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The Black Widow (Gabriel Allon Series #16)

The Black Widow (Gabriel Allon Series #16)

4.4 56
by Daniel Silva

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Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

“Fascinating, suspenseful, and bated-breath exciting…. Silva proves once again that he can rework familiar genre material and bring it to new life.”
   — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Silva builds suspense like a symphony conductor.... A winner


Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

“Fascinating, suspenseful, and bated-breath exciting…. Silva proves once again that he can rework familiar genre material and bring it to new life.”
   — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Silva builds suspense like a symphony conductor.... A winner on all fronts.”
   — Booklist, starred review

Bestselling author Daniel Silva delivers another spellbinding international thriller—one that finds the legendary Gabriel Allon grappling with an ISIS mastermind.

Gabriel Allon, the art restorer, spy, and assassin described as the most compelling fictional creation "since Ian Fleming put down his martini and invented James Bond" (Rocky Mountain News), is poised to become the chief of Israel’s secret intelligence service. But on the eve of his promotion, events conspire to lure him into the field for one final operation. ISIS has detonated a massive bomb in the Marais district of Paris, and a desperate French government wants Gabriel to eliminate the man responsible before he can strike again.

Acclaimed novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled, entertained and educated readers with eighteen thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back—from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. From its shocking opening to its explosive denouement in Washington, D.C., The Black Widow reveals itself as Silva’s most timely and powerful novel yet. Following the success of his smash hit The English Spy, this electrifying thriller showcases Silva’s consummate skill and brilliant imagination, and is sure to be a must read for his multitude of current and future fans.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 07/04/2016
Bestseller Silva's riveting 16th novel featuring the legendary Israeli art restorer and spy Gabriel Allon (after 2015's The English Spy) finds Gabriel on the trail of a secret ISIS terrorist known as Saladin after a vicious attack in Paris kills Gabriel's longtime friend Hannah Weinberg, the leader of the Isaac Weinberg Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism in France. One of the escaped Paris terrorists, Safia Bourihane, has been dubbed the black widow, but far more interesting is another black widow, this one created by Gabriel himself. Natalie Mizrahi, a doctor in Jerusalem, is recruited, trained, and inserted into a massive operation to locate Saladin so Gabriel can kill him. Gabriel process of turning a civilian into a spy and the meticulous maneuvering of his team are fascinating, suspenseful, and bated-breath exciting. The satisfying open ending promises more to come in the Saladin saga. Silva proves once again that he can rework familiar genre material and bring it to new life. Nine-city author tour. (July)
Huffington Post on The Heist
Praise for Daniel Silva:“Magnificent….This book has all the elements you love about Silva’s writing-his way with a plot, his incomparable characters, and the range of emotions he piles into his pages.”
Fort Worth Star Telegram on The Heist
Politico on The Heist
“Silva is a true genius with his portrait of the Israeli assassin-art restorer facing new, real world complexities.”
Library Journal
Art restorer, assassin, spy—Silva protagonist Gabriel Allon could be heading anywhere in his new global thriller (no plot reveals yet). Silva himself will be heading on a ten-city tour. With a 500,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-06-22
A fitting (supposedly) final mission for one of fiction's greatest spies.A bomb explodes in the Marais district of Paris, a region known for its large Jewish population. One of the victims had a personal connection to Gabriel Allon, the man poised to become the next chief of Israel's intelligence service, and that's why the legendary assassin and spy joins the hunt for a terrorist mastermind known only as Saladin. Allon has been trying to escape his past since he first appeared in The Kill Artist (2000), so it's no surprise that Silva must provide a lure if he's going to get his hero back into the field for one last mission. But the 16th installment in this series is marked by a subtle shift in emphasis. Allon remains as compelling as ever, but Silva is clearly preparing readers for a world in which his hero takes a supporting role. Two members of Allon's team—Mikhail Abramov and Dina Sarid—seem poised to play a larger part in future novels. But it's Allon's newest recruit who takes center stage here. Dr. Natalie Mizrahi is a French-born Israeli. As Leila Hadawi, the daughter of Palestinian refugees, Natalie becomes part of the terrorist network ruled by Saladin. This is not the first time agents have gone undercover in one of Silva's novels, but Natalie's experience is the most harrowing. A Jew hiding in the heart of the so-called caliphate, she knows that a single misstep will result in her own horrific death. More than that, she knows that failure to complete her mission will mean hundreds—if not thousands—more deaths. Before he became a novelist, Silva was a journalist stationed in the Middle East. His Gabriel Allon novels have tracked—and, in some cases, anticipated—the rise of the Islamic State group. In his foreword, he notes that he began writing this story before the Paris attacks of 2015. A dark thriller for difficult times.
Huffington Post
“A literary powder keg.”
iBooks Reviews
“Slow-burn suspense.... We stayed up way too late... but we justified the sleeplessness as a learning opportunity: amidst the action, Silva gives a surprisingly thorough crash course in the history of ISIS and the Middle East.”
Washington Post
“The novel’s grand finale is heart-stopping, unexpected and deeply unsettling.”
Dallas News
“To say that Daniel Silva is a best-selling author is a bit like saying Henry Aaron was a decent home-run hitter.”
“A bit James Bond meets Jason Bourne and…sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.”
Colleen Kelly
-”An exceptional spy thriller, well written and timely, weaving history seamlessly into a sumptuous page-turner of a novel.... Longtime fans will revel in familiar faces... and Silva’s understated but deft writing.... For newcomers, well, what are you waiting for?”
Hugh Hewitt
The Black Widow probably is the most important book of the summer, no matter who you are or where you live in America.”
starred review Booklist
“Silva builds suspense like a symphony conductor.... A winner on all fronts.”
Broadway World
“A stunning new thriller of high stakes international intrigue…. Silva’s most timely and powerful novel yet.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Gabriel Allon Series , #16
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.80(d)

