During my vacation, I went on a reading binge and posted almost daily. I also set myself some aggressive goals for 2015, particularly the one about posting something almost every week. And then January came, and my time and energy has been sucked into the report that is due at the end of the month. But even though I haven’t had as much time to read as usual, I’ve just finished the audiobook I’ve been enjoyably nibbling on while I commute.
The Heist by Daniel Silva is book #14 in the long-running series centering around Israeli Spy Gabriel Allon. While stronger than the previous entry, The English Girl, The Heist still missed giving me the thrills of the early installments. I spent the first half of the book going “this is too easy” and the second half wanting to scream “it’s obvious that it’s a trap.” Considering the demands of a book a year, it’s not surprising that parts of The Heist were formulaic and closely resembled parts of previous books. But once the plot started chugging, all that fell away in the joy of the chase.
I remember the early books in the series as being timeless. As has been his practice for the last few books, Mr. Silva is hyper-aware of current events and plugging close facsimiles of actual political figures and occurrences, in this case the recent shenanigans in Syria. As a result, I wonder how well the later books in this series will age. Will they still be interesting and relevant once the current bloodbath in Syria is old news?
There is a common phenomenon, especially in military SF, when your protagonist gets too powerful and promoted out of being able to go flitting across the universe leading the latest harebrained charge. Then the author has to decide what to do with the series – do you go back in time and fill in around the corners, do you write new books in the same world with your former protagonist appearing as an elder statesman, or do you start something entirely new. Mr. Silva spends just a little bit too long dwelling on that fact the events of the Heist are supposedly one last fling before Gabriel finally settles down and becomes head of “The Office.” It’s going to be interesting to see if Gabriel becomes spymaster to a younger protagonist, if he never retires and keeps trying to force his old bones to do the work of a younger man, or if Mr. Silva finally takes the time to come up with a fresh set of characters and a new milieu for his next book.
This is a series that I definitely recommend reading in order.