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  • The Black Widow
  • The Black Widow

HarperCollins

The Black Widow

HarperCollins

The Black Widow

£56.00 £34.00 Save: (39.29%)
£34.00 £56 Save £22 (39.29%)
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Product Description Product Description
  • Daniel Silva The Black Widow
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Customer Reviews

Tell me again why Gabriel Allon is so great (spoiler alert)I liked that this book dealt with a current and important topic and that Silva provided strong descriptions of what life is like in IS controlled territory.What I didn't like is that Gabriel Allon is supposed to be the greatest secret agent in the world but he basically failed spectacularly with this operation. Yet everyone still wants him to head up Isreals Secret Service. Why exactly this is, I can't tell.Also it's just tiresome how great Allon is at everything. Worlds greatest spy, worlds greatest ex husband, worlds greatest current husband, worlds most loyal soldier, most favorite son, and on and on and on.3Totally Absorbing!This is the first time I have read anything by Daniel Silva; I'm in love! This novel is a very, very pdetailed story of a man who is a remarkably odd combination of art restorer and Mossad assassin. Actually he is no longer so much an assassin as a one-time assassin who now designs and meticulously plans audacious spy actions. In this case, he invents a woman, a black widow, who will be invited into the heart of ISIS territory in Syria. Her mission is to learn of future actions planned for Europe and the US.There are many facets to this story, both human and tactical. Building the legend of the widow, locating and developing her, ensuring her safety as much as possible and much anxiety every step of the way -- this is only part of the equation!I don't want to reveal the plot beyond the above. The development is painstaking and the action is, sadly, quite realistic. If you enjoy books that catch you up and have you biting your nails from one crisis to the next (there are many twists and turns) you'll have a terrific time reading "The Black Widow". Quite honestly, I question the way someone who is pro-ISIS will take this book. Everyone else can join me as I sit on the edge of my seat.One business aside: eventually I will manage to read every book by Daniel Silva. However the ebook pricing is totally unreasonable and unapologetic. I probably should have taken away a star or two to issue my protest, but I don't want to punish the author.5I've loved his work for so long but this book was ...I've loved his work for so long but this book was so bad that it finished the series for me. Forget that its the rehashing of characters, that's to be expected, the thing that really got me was the main characters constant bashing of American counter terror methods and in the course of the story those counter terror methods would have solved the problem if it wasn't for our "super spy's" interference. It was just stupid in what had previously been an intelligent series.1Great writing, but follows the same formula - getting a little stale.I have been a fan of Daniel Silva since the beginning, since before Gabriel Allon showed up. He has an intriguing, very appealing writing style that makes whatever he says interesting. He can write about spies and action and adventure and superheroes, or he can write about nuclear physics or potato chips, and it all comes out in such way that you can t put the book down. With the Allon series he has developed characters of such depth that, after reading even a few of the books, you feel as if you know them as well as you know some of your own family. The stories are always well thought out, and the plots are as modern as tomorrow. Plus, each book is a history lesson, containing information that is based very much in reality.In this book, The Black Widow , the Office (Israel s intelligence agency) finds itself in the middle of a hunt for Saladin, the new leader of ISIS, who is planning a series of terrorist strikes in America. Gabriel and crew hook up with the French and the Jordanians, and somewhat reluctantly with the Americans, to locate and stop Saladin before he can complete his attacks. They recruit a French national and train her to pose as a radicalized Muslim who wants to join ISIS and help with the war against the West. The story follows her as she first infiltrates the organization, then receives training in Terror 101, and finally as she travels to America to participate in acts of terror in Washington, D.C.The story progresses as it usually does in an Allon book. He becomes aware of a grave situation, he confers with his sources and confidants and works out a strategy to defeat the problem, he recruits an outsider to infiltrate the organization, he invests himself emotionally, his group does amazing things to learn as much as possible about the bad guys, and then the outsider is rescued at the last second.This formula has worked well, but after many Gabriel Allon missions, it is starting to get a little bit predictable. What sets this book apart from the previous ones, and keeps it from getting lost in memory simply because it follows the formula, is its shocking departure from routine at the very end. The ending is actually not predictable; it is disturbing and even frightening. Because of the surprise ending, I give the book four stars instead of three.Why would I consider giving three stars to a well written book by one of the top three thriller writers in business today? It is precisely because of the formula that has worked so well in the past. There are several books in this series, and each is top notch. But you can only use the same trick a certain amount of times. Eventually the thing that worked in the past starts to seem a little stale. In this book you can predict what is going to happen next, and you can almost quote some of the dialog word for word. How many times have we read the following: Oded and Mordecai, a pair of all purpose field hands. Or his chin in his hand, head tilted to one side. Or something about Chiara s riotous hair or something about Ari igniting one of his Turkish cigarettes. If this were a standalone book, such things