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Meet the Author

Daniel Silva is the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Unlikely Spy, The Mark of the Assassin, The Marching Season, The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules, The Defector, The Rembrandt Affair, Portrait of a Spy, The Fallen Angel, The English Girl, and The Heist. His books are published in more than thirty countries and are bestsellers around the world. He serves on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and lives in Florida with his wife, journalist Jamie Gangel, and their two children, Lily and Nicholas.

Brief Biography

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The Black Widow 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
ScottBrazil More than 1 year ago
"The Black Widow" showcases why Daniel Silva is my favorite author of spy novels. As with all of the other books in this series, the book is clear and beautiful in its prose, it is timely in the global issues it deals with, it leads the reader on a virtual tour of exquisite locations, it incorporates art, culture, and religion in ways that are informative, and the characters continue to develop as the series progresses. As others have already commented, this book is very hard to set down once you begin reading. I had the sense that Mr. Silva really enjoyed writing this one and, because of that, the reader will really enjoy the experience of losing themselves in the tale that is told. I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great summer read, whether you are a long-time fan of the Gabriel Allon series, or have yet to experience what I believe to be the best series going right now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’ve always been a big fan of Daniel Silva’s books. But in the Black Widow has outdone himself. There is a quick-witted edginess to his writing that is thrilling and refreshing! In this book, Gabriel Allon returns with his trusted friends from the “Office” to find the perpetrators of a terrible terrorist attack in the Marais in Paris, in which one of his close friends was a victim. New readers will have the privilege of falling in love with the characters for the first time, while long-time fans will feel as if they are being reunited with old friends. In the Black Widow, Daniel doesn’t mince words. From the Islamism of ISIS that is ignored by the current American Administration, to France’s historically misplaced loyalties, to the consequences of poor American foreign policy in the Middle East, he tackles important issues head on. Daniel continues to entertain while educating, in this riveting and explosive page-turning new plot. The Black Widow is one of his best works to date. Bravo!
WntrPkgrl More than 1 year ago
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!
librogattoRE More than 1 year ago
"The Black Widow", the sixteenth book in Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon series, is a sizzling sensation. It starts with a bang and takes the reader on the sort of breathless, dizzying and sometimes scary ride that is Mr. Silva's specialty. Do not start this book as bedtime reading unless you plan to be up most of the night because each chapter ends with a tasty tantalizing come-on that has you desperate to read just one more, and then another. The author's background as a reporter in the Mid-East, his encyclopedic knowledge of the history, geography and politics of that region as well as its relations or non-relations with the rest of the world gives every aspect of the story a sense of authority and veracity. Daniel Silva knows his stuff, and before long you will too. Mr. Silva has wisely allowed his characters to age, gracefully and gradually so that Gabriel no longer handles every mission himself, but still manages to be in the thick of things operationally. At the end of the previous book, he was on the verge of becoming a father, and now the twins are nearly one year old with Chiara, radiant as ever, a full time mother. There are touching, tender and very real scenes of this little family of four scattered through the books making sweet spots of refuge among the horrors of the today's world of jihadists and terrorism. Gabriel's team is still intact although some favorites were relegated to smaller roles and others are brought front and center. The villains are just that. No one will feel any remorse at their demises, but villains can be interesting as well as evil, and at least one appears to have made it out alive possibly to wreak havoc on another occasion. We have a new heroine - a doctor - whom we follow through both her operative training by Gabriel's team and then her jihadist training elsewhere. In both cases, the process is fascinating, frightening and very believable. We journey across the world from major cities to small villages to the middle of nowhere and back again. The Black Widow" stands alone very nicely because it has been enriched with neatly placed tidbits from the past. Some people, who have read many or all of the series, may wonder why they needed to be reminded of Gabriel's past - both personal and professional, but the reminders make it possible for a first time reader to follow the flow of the story more fully. It is also possible some people may need reminding - not everyone has read all the books two or three or more times, and finally people do reminisce. It makes the characters seem very real when they speak, think or dream about moments in their lives that have affected them profoundly. There is humor in The Black Widow; perhaps not as much as in The English Spy, but it is there in a momentary situation, a turn of phrase or a few words of conversation. You will smile and possibly even laugh between the gasps. The Black Widow rockets from the beginning horror to a final one keeping you on the edge of your seat, hoping that all your favorites will make it safely through to book 17, and profoundly grateful that as devastating and deadly as the terror attacks in this book are, they are still mainly confined to the pages of the book. Do take a moment to read the Foreword at the very beginning. It contains no spoilers; it may help you better understand the story, and it will give you some insight into the author. Don't just put, "The Black Widow" on your "to read" pile; put it right on top.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All his books are great reads. The English Spy my favorite. This has more facts and history than the other Allon books and he is not the appealing enigmatic central character, a Jason Bourne type. Nevertheless a great eacape and adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Daniel SIlva has once again outdone himself. I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous 4 months ago
