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The Defector
By Daniel Silva

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The Defector

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The Defector
By Daniel Silva
Thorndike Press, Large Print Edition (2009)
ISBN 10: 1-59722-988-1
ISBN 13: 978-1-59722-988-3
Genre: Thriller

Reviewed by Israel Drazin - December 8, 2009

Imagine that one of the most notorious Russian killers, a multibillionaire who is supported by the Russian leaders, kidnaps the wife of Gabriel Allon, the top Israeli spy, known and respected as "The Legend." Imagine the reaction of the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of England and the Pope who Allon had saved from being killed. Imagine the emotions of "The Memuneh," the chosen one, Ari Shomron, the eighty year old prior head of Mossad, who is still feared by his former agents, who has the ear of national leaders, who has the power to wake the Israeli Prime Minister from his sleep, who considers Allon his son.

The Mossad is one of the worlds most feared and respected intelligence services. It is comprised of men and women with frightening skills, with people who love Gabriel Allon.

Shomron decides on a reaction of "kechol velavan," blue and white, a sole Israeli response against one who hurt one of their own. But this was not to be. The President of the United States and the Prime Minister of England would not stand by when "The Legend" is in trouble. Regardless of outcome, the Russian killer and his cohorts would spend the rest of their lives, their short lives as hunted men and women. They stood no chance of survival. Allon, Shomron and all the resources at their command would find them, no matter how long it took. And they would kill them.

Imagine the fear, the sheer terror that the Russian killer should have had. But he did not.

Think what would occur if during the reaction two Israelis are killed, how the Israeli government would react to their death, how it affects Gabriel Allon and Shomron.

Daniel Silva imagined it all and wrote it all. He is undoubtedly the current king of spy fiction and Gabriel Allon, the sometimes brooding art restorer and at other times an assassin, is Silva’s hero par excellence.

Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of fifteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, www.israelbooks.com.


Reviewed by Auggie Moore - September 4, 2009

Daniel Silva is back with another pulse-bounding, unforgettable thriller featuring the famed art restorer, part-time Israeli spy, and reluctant, but an efficient assassin, Gabriel Allon. Building upon the story begun in Moscow Rules, this new installment of the Allon saga finds Allon and his wife back home in Umbria, a few months after the events in Moscow Rules ended. Allon is in the process of restoring the cherished Crucifixion of St. Peter altarpiece for the Vatican, when he receives word that the Russian defector, Grigori Bulganov, has vanished. Bulganov was a former colonel in the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) who had gone over to the British. He was also a man to whom Allon owes his life. Upon hearing of his disappearance, Allon and his team set out on a deadly race through Europe and Russian, and against time, to find his old friend. Allon soon learns of a sinister plot to destroy both himself and his family, which is being hatched by his nemises, Ivan Kharkov, the former KGB agent turned arms dealer, and a man with whom Allon tangled with in Moscow Rules.

The Defector is a riveting story about honor friendship, and old debts. It is also a traditional spy thriller with horrific chases, deadly intrigue, and an all too real game of cat and mouse - one which could rob Allon of what he loves best, and permanently altering his life if he fails in his mission. In writing The Defector, Silva has crafted his most complex and thrilling novel yet. The action is non-stop, and Silva will have you on the edge of your seat, and wondering, if Allon will really be successful this time, or if Silva is going to throw a major wrench into Allon's already complicated life.

While you should read at least Moscow Rules before reading The Defector, it is not absolutely necessary. Silva provides enough of a back story to allow you to follow the action, even if this is the first Allon book that you've read. The Defector is a must read for all fans of the Gabriel Allon series, and for anyone who enjoys thrilling tales of intrigue.

There are nine books in the Allon series, and all of them, except perhaps the first one, have been published in large print. However, some of the earlier titles are hard to find in large print. For those that want to read the Allon books in order, they are:
  1. The Kill Artist
  2. The English Assassin
  3. The Confessor
  4. A Death in Vienna
  5. Prince of Fire
  6. The Messenger
  7. The Secret Servant
  8. Moscow Rules
  9. The Defector

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