Thursday, May 5, 2011
Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva
What makes Daniel Silva's thrillers interesting (and I've read several) are Gabriel Allon, Israeli agent and superbly talented art restorer. Certainly, reading an espionage thriller from the Israeli standpoint is a nice twist relative to the same old CIA/NSA/DIA thing.
But about three quarters of the way through Moscow Rules comes a plot twist so completely out of the blue that it killed the whole story. Bing, bang, boom and everyone's having a glass of Chardonnay and getting debriefed.
It goes a little something like this. Gabriel Allon is plying his day job in a remote Italian villa restoring a painting for the Pope. His spymaster calls and asks him to run a brief errand which goes badly and ends with his source dying in his arms. This leads to a Russian venture capitalist, real estate developer and arms dealer who's about to score a big deal with terrorists.
Can you tell I lost my enthusiasm for this book?
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".. and I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids ..." ?
It's not quite Scooby-Doo bad. But one thing that bothers me about some fiction is when they reference an experience from a previous novel in Hardy Boys way. "Frank and Joe barely escaped, just like last summer in the Mystery of the Swamp Monster." Makes me cringe when I run across that in "serious" fiction.
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