Over the course of ten previous novels, Daniel Silva has established himself as one of the world's finest writers of international intrigue and espionage- "a worthy successor to such legends as Frederick Forsyth and John le Carré" (Chicago Sun-Times)-and Gabriel Allon as "one of the most intriguing heroes of any thriller series" (The Philadelphia Inquirer).
Now the death of a journalist leads Allon to Russia, where he finds that, in terms of spycraft, even he has something to learn. He's playing by Moscow rules now.
This is not the grim, gray Moscow of Soviet times but a new Moscow, awash in oil wealth and choked with bulletproof Bentleys. A Moscow where power resides once more behind the walls of the Kremlin and where critics of the ruling class are ruthlessly silenced. A Moscow where a new generation of Stalinists is plotting to reclaim an empire lost and to challenge the global dominance of its old enemy, the United States.
One such man is Ivan Kharkov, a former KGB colonel who built a global investment empire on the rubble of the Soviet Union. Hidden within that empire, however, is a more lucrative and deadly business: Kharkov is an arms dealer-and he is about to deliver Russia's most sophisticated weapons to al- Qaeda. Unless Allon can learn the time and place of the delivery, the world will see the deadliest terror attacks since 9/11-and the clock is ticking fast.
Filled with rich prose and breathtaking turns of plot, Moscow Rules is at once superior entertainment and a searing cautionary tale about the new threats rising to the East-and Silva's finest novel yet.
©2008 Danie Silva; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"Daniel Silva brings new life to the international thriller." (Newsday)
Same as the previous reviewer, I was very disapointed in the narrator... it's hard to change after the wonderful narration that John Lee gave to Silva's previous books... However the story is very good, and maybe the narrator isn't so bad ... It just felt like a new set of characters, and I missed the old ones.
A pretty good story, but why, oh why, can't the producer/director or whoever is responsible get a reader who can properly pronounce French, Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian and Italian words, all of which are part of the story? A 'chupah' is not a 'chewpaw', etc., etc. It is most annoying and disrupts the flow of the story. The same problem exists with other readers of some other of his books (not all) -- and it's a shame.
A good listen... I wanted to give it 5 stars because I love the series, but it wasn't quite as exciting as the previous books.
Don't let the reviews about the narrator keep you from listening to this book. It was thrilling and worth my time. If you start with this book, you will want to download all of them. I recommend starting first with Prince of Fire, The Messenger, and the Secret Servant and then The Moscow Rules. Like me, I hope Daniel Silva's is busy writing the next adventure for Gabriell and his co-hearts. Enjoy!
Once again author Daniel Silva has taken Gabriel Allon on an impossible adventure and once again Gabriel, with the help of the Israeli secret service, has succeeded and the world is a better place. This time Gabriel finds himself fighting the corruption and avarice of Russian oligarchs and former KGB "thugs." The story is well paced, the scrapes Gabriel finds himself in nearly impossible to get out of, but only nearly, the bad guys generally very bad, and Gabriel gets some much needed help from well placed Russians who care about their country's future. All in all a page turner that thriller fans will enjoy.
I've read and listened to quite a few Gabriel Allon books, and have enjoyed them all. But i have to say that this one was just "fair". If i could give it 2.5, i would have. I can't put my finger on why it wasn't as good as the prior novels, it just felt like things were more forced and contrived in this one. Everthing was too neat maybe... I might chaulk it up to being bored with the series, but i think i enjoyed the last one i listened to (A Death in Vienna) the best. This one, Moscow Rules, was definitely not his best. The narration was fine.
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.
You know, sometimes you just wish you hadn't bought a book. This is one of those times. I just couldn't spend the time after the first half. Better luck next time.
As with every audio book, the narrator makes a big difference. Phil Gigante has narrated several of Daniel Silva's books and aside from some idiomatic/language details, he does a great job. He articulates well, speaks at a good pace and changes his tone appropriately. Please remember, this is not a production, or a radio show. You have to keep paying attention to the plot and who is involved in the conversation.
Daniel Silva keeps things rolling at a good pace and as usual, his descriptions of places, people and events are very detailed. I've been following Gabriel Allon since his first visit to Vienna and have purchased every book since then. I can't wait for the next installment in the series.
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