I’m always excited about a new Daniel Silva novel. They come like clockwork each summer. They are all wonderful and so special. Having said that, I have to say that this new one, THE NEW GIRL, is absolutely brilliant; a masterpiece!
First of all I must comment on the stunning cover art. Kudos to those involved in producing it! It tells quite a story on its own.
The foreword of this novel is not to be missed! Please make sure to read it before you begin the book. Silva states that last August 2018, he began work on a novel about a crusading young Arab prince who wanted to modernize his religiously intolerant country and bring sweeping change to the Middle East and the broader Islamic world. He set aside that manuscript two months later when the model for that character, Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, was implicated in the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident and columnist for Washington Post. Reading this foreword made the hair stand straight up on my arms.
THE NEW GIRL begins in Geneva at an elite private school. Who is the new girl? She arrives at school shrouded in mystery, via a motorcade fit for a king. She is thought to be the daughter of a wealthy businessman. However, we quickly discover she’s the only child of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Khalid bin Mohammed. Oh boy, you can feel the trouble brewing. When the prince’s daughter is kidnapped he goes to the only person he feels can help help him: Gabriel Allon. And it begins….
Moving from Switzerland to France to Saudi Arabia to Tel Aviv to London to The Netherlands ,THE NEW GIRL, moves swiftly and often. In brief to-the-point chapters that have you sitting on the edge of your seat, Silva takes you on the ride of a lifetime. I usually have some idea of the outcome; not this time. Shocking.
We are dealing with news that everyone has been exposed to in this heart-thumping spy thriller. That makes it even more intriguing and intense. In fact, there were times as I read this story when I wondered if Silva ever feared for his safety. Really. Yes, I know this is written for entertainment. But it’s so realistic. So very spot-on realistic.
Silva’s brought back some of our favorite characters: Sarah Bancroft is back; Christopher Keller is here; Ari Shamron, and of course Chiara and the twins. I feel like I’ve been visiting my old friends.
I have long been intrigued by Saudi Arabia. It’s an eerily mysterious country to me. Everything about it is misted over with a little something. Silva has managed to uncover some of the ambiguity surrounding the perimeter. The light that’s shone on this country is not necessarily a good one…. but it is what it is.
I devoured THE NEW GIRL in record time. In fact, I may reread it again soon. Yes, it’s that good. My review copy arrived from the generous publishing people at Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review and a promise that I would NOT post before pub date on July 16. I absolutely believe this is Silva’s masterpiece; best yet!!!
We have copies of THE NEW GIRL on sale at 20% off at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida. We’d love to see you there.