Silva returned to Washington DC, for a job with CNN's Washington Bureau where he worked as a producer and executive producer for several of the network's television programs. In 1994 he began work on his first novel, The Unlikely Spy. The novel became a bestseller and in 1997 he left CNN to pursue writing full-time.
Michael Osbourne series:
Gabriel Allon series:
Silva's first book The Unlikely Spy is a World War 2 thriller featuring Professor Alfred Vicary.
Silva's second and third books Mark of the Assassin and The Marching Season are known as the Osbourne series and are spy thrillers which feature an American CIA agent '''Michael Osbourne.
Books #4 to #11 are known as the Gabriel Allon Series. They feature Gabriel Allon as an agent/assassin in Mossad, the secret Israeli intelligence service. He works undercover as restorer of priceless works of art. Allon is featured in The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant and Moscow Rules.
Gabriel Allon was a former assassin for the Israeli Mossad. He is responsible for killing 6 of the 12 members of Black September for their actions in Munich during the 72 Olympics -- kidnapping and killing the Israeli athletes. He was recruited by spymaster Ari Shamron, referred to as the "Old Man," the "Sentinel" and the "Memuneh" (the one in charge). Allon was a promising young art student when Shamron approached him at school and persuaded him to help Israel avenge the deaths at Munich. Shamron set Gabriel Allon up with an apprenticeship with master art restorer, Umberto Conti, in Venice. This was all done for the purpose of creating a cover for Gabriel while operating on European soil. He worked under the alias "Mario Delvecchio" and was regarded as one of the world's greatest art restorers, specializing in the Old Masters. While Allon was in Vienna, along with his wife Leah and son Dani, on an operation, a car bomb exploded- killing Dani and bringing amnesia and trauma to Leah. Since then Gabriel refused to work for the office. However, many times since then, legendary spymaster Ari Shamron has brought Allon back to help the ever-needing Office with his assistance. Allon is immensely talented, and is becoming a legend himself. Throughout the books we often see him doubting his actions. He is an assassin with a conscience. However, Shamron is always there to help Allon justify his actions- and after a conversation with Shamron one rarely sees things the same. Allon begins to understand why it is not only okay for him to do what he does, but it is also necessary.
Throughout the series we see Allon, as well as those around him, go through major transformations. Gabriel is brought out of retirement several times, and once he sees himself begin an operation we always see him finish it. He instinctively approached these cases as though he is restoring a painting. Allon eventually comes back on the Office payroll, runs his own operations, and gets offered extremely important and high ranking jobs inside the Office.
Perhaps the most dramatic aspect of the series is Allon's personal relationship with his wife --Leah -- and other women. Whenever sent into the field, the woman accompanying him almost always falls for him. However, the ever-faithful Allon has difficulty sustaining a relationship with another woman ever since the car-bombing in Vienna because he still loves Leah. In the third book, The Confessor, we are introduced to a new woman in Gabriel's life, Chiara Zolli. She is also a member of the Office, and their relationship has been explored, deepened, and complicated over the remaining books of the series. However, the drama mostly lies when Allon visits his wife in the mental asylum. The most touching scenes involving these two are found in "The Prince of Fire" and "The Messenger." (Details will not be provided so as not to spoil the plot).
The Confessor takes Gabriel into the Vatican where he meets the "successor" to Pope John Paul II. The Confessor has its wishful side to it. This new Pope wants to simplify the Church and make it meaningful to Catholics who are abandoning it. He also feels a responsibility to apologize to the Jews for the failure of the Vatican/Pope to speak out against Nazism in WWII. Of course the opposition in the Curia sets the stage for this very tense and exciting story.
The Messenger continues Allon's relationship with the new Pope as the Vatican is targeted by the Saudi Muslim fundamentalists who are of the Wahabist sect.
The Secret Servant follows Gabriel Allon being called in to action when the daugher fo the U.S. Ambassador to England (The Court of St James) is kidnapped. It explores the rise of Islamic radicial fundamentalists in Europe.
Moscow Rules to be released July 22, 2008 features Allon and explores the world of Russia rising. The villain is a rich Russian oligarch who is a weapons dealer. The title is based on the cold war rules that CIA agents were trained in when operating against the Soviet Union... known as the Moscow Rules ... for example, "Dont look back, you are never alone."
The movie rights for the Allon series are under negotiation.
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