Monday, September 19, 2011

Portrait of a Spy, by Daniel Silva

This is the most recent in Mr. Silva's series of spy novels featuring the hero, Gabriel Allon, a sometimes art restorer and sometimes agent in the service of the State of Israel.    It is quite a good read, one of the best in the series, with credible situations and many references to current affairs in the mid-east.

I recommend it as an enjoyable novel in this genre.

The only problem, and it is not very pronounced in this book but promises to become a more noticeable issue over time, is the aging hero.   Mr. Silva shares the dilemma with many other successful franchise authors:  those who have built a career of many years, even decades, on the exploits of a wonderful hero.  At some point the dashing hero grows up.   The 60 year old spy isn't going to do things the same way as the 35 year old ubermensch.   I hope that Mr. Silva addresses this in an interesting fashion -- as opposed to pretending that time stands still for his hero.   I look forward to his next novels to find out the answer.

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