- Published: 2017
- Number of pages: 544 pages
- Format: Epub
- File Size: 0.75 MB
- Authors: Daniel Silva
A heart-stopping tale of suspense, Daniel Silva’s runaway bestseller, The Black Widow, was one of 2016’s biggest novels. Now, in House of Spies, Gabriel Allon is back and out for revenge – determined to hunt down the world’s most dangerous terrorist, a shadowy ISIS mastermind known only as Saladin.
Four months after the deadliest attack on the American homeland since 9/11, terrorists leave a trail of carnage through London’s glittering West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy, but with one loose thread.
The thread leads Gabriel Allon and his team of operatives to the south of France and to the gilded doorstep of Jean-Luc Martel and Olivia Watson. A beautiful former British fashion model, Olivia pretends not to know that the true source of Martel’s enormous wealth is drugs. And Martel, likewise, turns a blind eye to the fact he is doing business with a man whose objective is the very destruction of the West. Together, under Gabriel’s skilled hand, they will become an unlikely pair of heroes in the global war on terror.
Written in seductive and elegant prose, the story moves swiftly from the glamour of Saint-Tropez to the grit of Casablanca and, finally, to an electrifying climax that will leave readers breathless long after they turn the final page.
But House of Spies is more than just riveting entertainment; it is a dazzling tale of avarice and redemption, set against the backdrop of the great conflict of our times. And it proves once again why Daniel Silva is “quite simply the best” (Kansas City Star).
Review “Silva spins his web, lays his traps, stuns the reader with mind-curdling suspense and sudden twists…. Breathtaking.” — Providence Journal“An irresistible thriller…. The phrase ‘#1 New York Times best-selling author’ gets bandied about a lot (Which list? For how long?), but in Silva’s case, it means exactly what it says.” — Booklist, starred review“Written by one of our greatest living spy novelists, House of Spies gives us protagonist Gabriel Allon in his 17th adventure. The novel features Silva’s taut and compelling dialogue and keen insight into the human psyche.” — Dallas Morning News“Silva’s success lies in his mix of authenticity and charm; his swings from global fears to domestic comforts.… There’s exotic scenery, insight into both history and current events, wit, romance, and a lot of heart…. It’s a recipe that keeps his readers coming back for more.” — Pittsburg Post-Gazette“Riveting…. Silva’s writing has lost none of its elegance. He provides readers with just enough real-world geopolitics to make sense of his narrative, and his depictions of the different styles of the world’s diverse intelligence services is fascinating as always.… Another chilling glimpse inside global terror networks from a gifted storyteller.” — Kirkus, starred review“One of Silva’s most entertaining books…. It’s uncanny how Daniel Silva keeps doing this. The opening chapters… feel like they were ripped from the headlines…. But when Silva created the scenario in his book, the headlines hadn’t been written yet.” — Fort Worth Star-Telegram“Outstanding…. Readers will eagerly await the next installment in this deeply fulfilling series.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:
⭐ Another great book by Daniel Silva! I call his novels “literary crack” because they’re so addicting. Heart stopping suspense and action. I’m so upset that people have been rating his book with only one or two stars because they don’t like the price of the book – if you don’t like the price don’t buy the book – get it from the library. This is a wonderful book by a great author – if you like international thrillers this is for you. You won’t be disappointed!
⭐ This book basically opens right at the start of a deadly terrorist attack, and though I have to admit it’s not an overly complex book (more on this later), it sucked me in almost instantly. The story is told from multiple POV’s, all third person. They were all enjoyable, but my favorite was Keller, who reminded me a lot of John Clark from Tom Clancy’s books. Keller is the bad-guy-turned-good, special black ops type, who has a natural tendency toward violence, but who solves situations with speed and precision. Gabriel as usual was great, but I’d have loved to get more of Keller in this book. Anytime he showed up the action and tension intensified.Pacing was well done in my opinion. Not every scene was an action scene. There was a lot of the actual investigation mixed in, which I think made for a great balance between action, danger, and intrigue. The ending was grim, but extremely satisfying. This book was an easy read. It isn’t overly complex. Everything happens about like you expect, but you don’t really care because the overall ride is worth it. I read it in one sitting.Overall, I was extremely happy with this book. Not sorry I waited up for it, and definitely not sorry I read it. I’d recommend it to anyone. This is not a book that disappoints.