As always, an interesting and fast paced read. Only can hope that these things never happen . ..but unfortunately they probably will,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read many of Daniel Silva's books and always find them great. However, I feel this is one of his very, very best.Read it and enjoy! Kat
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Daniel Silva's work is getting tiresome. Lots of paragraphs repeat history from prior books, especially the same characters; and it seems that his pronounced political bias regarding US and other country political and intelligence agencies always being wrong and Israel always being right overwhelms his nicely constructed spy stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Black Widow is a story of our times. It's realistic depiction of what could happen in the U.S. It is a chilling reminder that we need to recognize the enemy for what they really are, fanatical Islamic terrorists. To avoid this puts us at increased peril.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story too convoluted. Some ridiculous outcomes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Impossible to put down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read every book in the Allon series, always eager for the next. Silva gave so much attention to the plight of Israelies, I felt I was being preached to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well crafted characters in a seamless plot that might have been lifted from the dailies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scary and realistic. Good character development.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous 4 months ago
MBReader 6 months ago
I never get tired of The Gabriel Allon series. This on his no exception. My only problem is that they do not come out as fast I would like.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Not great. Disappointed
Anonymous 10 months ago
When will we have a gabriel movie
Anonymous 12 months ago
Excellant read. Scary back ground plotting. Terrorism is everywhere. Hope there's more Gabriel in the future. Love these books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a great fan and love all of his books. I was very very disappointed in this book. The plots just didn't come together. A few of the character storylines weren't fully developed. The love story was out of left field with no back story for the viewer to understand how they got there. Silva continued rants on the American president and his incompetence was just too political. The ending of the book seem to view our spy services as incompetent as our president. It feels like he couldn't figure out the next transition for Gabriel Allon. Just sad.
thewanderingjew More than 1 year ago
The setting is Paris. The time is now. The book and its theme are sadly very current. Before the book begins, the author explains that he began to write this novel prior to the actual terrorist attacks that took place in Paris in which Jews were targeted. His prescience is not a badge of honor he wished to wear. In the book, three 12-year olds, two boys and a girl, were viciously attacked by Islamic extremists, in an apparent overt act of anti-Semitism. The attackers were heard to chant a statement in Arabic referring to the Caliphate. The rise of these attacks against Jews in recent months, which had been treated lightly by the French government in an attempt to maintain a politically correct environment, avoiding unnecessary incidents within the Muslim community, led to a gathering of prominent Jewish leaders who will attempt, together, to find a solution to the re-emergence of assaults reminiscent of the 1930’s and 40’s and the rise of Hitler. As the meeting begins, there is an enormous explosion that takes the lives of most of the attendees. This bombing is followed by the cold-blooded murder of all those who managed to survive the attack, even those already gravely injured. Then the attackers disappeared into the street, seemingly without a trace. The Isis inspired assault was part of a plan for a series of more and more devastating attacks, some which would soon reach the shores of the United States. The Isis leader wanted to draw America more fully into the conflict between Radical Islam and the rest of the world, hoping that doing so would further the spread of the Caliphate throughout the modern world. Stage left, enter Gabriel Allon, an Israeli who had been rumored to be dead and duly mourned, a master spy who is very much alive and planning to soon come out of his “retirement” to take over the leadership of the Mossad, commonly referred to as “The Office”. Israelis had attended the important meeting of Jewish leaders who fought for the cause of Judaism, and they had been assassinated along with all the others. Israel had been provoked into action by this mass murder and was anxious to find the perpetrators and prevent further violence. At first, the search began quietly, with Israel, France and Jordan working together, but soon, America and England were drawn into the effort, as well, as attacks spread and continued. Would they find the assassins before there was another attack? How many would die in America and abroad before the assassins were brought to justice? How would they capture them when their trail was cold and the moving parts were not necessarily aware of each other? Even those involved within the corps of Isis were eliminated at the drop of a hat if they are thought to be compromised and a leak was possible. Isis is a brutal enemy that must be brought down, but will the forces attempting to defeat them be successful? When it was discovered that a man called “Saladin”, whose true identity was unknown, was leading the current violent effort for radical Islam, all agreed that he must be stopped. An Undercover agent was planted within the organization, against all odds, and she faced grave danger. Would she survive? Will she alone be successful in bringing this Isis cell and Saladin down? The thriller twists and turns as the terror spreads and the investigation becomes more and more dangerous for all involved. The book is narrated really well by George Guidall who always does a good job of keeping the listener en