by Daniel Silva
Putnam, February, 2003.
Hardcover, 400 pages.
Gabriel Allon is a noted art restorer who undertakes commissions all over Europe. But he is also an Israeli spy, who can never quite seem to get his name off the list of active agents. Allon is asked to investigate the murder of his old friend Benjamin Stern, who was an Israeli agent in his youth. The signs point to Stern's having been killed by an infamous assassin known only as the Leopard. As Allon tracks the Leopard, he also must find out why Stern was killed. At the time of his death, Stern was doing research for a book about the Catholic church's cooperation with Hitler in regards to the Holocaust. The incendiary research has drawn the ire of the Crux Vera, a secret, wealthy and influential society whose members reach right into the heart of the Vatican. As Allon's investigation proceeds, Allon becomes convinced that the current, more liberal, Pope is going to be assassinated -- and, ironically, it will be up to the Israelis to prevent that from occurring.
This is the third outing for the spy turned art restorer, Gabriel Allon, after The Kill Artist and The English Assassin. The classic spy novel has been in somewhat short supply lately. Instead, the shelves are filled with legal thrillers and serial killer books. But Daniel Silva has breathed new life into the genre -- his work is polished and fast-paced, with fully-fleshed characters whose ethical dilemmas ring true. This is truly the thinking woman's spy novel.
The Confessor is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the April-May, 2003 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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