Black Widow – Daniel Silva (Harper)
As a writer, I hate Daniel Silva. As a reader, I think Daniel Silva is among one of the masters. This is not a coincidence; I am of the belief that Daniel Silva is one of those true skillful wordsmiths who make the art of storytelling look easy as he weaves familiar characters and locales into a storyline that appears to be ripped from the headlines.
Just knowing the timeline for publishing a book, I know that is not case; that somehow Silva has divined from the world the potential for events to happen that later materialized. At work on the manuscript for his latest book, Black Widow when events occurred in France, he pondered scrapping the work because it cut too close to reality. It is that rare skill of taking raw elements of the world around them and honing them into a story that separates the artisans from the pretenders.
Gabriel Allon, Silva’s master art restorer, assassin and spy is back to battle the forces of ISIS, armed with his cadre of usual suspects and a mysterious newcomer he injects into the fray. Thought provoking and with just the right amount of tension to keep things moving along at a powerful clip, Black Widow will keep you guessing until the end. Great read.
Guilty Minds – Joseph Finder – (Dutton)
The third installment in the Nick Heller series, Guilty Minds, finds Heller, the private spy for hire, tasked with trying to unravel an assault on the reputation of the chief justice of the Supreme Court by a low life website dubbed The Scandal Sheet. Heller has just 48 hours before the story goes live and the clock is ticking.
Utilizing cunning and high tech skills, Heller makes quick work of debunking the story, toppling the website and the reporter. But was it all too quick? With shady characters around every corner and mysterious, high stakes powerbrokers around every corner and the high class call girl at the center of the story ending up dead, Heller knows their more to the story than he’s uncovered so far.
As always, Finder shows a word magician’s deft, sleight of hand to keep your focus off the prize. Add to that the fact that nothing in Washington, DC is ever what is really seems and you’ve got the makings of a tasty thrill ride.
Panacea – F Paul Wilson (Tor Books)
In his first outing since wrapping the Repairman Jack series with 2014’s Fear City veteran novelist F Paul Wilson brews up Panacea, which is a fine cocktail of one part medical thriller, mixed with three parts shadowy characters, a dash of good old fashioned murder and a shaker of religious fanaticism, just to keep things interesting.
Is there an ultimate cure for what ails you? Does this panacea exist? A terminally ill hires medical examiner Laura fanning to investigate and track down the miracle cure. The high stakes race is on, but Fanning is not just playing beat the clock, she finds herself thrusts into a life and death struggle with two secret societies that are battling for control of this secret.