A Russian journalist dies and once more Gabriel Allon, the mysterious Israeli agent/fine picture restorer, ends up back in Moscow, a place he loathes, a place where he almost died once.
Bestselling thriller writer Daniel Silva has gone to the new Moscow, one of sudden self-made millionaires working at the same level of intrigue as the old KGB. Allon has just gotten married to Chiara and is on his honeymoon in Italy, happily restoring a painting under an alias, when his employers call, asking for a favor. It seems a second Russian journalist wants to tell Allon and only Allon why the first journalist, his co-worker, was killed.
This meeting never takes place – the second journalist is killed right before Allon can get to him – and in short order, Allon has a full-fledged case on his hands. Rather than coming back the next night, Allon enters into an extended absence from the Old Master and his new wife.
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Allon summons up an Israeli investigative team and he and his fellow agents eventually turn up the name of one Ivan Kharkov, a former KGB colonel. Kharkov has carried over his previous covert training into his new career as an international arms dealer, and one willing to sell to Al-Qaeda. To collect information on him, Allon must persuade Kharkov’s wife to betray her husband.
Moscow Rules refers to a list of rules to live by for spies in the former Soviet Union, the chief among them being: You are never completely alone. Silva’s latest is both fast-past thriller with all the appropriate twists and turns and a fascinating look at the inner workings of Russian society today.
A book signing by Silva is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, July 27 at Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. – Margaret Downing