also reveals warts in Silva's writing style, such as yet another character using the annoying endearment "petal" when talking to someone. A minor quibble perhaps, but as he has shown since this early novel, he's capable of much, much better.


A very good introduction to Daniel Silva's works

by Eric S. Kim
(4/5)

As a big fan of political thrillers, I wanted to see how The Mark Of The Assassin, Daniel Silva's second published novel, fared out. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. The book is thrilling, with plenty of action, suspense, and political corruption all around. The main hero and villain are probably the most fascinating part of the book. Their feud in the story reminds me somewhat of the Pacino/De Niro feud in the Michael Mann movie "Heat": both characters are complex and completely compelling. The only difference is that these two don't seem to respect each other very much due to some obvious reasons (you'll find out as soon as you read it).The Mark Of The Assassin isn't a perfect book. A few cliches that you would normally find in other political thrillers can be found here, though they are handled pretty well and aren't very distracting as the story moves along. The writing is pretty much straightforward, so there aren't any complicated sentences, though I do wish they weren't very simplistic sometimes. The climax isn't very satisfying: the confrontation between Astrid and Elizabeth is unbelievable because it was almost IMPOSSIBLE. Still, The Mark Of The Assassin is a good and enjoyable political thriller, and it's enough for me to want to read the next book, The Marching Season.Grade: 7.5/10


Fails to Leave a Mark

by Eric Wilson "novelist"
(3/5)

Some writers run aground as there careers progress, while others find greater depths. Having discovered Silva's writing through "The Dead Artist" and "The English Assassin," I've come to expect subtlety and nuance, with sympathetic characters. Silva is one of my new favorite authors.Going back to read "The Mark of the Assassin," for me, was a disappointment. While Silva's concepts and characters match those of his later books, he seems less focused here. We watch political maneuverings, clandestine meetings, brutal attacks, yet never really doubt what's going on. We see little of the main characters within the first hundred pages, and when Michael Osbourne and his wife do take center stage, they are puppets in a less than credible play.The writing is fine. Dialogue moves along. But the improbabilities and coincidences begin to mount quickly. Even as the pace picks up in the last quarter of the book, I found myself doubting the scenes. One example: the KGB trained, world-renowned assassin moves in for the kill by taking the disguise of a bicycle courier(even getting multiple piercings to look the part), but as soon as our erstwhile hero sees him from a distance, the cover is blown. Ah, too bad--all that effort for nothing.For a fast-paced story and streamlined writing, "The Mark of the Assassin" surpasses many second-rate novels. Clearly, though, with only his second book, Silva was fine-tuning his storytelling, and I had a difficult time getting lost in this tale. Having been spoiled by his newer, richer work, I finished this one with barely a mark.


A Decent Read

by Gary Turner
(4/5)

As a fan of Daniel Silva, I would have to say this book is not quite up to the par set by the Gabriel Allon books and "The Unlikely Spy". That said, Mr. Silva has written an intriguing work set with the all-too-real world of terrorism as backdrop. Michael Osborne is a C.I.A. analyst who works in a relatively safe world after beginning his career as a field agent. When an airliner is shot down off the coast of New York, Michael begins to take interest when the murderer is found dead, his body bearing the marks of an unknown killer with whom Michael has a past. As Michael begins to investigate, he finds that the conspiracy is world-wide and there is more to the tragedy than it first appeared. A decent read.


A huge disspointment

by GatoRat
(1/5)

I've read all but the first of the Gabriel Allon books and enjoyed them all to various degrees. Under the mistaken notion that this was also an Allon book, I picked it up. It started okay, but immediately started stumbling. Silva knows how to string words together, so I kept reading.*** POSSIBLE SPOILERS ***Then came the conspiracy. It was such a pathetic plot device and one so awkwardly done that I almost laughed out loud. I was tempted to chuck the book across the room, but kept reading out of stubbornness, hoping the book would improve. It did slightly, but then fell off the deep end with a laughably bad and utterly predictable ending. It took deus ex machina to new levels.One nagging problem was how much some of the characters were simply renamed and moved into the Gabriel Allon series. Ultimately, it was for the better, but it was still disconcerting.


