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Books – Review of The New Girl by Daniel Silva – 2019 – Irresistible Thriller

the new girl book cover
The New Girl Book Cover

Book Review – The New Girl – Gabriel Allon # 19 – Irresistible Thriller

My Rating 4 out of 5

Plot Summary – The New Girl

I stumbled upon Gabriel Allon and Daniel Silva sometime in 2017, when my daughter received the “House of Spies” as a prize for academic achievements from her school. I started reading without much expectation from a hitherto unknown author (to me). But to my pleasant surprise, I was so enamored with the author, his style of writing, and the intricate storylines, that I over a period of the next year, read all the Gabriel Allon books, in chronological order. Through all that, I have become a super fan of the super spy, though there have been ups and downs, in terms of the likeability of some books in the series.

Installment #19 in the series starts with the mysterious appearance of a 12-year-old girl in an exclusive Swiss Boarding School. Though nobody knows anything about her, she arrives in an armored limousine, escorted by multiple bodyguards. It is later revealed that she is the daughter of Saudi crown prince, Khalid Bin Mohammed, one of the richest men on earth. KBM, as he’s fondly known, is a reformist in his Kingdom though of late his detractors are coming into strength. KBM wants to shake off the journey into hardcore Islam and move his country towards being a more progressive nation, though certain elements in his own country want him to fail.

The New Girl Book Launch Video

The character of KBM bears an uncanny similarity to the real-life Prince Mohammed Bin-Salman (or MBS), right down to the fact of his proximity to a certain journalist, who is then killed. (Khasoggi, in real-world). Anyway, back to the main story. KBM‘s daughter is kidnapped, despite the high security. So who does he turn to? Gabriel Allon – the head of Israel’s Spy Organization (here referred rather coyly as the Office!) joins hands with KBM to ensure that his daughter returns back to them. Gabriel enlists the aid of his former colleague, ex-CIA, and now museum curator Sarah Bancroft, to enroll everybody required for this elite team operation.

There are resonances of real political events or pressurizations within the story, which make them sound all the more real-life. The assembled team from Israel includes familiar faces from earlier novels and they settle down to analyze the circumstances that led to the kidnapping. As the investigation progresses, Ms. Bancroft and another British Special Agent – from MI6, no less, tangle into some romantic involvement, though Sarah continues to provide her expertise in matters of Art and other aid to the investigation. The rescue of KBM’s daughter can alter Israel’s position in the Arab world and thus have far-reaching geopolitical ramifications.

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The New Girl Alternate Book Cover

Conclusion – Book Review of The New Girl

As is usual to Mr. Silva’s penmanship – the incidents are closely linked to real incidents of the time in which the novel is based and makes it more relatable to the readers. The pace is blistery, the twists and turns is at times dizzying but what really stands out to me is the fact that Gabriel Allon is not made out as a hard-boiled spy. He has a family, is loyal to them and most importantly (at least for me), he is an art restorer of antique paintings. It adds a different dimension to his character.

For fans of Gabriel Allon, this is a must-read, though this is not one of the best in the series. The one that I started with – House of Spies, remains right at the top! I can hardly wait to get my hands on the 2021 release “The Cellist”.

the new girl author daniel silva

* 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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