Two days back, my husband needed to go to the bookstore and he asked me if I wanted to go along. I didn’t need a second invitation. It is a rare instance when my husband takes me to a book store, willingly. ( He doesn’t appreciate my book reading habit and the amount of money and time I spend reading fiction). I got a couple of books ( I still love reading hard copies of books and though can read on kindle, am not fully satisfied with a book, until I have seen it physically myself).
So I came back from the bookstore, having spent about $50 in books and four books in tow.
One of those books was a book by an author I have never read before called Daniel Silva. The review at the back of the book said it was a spy thriller and based in Europe and the Levant- two of my own favourite locations for a crime thriller.
The book did not disappoint.
The main character of the book is an Israeli spy come art restorer, who gets involved in a brutal murder of an art thief James Bradshaw in Como, Northern Italy. I have travelled by the side of Lake Como and remembered my bus ride through the unending lakeside.
Gabriel Allon, the Israeli art restorer was asked to help finding out who murdered James Bradshaw and also where a long lost painting by Caravaggio was, which had been in the possession of Bradshaw before he died.
Much against his wishes, and to clear the name of a fellow art lover, he had to leave his art restoration work and pursue the murderers of the Englishman Bradshaw, through Italy-from Como, to Milan to Rome, to Corsica, where an old ally from the Italian mafia and a chance encounter with an old soothsayer, give him courage and encouragement to go ahead with his task.
He then travels to Jerusalem where he gathers a group of his colleagues, who all accompany him to the tiny town of Linz in Austria, where they work to spy on a Syrian banker, who has a direct hotline to the Syrian president.
A few lives are lost before Allon is able to get to the bottom of things and help a daughter of Hama revive her faith in humanity.
I loved this book because :
For one, I understood that my preferred book genre is crime and spy fiction, particularly if its laced with history.-Umm, delicious.
Second, I love well-researched books, which make sense and have an ending. I hate books that leave you guessing at the end of the book and have no firm conclusion. Have you ever faced this ? Do you like it if the author of the book ends the book abruptly ?
Third, in spite of the highly dangerous and thriller instances in this book, the characters were not ruthless and cruel, just for the sake of being cruel or because they enjoyed killing people or animals .All of them had human sides, families, a job apart from spying and so on- in other words, they were all portrayed as human and that again was a novelty for me.
Have you ever read a book that you needed to put down many times while reading because it got so thrilling in between that you thought you might get a heart attack if you kept on reading ?
This book made me take a lot of breaks to recover from its high drama and thrills.