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Book Review: The New Girl

Gabriel Allon, Israel’s own version of master spy James Bond, has another daring mission in Daniel Silva’s latest spy thriller “The New Girl.” (Harper/475 pages)

A young girl who had been attending the exclusive International School of Geneva is kidnapped. But the 12-year-old child is not just another young child of privilege. She is the offspring of Khalid bin Mohammed, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

In what may be the most unlikely of alliances, Khalid bin Mohammed enlists the aid of Israel’s top spy, Gabriel Allon, to retrieve his beloved daughter.

Khalid bin Mohammed, or KBM, is a man with many enemies. At first thought to be a reformer, KBM had a prominent dissident murdered in something reminiscent of the real world murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi, who had been critical of Mohammed bin Salman.

Once again, Allon finds himself caught up in that tangled and murky world of the geopolitical power struggle for Saudi Arabia in a case that threatens the fragile stability of the Middle East and much of the world. He encounters his arch-rival, Rebecca Manning, the daughter of Kim Philby, of the infamous Cambridge Five, who, like her father, became a Russian double-agent.

Silva’s “The New Girl” is a first-rate story of intrigue which provides the author with an avenue to voice his opinion of the current state of affairs. While much has been written of Putin’s attempt to throw mischief in the 2016 American presidential contest, Silva sees the Russian bear flexing its paws in the British exit from the European Union. And when it comes to assassinating the enemies of Mother Russia, Silva makes note of the creative tools for killing employed by Putin’s agents.

For the person who likes a great story of espionage and intrigue, Daniel Silva’s art restorer and master spy, Gabriel Allon, is a great match for Ian Fleming’s 007.