would not be noticed. But for the reader who has been with the series since its inception, the repetitiveness is annoying. So, three stars due to predictability and lack of creativeness in describing recurring characters. But it earns a star back based on its departure from the formula by having an ending that is very much not predictable. But don t do that to us again.As I said, Daniel Silva is right at the top of the list of best thriller writers, but the pattern for his books is just a little shop-worn. As a stand-alone book, The Black Widow is great. But for the faithful followers of Gabriel Allon and his band of merry spies, a little departure from the routine would be refreshing. And please don t do that by blowing up the rest of the country next time.4Fiction But Not literatureThis is pseudo-literature. Less a novel--the genre of Fielding or Eliot or Conrad--than a tiresome documentay, with wooden characters bearing their creator's hope that Hollywood will buy this piece of verbal "product." If you need espionage diversion--an entirely honorable need-- read Alan Furst (who does not waste your time with mindless "data").But THIS guy! Jeez, all you can say in his favor is that he has his head screwed on right about the unquestionable merits of Israel. However, important as that is these days, be not confused: a novelist he ain't. No matter how many of these things he sells.1I will give him one more chance...I have read, and loved, the previous 15 Gabriel Allon novels. While it pains me to give The Black Widow only 3 stars, I was very disappointed at the political bent the author showed us, over and over and over again. It became very tiring and unnecessary. We get it. Mr. SIlva is none too happy with the current administration. I became bored with the same formula, the same sentences, the same descriptions, the same head tilt, etc. I still eagerly await #17 Allon. I can only hope Mr. Silva and his editors read these comments and perhaps adjust the tilt of the wheel by a few degrees.3Wow! What a book!!I started The Black Widow yesterday and finished it today because I couldn t put it down seriously, I only slept 3 hours last night because I had to keep going back to this book. I ve read every book in Daniel Silva s Gabriel Allon series, and this is one of the very best. The Black Widow takes the issue of ISIS head-on, dealing with things that have occurred already, and things that could occur, but hopefully won t. This book really resonated with me because it brings most of the action to the United States for the first time in the Allon series a nightmare scenario to be sure, but all the more interesting since we re the subject. Also, the plot line of this book is well developed, crystal clear, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The book starts with a major act of terror by ISIS in France. In order to inherit a previously unknown Van Gogh painting willed to him by a prominent friend killed in the attack, the French government wants Gabriel to find the perpetrators. This leads the Office team to recruit a woman doctor in Jerusalem and train her to infiltrate ISIS. It s discovered that a major ISIS strike in the United States is imminent, and the intelligence services of Israel, Jordan, France, England, and the United States work together to try to stop it from occurring. Writing from Gabriel Allon s Israeli perspective, Mr. Silva is blunt in characterizing the strengths and weaknesses of the countries intrinsic to the story, including ours. He is so well-informed and prescient about what the bad guys of the world are up to, that whenever I read any of Mr. Silva s books I wish they were required reading for everyone in government. That all this brilliant insight is given to us in the form of a story so well-written and engaging is Mr. Silva s unique talent. I even devour the author s notes and acknowledgements even these are interesting. I can t say any more than this if international intrigue and a great story are things you enjoy, this book will give it to you in spades. Buy the book it s great!5Hebrew exclusively for Silva readersI read one of Silva's previous books which is set in Vienna and the woman who gets blown up is a NI know I am in the minority. Mr. Silva used to write about NAZI hunters getting killed in VIENNA by Nazis who got financial support from clerics. Vienna was a city in which his character GABRIEL came in posing as an art restorer. In this book the Prize for Gabriel is a VAN GOGH worth a million pounds. Silva has an attitude towards Europe as bordering on contempt and to him the only place for A JEW is Israel. Ok but why bother to write in English when your audience is only the JEWS IN ISRAEL. Why should a girl be brainwashed in order to risk her life when after all she is only the creature of GABRIEL and he gets out of it a VAN GOGH painting.?Gabriel does not demonstrate any feeling towards CARAVAGGIO who painted scenes involving early CHRISTIAN martyrs. It reminds me of the Israeli tourist groups shown around Church frescoes who are more interested in finding a toilet for their kids..Let those who enjoy Silva's novels continue to do so . I do feel that Muslim extremiusm is dangerous butto treat Europe in the way Silva does is to ignore the positive aspects of Western civilisation.u1Silva's Best YetFrighteningly close to world events that are currently unfolding, we are taken to realistically dark parts of the world where evil is the accepted norm, death is celebrated and life has no value or virtue. New characters are intertwined with old familiar ones to a fast-paced, realistic plot that keeps one turning pages far too late into the early morning hours.5FascinatingWhen I opened my email and saw that a new book by Silva had been delivered to my iPad, my first reaction was, "Yay!" as it always is when he pens a new book. Daniel Silva is brilliant! The Black Widow is both an important and eye opening read. I would like to suggest it as mandatory reading from the top down in Washington D.C. if only to give some of the dunderheads there a heads up as to what could happen. Hoping that Allon becoming the head of The Office will lead to more insightful books by Daniel Silva.5
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