⭐ ‘I don’t usually write Amazon reviews of books…but when I do I just had to’.This is such a case. I found Daniel Silva after thoroughly exhausting first Lee Child, then John Sandford, then Preston and Child, and lastly Michael Connelly. I literally stumbled upon Silva and I am so glad I did! House of Spies is his 20th installment in the on-going Gabriel Alon canon. There is something about the 20th book in any series (I am thinking of Patrick O’Brian’s 20th book, his “farewell to arms”), some ‘je ne sais quoi’.In any event, after reading all of the preceding books after they were published, I finally caught up with the maestro and had to (1) actually wait for a book to be published, and (2) buy it new (for gosh-sakes). So when my crisp new copy arrived last week, with its beautiful black and gold dustcover, I saw it as a fine old wine meant to be sipped not chugged.At this point in both my reading of Silva and in Silva’s own writing of these books I come to the Alon Saga as to old friends and home. By now I know all of the Barak team, and Graham Seymour and Adrian Carter, and of course the inimitable Julian Isherwood. And the new guy on the block is back, Chris Keller. But so is that mastermind villain par excellence, Saladin!I’ve settled into a slow reading pattern each evening before bed. I’m now on chapter 39 and a bit past midway. The stage is has been meticulously and patiently set, as if Silva himself is also “sipping” a fine wine; and now we are truly ready to set off in pursuit of the prey. I won’t say “I can’t wait” because…I can! I will!And just to second another reviewer as I close, no, Gabriel is not going to sit in his office and let us all down. Just as his mentor Ari Shamron was, and just as Ari intended, Gabreil will be a “working director” – a field director. And we are all the better for it.Post script: I’ve now finished the book and without any spoilers, I do want to amend my review. My previous remarks stand until I got to the climactic ending pages. At that point what had been a carefully crafted and believable plot became sloppy and unbelievable. This change-over seemed to me to be done solely for the purpose of having Alon once again be the “action-adventure” hero that Silva must think his fans demand. He even repeats himself with the last scene at a well-known landmark in downtown London complete with Mikhail as his sidekick in a blazing guns finale. Only Gabriel could have pulled off this “saving of the day”? Seemed a stretch to me and left a bad taste in my mouth after an otherwise satisfying book.
⭐ House of Spies is one of Daniel Silva’s finest works – and that’s really saying something. It follows the conclusion of Silva’s last book, in which Washington DC was devastated by an ISIS attack, with a string of ISIS attacks in London and Paris.The Israeli spy and now chief of its intelligence service, Gabriel Allon, enlists the help of Christopher Keller in an elaborate plot to hunt down the man known as Saladin, an Iraqi who is responsible for planning and funding the attacks.It’s a phenomenal read, and the last 100 pages or so will leave you breathless.And beyond this one book, I actually think Daniel Silva will be remembered as one of the most important authors of his generation. His thrillers are literary quality – and House of Spies is no exception – with lyrical prose, brilliant plotting, and a perceptive wisdom about the modern world and what ails it.A lot of thriller authors are writing about ISIS but few grasp its history or even the fundamental nature of its barbarity. Instead they plug it into a cookie cutter plot and promote the result as something profound when it’s anything but – and worse are the authors who bash readers with their personal politics rather than being creative enough to give their characters life with actions that reveal what the author is “trying” to communicate.Daniel Silva does not resort to such tactics. He doesn’t need to.I highly recommend House of Spies to thriller fans: 5/5 stars.
⭐ 5 StarsI bought House of Spies because it won Kirkus Best Book of the Year—and I am thrilled that I did. The book deserves the award and the bestselling status it has enjoyedHouse of Spies is the only book I have read (so far!) in Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series, and I am hooked by the strong characterization, the sense of danger, and the tenuousness of the lives that Israeli spy chief—and ostensible art restorer—Gabriel Allon seeks to protect. The plot centers on capturing the Iraqi terrorist Saladin, who has perpetrated a series of deadly attacks on western cities that have scarred national treasures like The Lincoln Monument. A committed jihadist, Saladin seeks to install a caliphate that will destroy the very freedoms those monuments celebrate.I especially loved the various settings of the novel, which take the reader from London to Provence and Marseilles and, in the climactic scenes, to the Berber lands of Morocco. Any book that has me drinking tea at sunset in a Bedouin tent in the Middle Atlas Mountains is going to enthrall me.One caveat: other reviewers have criticized the repeated sentences, which should have been edited out. I agree, but these were minor foibles in an otherwise strong narrative.When I finished House of Spies, I downloaded The Kill Artist, Book #1 in the Gabriel Allon series. If the other 19 books live up to House of Spies, I will read the entire series.Fans of spy novels will love this book.
⭐ I have read them all and this is the first Allon book I had trouble finishing. The standard Silva formula for this series is: 1) Gabriel is living reclusively, restoring an old master. 2) Terrorist trouble in the world kills many and calls him back to service. 3) Gabriel assembles his cast of associates and other assorted standard characters. 4) Gabriel ultimately defeats the bad guys, hopes for better time, but knows the threat will soon come calling again.Nothing wrong with this plot line, but once you get past the 10th, or so, time it becomes a bit repetitive. If you have not read others in the series,this is a fine stand alone book. Prince of Fire or the Rembrandt Affair are far better starting points. Also the continual background information about each character, in each book, begins to drive you crazy. Considering Silvia will probably continue writing this series, even though if you follow the series, Allon would now be about 70. I would suggest an index, if the front of the book listing the characters with a brief background, for new readers.Better yet, please take an additional year between releases and write a different subject book. Silva can certainly do this as he is by far one of the best writers producing popular fiction today. His first work, An Unlikely Spy, was one of the best five WW2 novels I have read. Try that, if you are tiring of the Allon series
⭐ Every year I look forward to Silva’s new book, which is my summer Christmas present. Once I receive it, I binge read then feel a bit sad because I want the story to go on and on. This year is no exception.House of Spies is one of Silva’s best. It has all the elements that make for a good read…action, intrigue, wonderful prose, and interesting characters. Silva brings back my favorite character, Christopher Keller, who play a major role in the search for Saladin, a terrorist who escaped in last year’s The Black Widow. Welcome Christopher…I hope you become a permanent fixture in Silva’s stories.Several reviewers gave “1” star ratings because they were angry about the PRICE. There is an easy solution…if you do not like the price do not buy the book. But please do not be unfair to the author and those expecting a sincere review by downgrading a book you have not even READ!
