Moscow Rules


I am a big fan of thrillers, in particular if there is any serialization involved (a single character appearing in multiple novels – and there is a particular order in which the books should ideally be read).

Some authors and their series thrillers that I enjoy are :

  • Sue Grafton – The Kinsey Millhone Alphabet series
  • Michael Connelly – The Hieronymus Bosch series
  • John Sandford – The Prey series
  • Patricia Cornwell – The Kay Scarpetta series (the first few novels only)

Since, most of these series are coming close to an end (or more accurately I am reading them faster than the writer can produce them), I have been on the lookout for other such novels.

One that I read recently is Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva.

The protagonist is Gabriel Allon – an art restorer turned secret servant agent who works for the Israeli government. He is put in charge of tracking illegal arms sales to Al-Qaeda by a Russian arms dealer.

The plot moves quickly and has a lot of action. However, some points really brought the tone of the book down.

Stuff I didn’t like :

  • The agents are able to get assistance from US, UK, and France so easily, that it is simply unbelievable. Just does not seem remotely realistic.
  • Gabriel Allon is able to escape twice from the hands of the Russian goons twice ! just because of pure dumb luck. In the climax, things are looking exceedingly black for him. But for the help of a would-be Russian defector who rescues him and helps him get out of Russia, he would have been tortured and killed. I would have liked the novel much better if he had been able to get out because of his own ingenuity.
  • The climax is crap (as you might have guessed from the above point). Happy endings all around – even the villain does not die. He continues to live in luxury in Russia accompanied by a supermodel.

However, in spite of these issues, the book is not all bad. Decent timepass, and I wouldn’t mind trying another one from the series before I pass a value judgement on the entire lot.

  • vinayvasan

    If you like thrillers and serialization, then you should try Vince Flynn

    • Thanks for the suggestion 🙂
      I”ll look him up next time I visit the library

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