Exciting story of government corruption, international intrigue, and wet work.

by J. Adams "truthseeker"
(5/5)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will now be on the look out for more Silva novels.Weak review to be sure but it is late, and I had a long day yet wanted to be sure to recommmend this one.


Introducing Michael Osbourne CIA agent

by Jim Harris
(5/5)

I was looking through my bookcase for something to read recently and discovered Daniel Siiva's second book THE MARK OF THE ASSASSIN (ISBN 978-0451209313, $9.99, paperback). This contemporary spy thriller features Michael Osbourne, a former field agent, who now rides a desk in the Langley, VA headquarters of the CIA. His mission is to uncover and neutralize an assassin whose modus operandi is three bullets in the face of his victims.What sets Michael off on this adventure is the crash of Transatlantic Airlines Flight 002 off the coast of Long Island. Sound familiar? Found floating in a Boston Whaler near where the plane crashed is the body of a terrorist with three bullets in his face and an empty Stinger missile tube. Several years earlier, Michael's finance had been shot the same way right in front of Michael.Michael's wife Elizabeth is a lawyer in a Washington, DC law firm and one of the partners in the firm is about to be named Secretary of State. A friend of Elizabeth is a reporter for the Washington Post and she is working on a story that will negatively impact President James Beckwith's second term as POTUS. The highest levels of the U.S. government may be infected with traitors. During Michael's investigation, characters from Silva's first book (THE UNLIKELY SPY) make cameo appearances. The reader finds out who the assassin is before Michael does but that doesn't lessen the suspense.Michael and his wife are dealing with some domestic issues. Michael's investigation keeps pulling him away from the domestic crises at inopportune times adding to his stress. On a dark and stormy night, the plot comes to a head at Elizabeth's father's estate on Shelter Island in Long Island Sound.If you are a fan of great spy thrillers or a fan of really good storytelling, then this book is for you. GO! BUY! READ!


Power, politics and intrigue - a recipe for a great read

by John R. Linnell
(5/5)

A good friend introduced me to Daniel Silva with his first book, The Unlikely Spy. While that was a fictionalized account of how the Allies deceived Hitler as to the location of the D Day landing, this is pure fiction. Or is it? A CIA operative who has a strong moral code and a highly competent professional assassin who serves a secret group made up of the worlds movers and shakers are destined throughout the pages of the book to end up in a confrontation that ends up raising more questions than it settles. Entertaining writing, fast paced action, believable characters and enough allusion to actual people or events to keep you wondering where the fiction blends with the present day. It's a dangerous world out there; especially if you are letting Daniel Silva describe it to you.


Terrorists are good for something

by Linda Pagliuco "katknit"
(3/5)

The Mark of the Assassin is billed as part of the Gabriel Allon series, and as a prequel, I suppose there's some truth in that. But Allon makes no appearances here, although familiar characters such as Adrian Carter do have roles. The eponymous assassin is Jean-Paul Delaroche, whose "mark" is his killing style, always three shots to the face. He's a pretty effective antagonist. As for the protagonist, Michael Osborne, he's no Gabriel Allon, personality wise. Most of the characters, in fact, good or bad, have few redeeming qualities. Such a bunch of self absorbed connivers are rarely found in a single book.The first half of Mark is the setup for the final showdown in the second half. It seems that terrorism can be manipulated to serve the purposes of any government, and the U.S. President's men are experts at getting their way. The action takes place in various glamorous locations across the Atlantic, with the climax set in Washington D.C. Back home, Elizabeth Osborne, has found her best friend Susannah's slaughtered corpse, and knows that her murder is connected to some potentially explosive investigative journalism Susannah was doing. What could be more natural than that Elizabeth, newly pregnant via in-vitro, would pick up Susannah's cause.Mark of the Assassin is way too long, especially the first half, and some judicious editing would yield a tauter story. As it stands, it's a typical spy thriller with little to differentiate it from all the others.