⭐ July is pyrotechnics month for many, and I am not talking about the fireworks on the 4th because it is in July that the new Gabriel Allon book by Daniel Silva comes out, and his readers are always ready and waiting for a dazzling display of hair raising, eye opening adventures. This year is no exception. The House of Spies begins immediately, or perhaps shortly after The Black Widow ended and with an even greater catastrophe.Multiple Security – read spy – Services are called into action, and over the next several chapters we meet old friends and enemies as well as some new ones. It seems there is an endless supply of terror, an appetite for drugs and a thirst for power that needs to be met by a small but determined band of sometimes rather unlikely heroes.Mr. Silva does his homework and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the mid-East and its problems, which he shares in the most spine tingling manner imaginable. This is far from fluff or fantasy; it is the stuff of nightmares, but luckily Mr. Silva’s stylish and graceful prose carries us along to the end without letting the story become too horrible to bear. This is not the first time Mr. Silva has displayed a certain prescience about current happenings in the world. There are attacks in the UK and France that were written before similar attacks actually took place. The physical Caliphate’s morphing into a cyber-Caliphate is discussed here too – and remember this was written months ago. There are also timely references to the new administrations in the US and other countries and how best to deal with them. I can think of several people in our government who would do well to read Daniel Silva.In The House of Spies, Gabriel is now the head of The Office, but if you think that means he won’t figure in the action, you do not know Mr. Silva or Gabriel Allon. While I did miss the beautifully crafted scenes of Gabriel at work as an art restorer – his working cover, but he is not supposed to be needing a cover these days, so it is quite understandable. We do get lovely moments with Chiara and the twins, and we meet many old friends, about whom we are given sufficient information to refresh a poor memory or catch up a first time reader.Most of the villains are despicable, as they should be considering what they do with drugs, weapons and people, but they can also be interesting, and occasionally even intelligent. There is a certain satisfaction in seen true evil – even in fictional form – wiped off the earth. What has gone around most definitely comes around and with quite an impact.What I love most about Daniel Silva’s 17 Gabriel Allon books are the characters, who are moving in my mind beyond friends into extended family, the humor of which there is a good deal even in the blackest moments, and the hooks at the end of each chapter, which are as addicting as oranges and pomegranates. The afterword is well worth reading; it is informative and enlightening.This book was different in some ways from the others. The differences stem largely from that fact that younger agents are doing more of the heavy lifting, but it in no ways detracts from excitement, suspense, urgency or desire to see the good guys save the world or at least a corner of it. The writing is masterful, the story cogent, and thankfully as bad as the real world has become, it is not this dreadful – yet.I read this book, as I do all Mr. Silva’s much too fast because I could not stop myself, These books make me rush not just from chapter to chapter but from book to book. I will be counting the days to next year’s “family” reunion wherever we may be taken, and will sate my appetite by reading some or all of the first sixteen books. This year was a treat, especially the stay in Saint Tropez and Morocco, where I had never been, but have now seen through Daniel Silva’s and Gabriel Allon’s eyes. Hurry up and dive into The House of Spies, even the cover is gorgeous; there are a lot of us waiting for you beyond the back cover.
⭐ I am a big fan of Mr Silva’s Gabriel Allon novels. Typically the author takes his time detailing the hook(s) to be set in the various antagonists. Once they are in place, I am still left in the dark as to how Gabriel plans to use them. Logically the plot develops momentum until it is harder and harder to break away from the time I spend reading the book. So many of Mr. Silva’s characters from the Allon series are known to me and I enjoy learning about their evolving personalities and activities. This is true of so many of Gabriel’s allies, including ones from other countries.. It was also pleasing to me that the author reprized his Black Widow character of Natalie. She has become a skilled spy in this book with the frightening downside of being recognizable by the terrorist Saladin. If the reader of this review is unfamiliar with this series, I recommend starting at the beginning. This will allow a natural fondness to develop for all the reappearing characters.
⭐ I’ve got 2 chapters left but I had to come on and give a review. I am SO ABSOLUTELY SMITTEN with Gabriel Allon and greatful to Daniel Silva for bringing all of these/his characters so richly to life. House of Spies is an absolute page turner as usual!! I tried to read slowly to make it last but couldn’t put it down! You will not be disappointed if espionage, action, intrigue are your things. Now as for the one star ratings??? Either not smart enough to follow such themes or are chomping on sour grapes because Amazon offered the book at a discount on Prime Deal Day. Get over it!!! Mr. Silva doesn’t own or control Amazon or his publishing company. Don’t be petty. These books are NEVER boring! A thrill ride!
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