Sunday, August 13, 2006

Daniel Silva's "The Messenger"

The basic tenet of Daniel Silva’s “The Messenger” is that Saudi petrodollars are financing Islamic Fascist Terrorism…not much of a stretch for me.

Abdul Aziz al-Bakari is the Saudi billionaire bankrolling the terrorists in this fascinating, intelligent, stylish and well-researched tale of international intrigue.

A plot to assassinate the Pope and destroy the Vatican leaves 700 murdered and St. Peter’s Basilica badly damaged…the Pope spared due to the efforts of Gabriel Allon (Israeli intelligence officer, assassin and patriot).

An attack upon Allon’s mentor and celebrated Israeli spymaster follows.

Allon organizes a team to locate the former Saudi intelligence agent responsible (Shafiq). Shafiq is well protected and secreted deep among the layers of al-Bakari’s vast financial empire.

Intense preparation, timely CIA support, and shrewdness, ingenuity: all are necessary to place a mole inside the world of al-Bakari---nicknamed Jihad, Inc.

The entire cast of abhorrent villains and dedicated good guys are fully portrayed and come to life on the pages.

The locations truly matter to the story and the deft plotting grabs you from page one.

“The messenger” will keep you up, make you think and entertain you…quite a trifecta.

A magnificent novel…not to be missed.

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