The Black Widow

The Black Widow is the 16th of Daniel Silva’s spy thrillers built around Gabriel Allon, a clandestine Israeli operative, former assassin and soon-to-become chief of the Israeli secret intelligence services. As a series it’s at the apex of the genre, where Silva keeps company with such greats as Alan Furst and Joseph Kanon. As usual, this novel is sharply written, densely plotted and up to the historical moment—a vicious Islamic State terrorist named Saladin is wreaking bloody havoc in Europe, and Allon is drafted to stop him. Key to that effort is a young female Israeli doctor, trained by Allon, who has infiltrated the terrorists’ inner circle and thus is in great danger. Allon and his team of Israeli specialists must find the elusive (and well-guarded) Saladin before he commits another horrific terrorist act and kills her. I enjoyed the novel, but Silva’s tales are starting to seem formulaic to me. I’m ready for Allon to start his new job.