The Black Widow
I wait all year long with baited breath for the next Daniel Silva thriller featuring Gabriel Allon and his cast of characters who feel oh -so- much like family after all these years. Last week THE BLACK WIDOW went on sale. My copy arrived on pub date and I immediately dove right into it knowing it would keep me glued to the page, indefinitely.
On the book flap is this: Legendary spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon is poised to become the chief of Israel’s secret intelligence service. But on the eve of his promotion, events conspire to lure him into the field for one final operation. ISIS has detonated a massive bomb in the Marais district of Paris, and a desperate French government wants Gabriel to eliminate the man responsible before he can strike again.” Who is Saladin…
The paragraph above reads like a current day newspaper feature. Daniel Silva has always had his finger on the pulse of the world. He’s pinpointed many events way before they occurred. He began writing this brilliant novel last summer way before any of the bombings in Paris or Brussels. We all know what happened in Paris in November, then in Brussels. So this novel hits home like a rocket. It will make the hair stand straight up on your arms as it scares you to death.
I love Gabriel Allon. We get to finally meet his twin babies. And find his wife doing well. All the usual characters are in place. And the heart-pounding begins as Gabriel puts his sights on the most incorrigible terrorist of our time, and ISIS front runner who goes by the name of Saladin. This time Gabriel decides to bring a new operative into the mix, someone who is not involved with The Office when we first meet her. But she is perfect for the job. And what a job it is. To infiltrate ISIS, go into Syria and train to be a suicide bomber. Can you believe this?
This is what is happening today, all over the world. As U.S. citizens we are certainly concerned with all over the world, but, we are mostly concerned with here at home. As you shall see Silva has done his homework. He explains how ISIS has spread, and why. It’s absolutely eerie as hell to read parts of this book. I found myself highlighting page after page. My heart was beating like a hammer and my mind was on fire.
I find myself wondering how Silva did his research of the inner workings of ISIS. I don’t know if he actually entered Syria. But he’s sure gotten my attention. Even Newt Gingrich is reading THE BLACK WIDOW. As well he should:)
I still shake my head whenever I think of our president’s speech about ISIS being the Javee team. So does Gabrielle Allon. Our government looks inept over and over again in this novel, just as the governments of other countries do as well.
So who is the woman who is going into Syria? And why would she even think of doing something so radical? She is a doctor. She is also a Jew. I kept wondering how this would be done.
Who is Saladin? And where did he come from? And where does he want to take ISIS? He is on a mission of terror like nothing we’ve seen since 9/11. And what occurs in this novel will blow your mind. It’s far too real. Too close for comfort. Our world as we have known it has certainly changed forever. We now know that there are over a 1000 people in this country on a terror watch list. It makes my heart sad.
Back to the story. As Gabriel chases Saladin we get a front row seat of how it would be to tail someone planning an attack of this magnitude. And it’s not a pretty picture. No one is immune. We are shown how someone in this country can be radicalized. And how they can connect to the top dogs of ISIS through the internet. It’s powerful stuff that will knock your socks off. Over and over again.
It is very important to read the author’s notes in the back of the book. Silva makes note that at least four thousand Westerners have heeded the clarion call to come to the caliphate, including more than five hundred women. This, in itself, brings chills to my skin.
I took my time reading THE BLACK WIDOW even with my eager-beaver husband breathing down my neck the entire time. Last night I read 300 pages and almost blinded myself:) Now I have to wait an entire year for the next installment. Will be totally worth it! Daniel Silva is without a doubt THE best thriller writer alive today!
Thanks so much Leah at Harper Collins for my stunning finished copy. I LOVED it!