Daniel Silva has been producing a new novel in the Gabriel Allon series every year since 2001, which makes House of Spies number 17 in the series.
This new book follows on directly from last summer’s The Black Widow which ended with the terrorist mastermind Saladin able to escape after carrying out an attack.
More attacks follow on British and French soil. The British MI6 have a lead on who supplied the weapons which puts the focus on a rich and famous French man who has been part of the illegal narcotics trade across the Mediterranean. Now Allon and his allies want to turn him as an asset to get to Saladin.
As the book progresses Silva reintroduces many of his ongoing cast of supporting characters such as Allon’s field team from “the office” plus members of the American, British and French intelligence and counter terrorism services.
Interestingly though for much of the novel the main character is the former assassin Christoper Keller, now newly recruited to MI6. The Keller character has gradually been used more and more in these novels. I wonder if Silva is contemplating a standalone Keller book.
The final segment of the book moves to Morocco where things step up and there is plenty of page turning tension as Allon’s team close on their quarry while American drones circle overhead, Hellfire missiles at the ready.
This is an example of one of those books that feels ripped from the headlines but in fact given publishing schedules the book actually predates some of the terrorist attacks that Europeans are sadly having to experience as the “new normal”.
House of Spies is up to the standard of the previous books in the series and is a well written and meticulously researched thriller which has something to say about the world we find ourselves living in.
House of Spies was published in hardback by Harper Collins on 13 July 2017.