Madeline Hart is a rising star in British government: beautiful, intelligent, driven to succeed by an impoverished childhood. But she also has a dark secret. She is the lover of the Prime Minister, Jonathan Lancaster. When she disappears on the island of Corsica, it's clear her kidnappers know about the affair and intend to make the PM pay dearly for his sins. Fearful of scandal that will destroy his career, Lancaster decides to handle the matter privately, and not involve the police.
Enter Gabriel Allon--assassin, art restorer and spy--who must find Madeline within seven days before she is executed. With the clock ticking, Allon is thrust into a deadly game of shadows in which nothing is what it seems--and where the only thing more dangerous than his enemies is the truth. Gabriel's mission takes him from the criminal underworld of Marseilles, to the stately corridors of power in London--and, finally, to a pulse-pounding climax in Moscow, a city of secrets and violence where there is a long list of men who want Gabriel dead…
"The psychology of kidnapping and blackmail forms the core of Silva's sixteenth spy story, an extended, scary chess game between two opponents, with the fates of both a young woman and the British government at stake. Series hero Gabriel Allon, who has worked for the Israeli intelligence as a spy and avenging angel (starting with Operation Wrath of God against the Black September terrorists), is convinced by a longtime British MI5 friend to help out the current prime minster. The woman with whom the married PM has been having an affair, herself a rising star in the government, has been kidnapped while on vacation on the island of Corsica. Her kidnappers send the PM a video of the woman admitting to the affair, sure to bring scandal and ruin if widely released. Finding the woman involves much guesswork and danger, with trips to locales ranging from the south of France to Paris to London to Moscow. As usual, Silva takes the reader hostage from page one with his canny mix of spy craft and suspense. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Silva's ongoing ability to combine le Carre-like texture with high-energy plotting has produced a string of commercial and critical successes. Chalk up another one.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.