The Defector is the ninth novel in the Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva. This series is about a man who is an agent and assassin for the Mossad, the secret service in Israel. When undercover he works as an art restorer, bringing life back to ancient paintings. I am a massive fan of this series and eagerly await the release of each new book. I actually made my way to the store the day this book was released to snap up a copy! I was very excited and it took a lot of self composure not to do a happy dance around the store!
In this book, Gabriel is happily married to his new wife Chiara, recovering from the mission that he undertook in the previous book, (assignment: bring down a Russian oligarch and arms dealer, Ivan Kharkov). Unfortunately for Gabriel, Kharkov is not happy and is hell bent on revenge. Not only revenge towards Gabriel, but also against the defector, the former Russian intelligence officer Grigori Bulganov who saved Gabriel’s life and helped Ivan’s wife and children escape to America.
Now Gabriel must once again race against time to save innocent lives and come face to face with the Russian oligarch to try and finish this once and for all.
Gabriel Allon brought down the most dangerous man in the world. But he made one mistake. Leaving him alive…Spy turned art restorer Gabriel Allon is trying to resume his honeymoon in the secluded hills of Umbria with his new wife, Chiara, when shocking news reaches him from London. The defector and former Russian intelligence officer, who saved Gabriel’s life in Moscow Rules, has vanished without a trace. British intelligence suspect the defector was always a double agent, but Gabriel is convinced otherwise.Gabriel and his team find themselves in a deadly duel of nerve and wits with one of the world’s most ruthless men: the murderous Russian oligarch and arms dealer Ivan Kharkov. It will take Gabriel from a quiet mews in London to the shores of Lake Como, to the glittering streets of Geneva and Zurich and, finally, to a heart-stopping climax in the snowbound birch forests of Russia. Faced with the prospect of losing the one thing he holds most dear, Gabriel will be tested in ways he never imagined possible. And his life will never be the same.
Like all Daniel Silva books this novel is a real page turner, it is faced paced, full of drama and suspense. It carries on the story from the last novel really well (that said, you could pick up any Gabriel Allon novel and read it as a stand alone as everything is always explained). I started reading this series with The Confessor, the third novel in the series which is about the Vatican’s true response to the Holocaust, and enjoyed it so much I quickly grabbed copies of all the other novels in this series and devoured them all. Since then I have been addicted. My only criticism is now I have to wait another 12 months for the next novel in this series!