I finally had the chance to read/finish The English Spy by one of my favorite authors, Daniel Silva. This is the 15th book in his Gabriel Allon series and may be one of his best. Allon is the renowned art restorer who is about to take over as Chief of the Israeli secret intelligence service. His wife Chiara is pregnant with twins and he is enjoying some quiet work as he awaits their birth.
But the reader knows that this will not last. A yacht explodes with the future queen of England on board. This act precipitates a world wide manhunt to find the killer. It doesn't take Allon long to figure out that the man behind the act is Eamon Quinn, the chief bomb maker for the IRA. It would seem at first that this is a crime against the crown, but the real story evolves that it is merely a way to "out" Allon and his friend, the former British commando, Christopher Keller. Quinn is committed to avenging the role they played in uncovering the blackmail plot the Russians attempted in order to control the North Sea oil rights. Keller was also known to Quinn from the days of the Troubles in Northern Ireland and was present at the bombing in Omagh that killed 29 people.
From London to Belfast to Vienna to Portugal to Hamburg and back to London, the 3 play a cat and mouse game of intrigue and terror. If the reader has been to any of the cities that appear in Silva's books, s/he knows that his research is spot on. You can picture the street scenes, the airports, and even some of the restaurants. In The English Spy Silva calls on many of his characters ( Madeline Hart, Grahaham Seymour, Uzi Navot, Ari Shamron, and Eli Navon) from previous books to aid him in his pursuit of Quinn. To divulge any more would give away plot lines and the twists that Silva weaves into his books. Suffice it to say that this author can write and thrilling, page turning, and provocative book. Next summer's installment can't come soon enough.