“One day, thought Gabriel, his children would ask him about the troubled young man depicted in the portrait, and about the woman who had painted it. It was not a conversation he was looking forward to. Already, he feared their reaction. Would they pity him? Would they fear him? Would they think him a monster, a murderer? It was no matter; he had to tell them. It was better to hear the unhappy details of such a life from the lips of the man who had let it rather than from someone else. Mothers often portrayed fathers in too flattering a light. Obituaries rarely told the whole story, especially when their subjects led classified lives.”
In The Black Widow, Europe is rocked by terrorist attacks. ISIS claims responsibility and hundreds are dead. The word is in panic and world leaders are helpless (as usual) to do anything but talk about it. The latest attacks had something in common…they were all lead by “Black Widows” or Muslim women who were “widowed” during their jihadist activities. These women have vengeance on their minds. Israel has not been hit, but still faces daily “lone-wolf” knife attacks on its citizens, but Gabriel Allon is tasked to penetrate the ISIS network before they strike again.
Beside the fact that this novel is the usual high quality, action-packed story typical of a book by Daniel Silva the storyline seems ripped from today’s headlines. The author admits as much in his Forward and noted that he had written The Black Widow before all of the ISIS shootings and even considered not publishing the novel. We should all be glad that he did and hope that we have heroes like Gabriel Allon protecting us from the events in the book that will remain fictional. Another quote to leave you with;
“it was likely that in a few days’ time Americans would once again die in their own country because of an ideology, and a faith, born of a religion that most could not find on a map. the enemy could not be reasoned with or dismissed; it could not be appeased by an American withdrawal from the Islamic world. America could leave the Middle East, thought Gabriel, but the Middle East would follow it home.”