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The Order By Silva The Order By Silva

Gabriel is trying to enjoy some rest and relaxation with his family in Venice when he learns that an old friend has died. As it happens, this old friend was Pope Paul VII, and it’s not long before Allon is summoned by the pontiff’s personal secretary. Archbishop Luigi Donati has reason to believe that the Holy Father did not die a natural death. For each of the past several summers, Silva has delivered a thriller that seems to be ripped from the headlines.

This latest book feels, at first, like something of a throwback. The palace intrigue at the Vatican might seem quaint compared to Islamist extremism or Russia’s rise as an international influence, but Silva makes it relevant and compelling. Allon discovers that the most likely culprits in the death of the pope are connected to far-right leaders throughout Europe, and the rediscovery of a lost Gospel sheds new light on Christian anti-Semitism.

The villains here are Catholic traditionalists—Silva’s imaginary Paul VII looks a lot like the real-life Francis I—and “populist” politicians who appeal to nativist, anti-globalist sympathies. As Silva looks at European contempt for a new wave of immigrants from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, he finds a model for this xenophobia in ancient hatred of the Jewish people, and antipathy that has its roots in the New Testament.

He interjects a few Bible studies lessons and offers a bit of history as background; these passages add depth without impeding the forward momentum of the plot. Readers familiar with this series may notice the evolution of a motif introduced a few novels ago: In the world of Gabriel Allon, the United States has receded from relevance on the world stage.

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  • wbaj Posted November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    I am a huge Daniel Siva fan, but the “not so veiled” political views interjected in the story were disconcerting and distracting no matter where you place yourself on the political spectrum…..left, right, or down the middle.

  • kate08 Posted November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    I disliked all the politically correct points of view with little to no alternative side offered. Mr. Silva has gone to academia without investigating Christianity in a non-Catholic, or non-White Supremacy point of view. His postscript decries the white supremacists of South Carolina, who Christians also decry. The Catholic Church during the Holocaust has much to answer for, and for that I think the history is correct.John McArthur, John Piper, other apologists could balance his perspective. Biblical Christians defend Jews. But Mr. Silva does not believe the Bible is God inspired, so his viewpoint is predictable. He bashes the gospels as contradictory versus complementary. I would challenge him to read Isaiah 53 in light of the gospels. And I would challenge him to speak with apologists and weigh the arguments.

  • David Posted November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    Surprise!….Another hit job directed at the “right wing” from Daniel Silva. If you still have the capability of thinking for yourself, skip this political hatchet job on conservatives and evangelical Christians. Silva must be on the payroll of the democratic national committee…. The only real surprise?… they didn’t nominate Biden for the new pope at the novel’s end! Simply election year, liberal, political pandering. If you are a conservative and/or Evangelical Christian you would be better entertained by taking a nice walk…:)… skip the book… Unless you need a good laugh…!

  • D.G. Posted November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    Another wonderful Gabriel Allon book from Daniel Silva! This 20th book of the series starts with the death of the sitting pope at the Vatican, and some irregularities about the death noticed by the pope’s private secretary. Simultaneously in Israel the wife of Gabriel Allon, head of Israeli intelligence has gone to extraordinary lengths to engineer a vacation with the family for her hard-working husband. Their destination is Venice to visit her parents and spend some time in Italy – her home country and a place where Gabriel lived and worked for years.In a previous book in the series Gabriel saved the life of the pope and is a good friend of both the pope who has died and his private secretary Luigi Donati. Once Gabriel and his family arrive in Italy, hang onto your hats! Gabriel is drawn into investigating the circumstances surrounding the pope’s death. This trail leads to some very rich and powerful bad guys with a world-changing agenda. The mission is very personal to Gabriel in several ways, so there goes the vacation! Gabriel calls in the team from Israel to help, and we’re off on an adventure as only Daniel Silva can write one. I have to stop reading every now and again because the situation is so edgy it makes me nervous. After a few minutes I’m reading again eager to see what happens next. The answer is a lot, plus a surprise that I didn’t see coming at all!The book also has a subplot about what Gabriel’s life might look like after he retires. Sounds lovely and calm – why do I doubt that?I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. That said, I love the book, and have purchased a signed copy for my home library, and also ordered the eBook version.