Simply Engaging

by Man of La Book
(4/5)

A fast paced mystery which starts out a bit slow (but well paced) and keeps your reading with twists and a surprise I didn't see midway through.To be fair though, the setup alone is half the book.The story starts with an act of terrorism. A jet liner is shot out of the sky using an land-to-air shoulder missile, the shooter is a terrorist known to the authorities who is found dead next to the empty missile tube shot in the face three times.Three shots to the face are the mark of the assassin and CIA agent Michael Osbourne knows it - he has encountered it before while working in the field.Michael believes that the jet liner was not shot down by Arab terrorists but by someone else and this makes him a target.What Michael doesn't know is that a group of rich and powerful world policy manipulators have targeted him for assassination and sent the world's best assassin to do the job; an assassin who justifies his work and morality by the famous Wild West well reasoned defense of "he needed killin'".Mix those elements with political intrigue, a wife, medical issues, international locations, twists, turns and a few surprises - and you got yourself a winning combination.The book has well developed characters, great plotline and it kept me interested until the last, as well as a theory which is thought provoking, if nothing else."The Mark of the Assassin" was a good, quick read with several references to Silva's first novel "The Unlikely Spy" which I found entertaining - even though this is a separate story and has almost nothing to do with the first novel.At the time of this review, the under the book's title it said "Gabriel Allon" in parenthesis - this is not a Gabriel Allon book.


Conspiratorial nonsense

by Martin Kemp
(1/5)

I didn't get far with this story. When a bunch of unlikely conspirators from democracies and tyrannies meet in a luxury villa on a mountain top, indulge themselves inordinately, agree to kill a great many innocent men, women and children for their own profit, then leave and let the villa burn to the ground, I gave up and threw the book away. This author can write a good spy story, and has written several that are both gripping and sufficiently plausible, but this isn't one of them.


A Spellbinding Book!

by Melvin Hunt
(5/5)

October(DelaRoche) plays the perfect villain in this book. A trained killer from the K.G.B. Now a contract killer for this secret committee he does his job with a relish. The committee that employs October is dedicated to destabilizing the world by creating anarchy. One of October's contract hits results in a terrorist group being hit by the United States. The book stays at a nonstop pace until the very end. Osbourne who also has a history with October has a tremendous struggle that goes to the bitter end. The conclusion of the book leaves room for the sequel. An excellent book.


great

by msbetty "BARBIE FASHIONS"
(5/5)

what can I say but read the damn book for yourself and get caught up in the story and characters


A Stepping Stone To Better Novels

by Sancti Spiritus
(3/5)

I hate to denigrate any work of Daniel Silva. However, this work is not on par with his other literary successes. Especially the Gabriel Allon series. However, the plot is quite good. An American flight is downed by a stinger missile and hell breaks out in the Middle East. The conspirators start to erase their tracks to the crime, and need the help of a soulless assassin. I remain glad I read it.


The Mark of the Absurd

by Stoney
(3/5)

