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Books – Review of The Cellist by Daniel Silva – 2021 – Outstanding Thriller

by AniM
the cellist book cover
The Cellist Book Cover

Book Review – The Cellist – Outstanding Thriller

My Rating – 4 out of 5

Plot Summary – The Cellist

The broad categorization of the Gabriel Allon series as thrillers is a little too broad, they are Spy Thrillers a la James Bond, without the fancy and mostly ridiculous gizmos. They can mostly be read as standalones, as there is generally some backstory to put some of the incidents in perspective. Gabriel Allon is the Chief of Israel’s Spy Agency – known as the Office – after leading an extremely eventful life, which can be traced back to the ‘Wrath of God’ operation where he and his team eliminated the Munich Olympic assassins. His legend has grown and now his term as Chief is about to come to an end, and he is not keen to return to the post.

Viktor Orlov, a Russian Oligarch, defector, and a Kremlin critic is now living in London amidst bountiful luxury. But one day, he’s murdered by introducing a nerve agent through some documents delivered to him. The carrier of those documents is an editor of one of the magazines owned by Viktor, who is thus the prime suspect in his murder. The murder is discovered by Sarah – an ex-CIA operative who’s currently working as an Art Gallery Director in London and was about to sell a painting to Viktor. Sarah also happens to be Gabriel’s protege and this brings Gabriel and the office into the picture. It is abundantly clear that Russia is behind this and now retribution is due.

The Cellist Audiobook Excerpt

Gabriel decides that the best way to do it is to squeeze the Russian’s wealth pipeline – the biggest offender being their Premier and thus begins a financial operation to bankrupt the billionaires. Gabriel and his team identify the chief Russian money launderer – Akimov and plan to lure him into making large transactions on behalf of those who want their monies washed and recirculated back to them. For that purpose, they recruit the services of a bonafide Banker, Isabel Brenner – a whiz kid in financials along with being a gifted Cellist – the quality that Gabriel wants to use to lure Akimov in. Akimov is a dedicated classical music lover and a Piano player himself.

Things go according to plan initially but then at the last moment it all spectacularly goes to hell! Daniel Silva’s books are generally like that, along with being a Global playground – from Paris to Washington, London to Jerusalem and anywhere in between. The team at Gabriel’s disposal is best of the best but in this case have little else to do besides working in the background. So you don’t get to see too much into their lives as in the earlier ones.

the cellist alt book cover
The Cellist Alt Book Cover

Conclusion – Book Review of The Cellist

This is a gritty spy novel with a lot of political intrigue thrown in. Recent events of global significance also find a lot of resonance in the narrative – the US Presidential election, the turmoil surrounding the event and the chaos and destruction unleashed on 6th January, 2021 at the behest of the outgoing President, the Russian interference, money laundering etc. The pace is blistering and the twists and turns surprising but regrettably, this is a little less magnetic than the earlier ones of the series.

The melancholy that accompanies Gabriel and his inner turmoil, makes him an unique hero – a man reluctantly leading a fledgling nations fight against the conspiracies of a broader world and through his sheer willpower and perseverance winning most of those skirmishes. In the huge ocean of cop stories and criminal investigations that surround us today, this comes across as a breath of fresh air with its unique differences. I always love reading Daniel Silva and Gabriel Allon!

the cellist author Daniel Silva
Daniel Silva – Author of The Cellist

* I hope you have liked reading this book review, as much as I have enjoyed writing this! Do watch this space for more such reviews and navigate through the links below for more… Thank you!! *

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