Book Review - The Defector by Daniel Silva
Even with all the reading I do, I still feel like I need a whole 'nother 24 hours a day to read all the stuff I'd *like* to catch up on. A friend and reader of my blog recommended I read Daniel Silva's The Defector, so I picked it up at the library. I have read one other Silva novel with the Gabriel Allon character (2006 - The Messenger), and I remembered the basic makeup of Allon. The Defector would have been a bit more enjoyable had I at least read the previous episode (Moscow Rules), but it wasn't a show stopper. Defector was a good espionage thriller that had solid characters and an interesting plot.
Allon is pulled away from his honeymoon and an art restoration project to track down Grigori Bulganov, a Russian defector who has disappeared in England. Allon would have told the Mossad no on this assignment for a number of reasons, but he kept coming back to a promise he made to Bulganov many years ago, a promise to not let him die in an unmarked grave should anything happen to him. Rescuing Bulganov sends him back into Russia to go head-to-head with a powerful Russian crime lord, a confrontation escalated when Allon's wife is drawn into the drama. Allon is willing to sacrifice everything to save the one he loves, and he really doesn't care who ends up dying in the process. The tension continues to escalate to a final showdown in a snowy Russian forest, next to an unmarked mass grave...
Not having read all the other novels with the Allon character has its pros and cons. On one hand, I'm not up on some of the character nuances that may deepen the plot. There wasn't anything overtly obvious that I felt I missed, but I'm sure there was a layer of color that would have made the story even better. On the other hand, not reading all the other books means I'm not burned out on the plots or characters. It's not unusual for that to happen over time, feeling like you've read the general plot before and wonder what, if anything, is going to happen that you haven't already seen.
Overall, I thought The Defector was good, solid, and entertaining. And like I said at the end of The Messenger, I really *should* go back and catch up on his earlier stuff. Now to find the extra hours I need...
Obtained From: Library