THE TEASERA teaser is a loathsome literary device to snag bookstore readers with up-front action, albeit out of context. In "The Mark of the Assassin" an unnamed man, woman, and 16 year-old boy are infiltrated by the KGB into Austria from Czechoslovakia in 1968. The boy shots his companions.THE SETUPTerrorist Hassam Malmud (aka Abu Jihad) and "Yasim" (aka "the boy", aka Jean Paul Delaroche, aka October) pilot a yacht to off Long Island. Hassam shots down an American Airliner with a stinger missile. Hassam is murdered by "Yasim", who is extracted by a helicopter, and the yacht blows up. The attack is actually financed by an American arms dealer (with the substantial support of a "SPECTRE"-like cartel of individuals [including the chief of the Mossad] who desire to promote world instability). The attack is blamed on "The Sword of Gaza" which is actually innocent in this case. The good-guy protagonist is CIA analyst Michael Osbourne.COMMENTSAfter the first several dozen named characters, I gave up writing down names and notes, and thereafter frequently had no idea who was speaking to whom nor why. It was just too much work to keep track of the numerous interchangeable secondary characters.Despite the numerous characters, none of them engaged me, and all of the potentially interesting characters are killed off after a few pages. Osbourne is the key "good guy", but his abysmal tastes and judgement in women put me off. The whining Elizabeth is particularly annoying--but she's the "good one".There is sort of a "critical mass" of implausibilities which are allowable in a novel before "suspension of disbelief" is strained too far. The "critical mass" depends on how engaging the novel is. I did not find any of the characters in "The Mark of the Assassin" to be engaging--I did not care what happened to them. So, I found myself deeply annoyed by many unnecessary implausibilities, and even cheering for Delaroche and his stupid girlfriend at times.It would take too long to catalog the serious implausibilities, so I'll just point out a few. It makes no sense that Delaroche was extracted from the yacht by a helicopter--which would be easily visible and tracked on radar. Besides, where did it take him? Presumably to another ship--in which case it would have been far more logical if Delaroche had reached the "other ship" by the Zodiac (inflatable boat) which is otherwise unnecessarily mentioned. Perhaps some idiot editor suggested that a helicopter would be more dramatic.For another example, the idiotic "signature" three-shots-to-the-face" is absurd for a professional assassin who has allegedly gone to insane lengths to remain "below-the-radar".Finally, being paid millions of dollars for a series of assassinations, such a person would have used some of the cash to contract trusted "support services". Instead, Delaroche implausibly depends on his employers to supply him with air travel, vehicles, etc.--giving them the opportunity to collect finger prints, DNA, photos, voice prints, etc. which they can use to track him down and assassinate him when the "jobs" are over. Remember that Delaroche is so paranoid that he murders his best friend, only because said best friend is the only person on earth who knows his true identity. Why is such a professionally paranoid suddenly so trusting of "employers" whose identity is not even known to him?On the good side, the author displays an excellent international vocabulary, using American terms in the U.S., British terms in England, and so forth.THE VERDICTAlmost as fundamentally absurd as a James Bond novel, but not as much fun. A good read if you find it easy to overlook the shortcomings described above.


A real page turner!!!!

by Timothy J. Kindler
(4/5)

The Mark of the Assissin was a true page turner -- nearly impossible to put down. It is a fast-paced, enjoyable read from the very beginning. In the story, CIA agent Michael Osbourne finds himself pitted against a ruthless assassin with the code name "October." The battle is emotional, psychological and physical. The supporting cast of characters are diverse and quite extensive. While keeping track of the long character list is sometimes an effort, the total package provides a story with action, excitement, intrigue, and frequent plot twists. Chances are that once you start his book, you will want to read it in big chunks.


Nice Read - Nice Compliment to the Gabriel Allon stories...

by Tom Newman
(4/5)

From the first chapter, The Mark of the Assassin keeps up the pace high. A Palestinian terrorist shoots down a commercial airliner... and takes three rounds to the face. Events quickly unfold involving an international syndicate of a shady cast of characters, a deep cover KGB assassin who now freelances for the highest bidder, and of course Michael Osbourne, Silva's replacement for Gabriel Allon as the central character. One of the most intriguing twists of the plot was the presence of Allon's boss, Israeli Mossad chief Shamron as a character in the international syndicate. The book flows through a number of plot twists, including an all-too-real plot by political actors surrounding the President of the U.S. who attempt to engineer a multi-billion dollar deal for a national anti-missile defense system. The reader stays with both Osbourne and Delaroche, the KGB assassin, up to a stirring ending that leaves an opening for the next book in this series - The Marching Season. Definitely a good read - better than the airplane movie! Unlike many in the genre, Silva has done the research and he sticks to what he knows - Israel, the KGB, the CIA, and the Washington area. Enjoy...


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