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.