I've read all of the Silva books and enjoy the characters. However this narrator ruins both the book and the story. I would suggest that you get this book from the library and avoid having to listen to it,.......
Especially if you've read other Daniel Silva books, don't bother to read this one - his plots are getting to be like the old game of Mad Libs - where the same basic plot is played out with a different country backdrop, different bad guys up to different nefarious plots, and different good guys (actually girls) who somehow are close to the bad guys and can help the protagonist heroically save the world.
The plots are remarkably the same - Gabriel Alon is restoring an art work in some secluded place, and he is NOT going to do any espionage work, but he agrees to do one simple job for his big boss, and that job unfolds in a way that he feels obligated to take on the whole case. Then, some woman who is close to the bad guy decides she wants to betray him and help Israeli intelligence bring him down. Then, it turns out that this woman loves some particular artist (of course, she is wealthy and can afford them), so Alon, who is a great art expert, puts together a fake plot to engage her through the art. Then, too many other foreign services need to get involved besides the Israelis - of course, Adrian Carter from the US NSA, then the British, the French, etc etc, and the story takes many pages to cover the negotiations about this.
SIlva can tell a good story, but a) it loses a lot when the plot feels like deja vu because it's following the same plot line, and b) this particular one has a number of plot elements that just don't make sense or hold up under any thought, and, finally, c) for some reason, when the plot thickens, and I was finally more interested in what was going to happen next, rather than feeling "I've heard this all before", Silva suddenly skips about 3 chapters worth of plot elements that would have been very exciting, and essentially goes to the epilogue, describing the high-level unwinding of the plot from the endpoint. I don't know if he got tired, or had a deadline, or what, but he seemed to just run out of steam and skipped some critical plot lines.
I really enjoy a good spy thriller, but the plot needs to be based on credible assumptions to make it really engaging and not irritating. There are a lot of assumptions in this one that don't hold together, like why and how the "good gal" who helps Alon knows as much as she does, and how they are able to get away at the Ukranian border (you don't just enter the other country - you have to leave Russia, too, and when the whole country is on alert looking for you - how do you do that?). And there are some really irritating plotlines that stand out as convenient but ridiculous. For example, half of the story seems to be focused on how cagey the Israeli spies are at evasion, covering their tracks, etc., and at other times to further the broader plot, they do incredibly stupid things like not realizing they might be followed when meeting with a guy that the Russians are aggressively looking for.
This is just not that good a book - at times more irritating than enjoyable. If you've read other Silva books, some of which are really good, you might want to skip this one.
Just as good as Silva is with his other Gabriel Allon books. Great ending & loved Phil Gigante as the narrator of this audio!! Excellent! Since not commuting to & from work, I've gotten out of the habit of listening to audiobooks & have just been reading. I had forgotten what a true pleasure it is to listen to a well narrated, good book. This was the perfect one to get me going again.
This is the first purchase from Audible I haven't been able to finish. Endless description of characters that are unengaging (but beautiful! always beautiful!) and a plot that just doesn't advance. Too bad, I had hopes I'd discover a writer I liked.
This book was painful, an endurance test. The writing is wooden and predictable. Every 2 or 3 paragraphs the writer stops the flow to expound on some subject you need to know about, why he couldn't find a better way to explain things is beyond me. Suddenly he describes the wine in detail (check), then veers off into an explanation of a hotel (check) then a quick aside about how great and superhuman the israelis are ( check, check), then back to the story, which advances at a glacial pace. Then, repeat the pattern. (check) Too bad he didn't check his facts- there are numerous errors of fact. And if that's not enough, the reader seems to have only two voices- the plain readers voice, and the "foreigner voice", which sounds russian whether he's doing an israeli, italian or russian. At least there were some russians in the book. Don't waste the credit.
Loved It! Love the whole Gabrielle Allon series.
Daniel Silva is a Master Story Teller. Though some of the plot line is rather predictable, the characters are compelling enough to keep you riveted.
I enjoyed the naration; there were plenty of accents & different character voices that were all done well. i will surely listen to all of the series.
I wish the narrator could learn some Russian pronunciations before reading this book. His mistakes make the book sound childish.
Mr. Silva has always written exciting fiction. This is especially good. I not only was entertained, I also learned alot about the Russia of today. I verified the information via the New York times internet site, and it was true. Mr. Silva is an excellent researcher. Great Read!
I am a fan of the author. He does us no favor however to use this narrator. It was difficult to get past his amateurish performance to immerse myself into the plot.