Posts Tagged ‘espionage’


Madeliene Hart is a rising star in London politics. Well educated and politically savvy, she soons finds herself working as an aide to the prime minister. On a trip, with friends, to sun-drenched Corsica Ms. Hart disappears and the male resident at 10 Downing Street receives a package with an omnious message: you have seven days or the girl dies. Now one will think that this is where Interpol, MI5 and/or MI6 are called in. Not quite. Enter Gabriel Allon, art forger/restorer, and the Israeli version of James Bond minus the shaken martinis and fancy tux bollocks, and is actually in a monogamous relationship with a woman named Chiara. Oh, did I mention that Chiara is also a very well-trained and formidable Mossad agent? Now as much as I love Jamesy-old-by, Mr. Allon (as Emril would say) puts it up a noch … or two. With a deadline on the horizon, Allon and his team of elite Mossad agents find themselves criss-crossing the globe from the criminal underworld of Marseilles to the icy-cold, vodka-tainted-vomit encrusted streets of Moscow.
Silva’s English Girl is fast moving, visceral thrill ride, on a razor’s edge, in the smoke and mirror world of covert espionage where friends can be enemies and vice versa, and most things can’t be taken a face value. Betrayals leap out of the shadows where you least expect and there are more twists and turns than a non-linear David Lynch flick (aye, I’m still trying delete the memory of Lost Highway from my mind).

Confession time. I have been reading many of Silva’s Gabriel Allon novels and they are quite GOOD. I mean giving Jason Bourne a run for the money … GOOD. And now you’re probably asking … well how is it that the Evil Parrot hasn’t posted any of these books on this site? Some of you might even think that I was being a bit stingy on keeping this to myself. Well the truth is that I was being a lazy tosser and I was busy catching up on back-to-back Dexter episodes on DVD (sorry I can only afford basic cable) during the times I was reading these books. I believe Breaking Bad and Criminal Minds are also to blame for this. The damn telly. Damn you Heisenberg, you loveable crystal meth cooking rogue.

Now I know you might think that you might need to catch up on stuff before you get to this novel (and it is a lot of reading) but the good news is that Silva has this unique and delightful way of doing a “recap” (aye, see that’s what happens when you watch too much series on DVD on the telly … sigh …) that pretty much brings everyone up to date with the life Gabriel Allon. However, a penance I will list all the Gabriel Allon books (in order) for you to personally enjoy … and if you can appreciate action-filled espionage, I promise you will devour these books. And yes, I will manage my time better … since I’m currently watching back-to-back seasons of the Dead Zone on Netflix (or as I call it Netfix).

And as promised (me being a good chap and all) the Gabriel Allon prequels:
The English Assassin
The Confessor
Kill Artist
A Death In Vienna
Prince Of Fire
The Messenger
Secret Servant
Moscow Rules
The Defector
The Rembrandt Affair
Portrait Of A Spy
The Fallen Angel

Happy reading, mates.

Read Full Post »


Will Cochrane is a highly trained intelligence officer and is one of the most effective and deadliest agent, codenamed Spartan, to have emerged from the CIA-MI6 Spartan program. As Russia and the United States stands on the brink of war, the CIA intercepts a message from one of their deep cover agents in Russia, that there is a double agent that has betrayed the West and is seeking to create something close to a nuclear apocalypse (don’t you just hate that?). After Will Cochrane is sent in, covertly, to possibly exfil and debrief the agent, he, instead, finds the agent near death (well, actually quite gutted but holding onto life) who offers a final clue: Only the Sentinel can stop him. Hence the title of the book.
Now I must say that this book literally called to me. Yes, I know … bloody freaky. And for months I have ignored it, but I eventually gave in. To besides, there was a bear on the cover and I like bears. Though I probably shouldn’t say that too loud in places such as San Francisco … or a Stephen Colbert set. I have detoured. Aye, I tend to do that … a lot.

Sentinel opens with an edge-of-the-seat, nail-biter infiltration of a Russian submarine base by Cochrane. Nerve-wracking, bladder-clenching and cold sweat-invoking basically describes the first chapter which basically sets you up for what EVERY chapter is going to be like. And what a bloody great ride it is, from cover to cover. With plots so delicately interwoven, aside from Cochrane it has hard to figure out most of the characters and even when you think you do … you find out that you’re dead wrong. The action and intrigue are equally fast, vicious, and many times slams you in the chest like Thor’s hammer. The truth is Will Cochrane makes James Bond (whom I love very much) looks like a preening, cocktail-sipping, tuxedoed Sunday school teacher (sorry James, still love you mate). Possible equals on this side of the Atlantic: Jason Bourne, But that’s another story for another time, mates.

Read Full Post »