Give me a thriller by Daniel Silva and I’m happy. Whether it’s Russian oligarchs, Islamist terrorists or in this most recent case the sudden death of the Pope and a secrety society of Catholic conspiracists, Silva has me for as long as it takes to read his latest.

This time it took six hours or so for his Israeli spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon, to root out the bad guys, save the vote for the new Pope, find the ancient book that could upend New Testament teachings, and still manage a few days of vacay in Florence with his family.

When the real world is still gripped with Covid, vaccine vacillations, political fracas and more, a novel that ties up the loose ends along with the bad guys is just the ticket.


I’ve just begun Mary Purnelll’s  A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II.  It’s gripping and all the more astonishing because it’s true. Ginger danced with Fred backwards in high heels. Virginia Hall was a real-life Gabriel Allon with a prosthetic leg, no less. Stay tuned.