  • Ruth L. Edenbaum Posted November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    Interesting Friends To Say The LeastIt is a no travel summer for most of the world, but thanks to Daniel Silva, you can go on a hair-raising, breathtaking, action packed, death defying, utterly fascinating trip through Italy and its neighboring countries as well as through several centuries of Christian history without even packing a toothbrush. Perhaps now is the time to state that I received a complimentary copy of The Order with the understanding that I would review it honestly. This is an honest review, albeit from a reader who has been following Mr. Allon through all of the previous nineteen books and has been eagerly awaiting #20. If you are a newcomer to the world of Gabriel Allon, there is sufficient background material given to keep you from feeling lost as well as the delight of encountering Mr. Silva’s sense of humor, sometimes when you might least expect it. The Order opens in Israel, but very quickly moves to Venice because Gabriel, now running The Office, needs a vacation. He’s always been a bit of an overachiever, but over the last two years, he has really outdone himself, and he is not getting any younger. Chiara, his wife, also a trained agent, and mother of their twins, makes some plans, and before you have turned very many pages, you are in Venice, Chiara’s home town, where her father is Chief Rabbi. She has even arranged a bit of restoration work to keep the artistic side of her husband occupied. They manage to enjoy a bit of relaxation, and then the Pope, a dear friend of Gabriel’s, dies. This is not a spoiler; it is the genesis of the entire story, which is both a murder mystery and a search for an ancient – if it ever really existed – book. Gabriel can hardly say no to the plea from another close friend, Archbishop Donati, to come to Rome because he suspects the Pope was murdered. A book, which has now disappeared, had been found in the Secret Archives by the Pope, who was planning to send it to Gabriel. Of course, it will only be for a night or two; however, you will probably devour the book in less time than it takes to sort out this mess which includes a missing member of the Swiss Guard, the Order of St. Helena, a secret society with strong ties to far right politicians all over Europe, and the book – a secret gospel that could shake Christendom and the Catholic Church to its very roots. We get to visit with some familiar faces from Rome, Switzerland and eventually old friends from Israel. Meanwhile the Vatican power players are slowly but surely trying to manipulate their candidate – there are more than one – into the Shoes of the Fisherman. Of course, with politics involved, there is also big money, powerful people inside and outside the church, and secrets that go back 2000 years, and which the ultra right inside and outside the Church wants to keep hidden from the world. Daniel Silva reveals, reviews and reviles ancient lies which are responsible for more than two centuries of death and destruction, murder and mayhem This is an important book, and an utterly compelling one. The Order might be my favorite in the series – at least until next year.

  • David E. Palmer Posted November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    Really used to like this author. This book sucks. I readfor entertainment, not to be lectured to. Painful. Libs will probably enjoy. Adieu, Mr Silva.

  • Kathy Weinstein Posted November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    Holy smokes! (Unapologetic pun) The Vatican is once again fortunate to have archetypal hero, Gabriel Allon ( poor guy thought he was getting a well deserved vacation, only to be summoned by someone to whom you do not decline). While Gabriel comes to the aid of The Vatican, Daniel Silva comes to the aid of this reader, who is escapism starved. With little entertainment value to be had on the big or small team, “The Order” comes to the rescue. In my house three copies are always required. I don’t like playing tug of war with my spouse. We pick up a third copy for my terrific father-in-law. One confession (bad pun), I did not see the denouement coming! A great read that will hit number one on the NYT List in no time.Kathy Weinstein

  • C. S. MCBRIDE Posted November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    Disappointingly boring. I find Catholicism boring and rife with hypocrisy to begin with, and this book — what I read of it — just solidified my view. Rather than the taut, suspenseful plot and dialog I’ve come to expect from Silva, I got Jewish history from Biblical times…pages upon pages of it. It got so boring that I only made it halfway through before just giving up. I don’t like nor care about the Catholic church, ergo I didn’t like nor care about the book. You can do so much better than this, Silva!

  • Foothiller16 Posted November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    That makes it readable, not necessarily good. Main problem — the author has become predictable. Second, it seems like a formula not a novel. Third, he takes care to make a parody of Trump in one of the characters (I am not a Trump supporter, but gad, it is tiresome). Hopefully, this is the last Gabriel book — the character is getting to be boring. Maybe one about Chiara (pre-Gabe)?I wish I had waited to purchase for $2 — used. Then someone else but the author would benefit.

  • Eric Barr Posted November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    Daniel Silva is a good writer who writes good books. He is an expert in characterization and dialog. This is true for the 20th adventure of Gabriel Allon. Unfortunately, his bias that the Church and Pope Pius XII, especially, are ultimately responsible for the anti Semitic horrors down through the centuries is an old tired canard that is not proven by historical facts. It will be interesting to see if the recently opened files on Pope Pius XII from the Vatican secret archives will prove me or Silva right on this. The Church has much to be responsible for, however, and is guilty of being anti Semitic, but Silva wishes to hype that too much especially when he blames the Gospels as the main source of it as if the gospel writers intended the anti Semitic pogroms of the future centuries. Added to that is the bizarre plot line of an undiscovered letter of Pontius Pilate which diminishes the stature of Christ. Silva gets the particulars of Church governance and the details of the Vatican right which is refreshing, but there is not much holiness to be found in this Church. The ending is preposterous and totally unbelievable. There have been lots of novels about undiscovered gospels which cast a negative light on the Church or seek to disprove Christianity and this novel, unfortunately comes close to the schlock value of those junk novels. Only Silva’s superior narrative style and superb hero rescues this work, although his political and religious views intrude so often that the novel threatens to become a screed against religion. Not his best attempt, but I’m glad I read it. I was just hoping it would be better.

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