Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva (♦♦♦♦)

Gabriel Allon, former Israeli spy and assassin, is restoring an altar piece in Cornwall, England when Ari Shamron goes in search of him and recruits him for a very special mission. One of the goals of this mission is to restore the image of the Office, which has been pummeled with several fiascos in the field; the main goal, however, is to execute a Palestinian terrorist to whom Gabriel is linked by blood. Only Shamron and the PM know who is involved in the operation, thus Gabriel must recruit people he knows to carry out the task. An aging French model and an audio tech are Gabriel’s helpers, but when the model-turned-secretary gets in too deep, Gabriel and Shamron will have to aid an adversary they’d rather live without.

This book is the first in the Gabriel Allon series and it already starts on a high note, amidst the Middle East Peace Talks from the Clinton administration. Characters such as the dashing yet whimsical Julian Isherwood and the demanding Ari Shamron are introduced. Julian is very funny despite his serious financial problems. Ari Shamron is a character so well depicted that he seems to come alive whenever he is around; he always gets his way, he has so much influence on others that they think they’re exerting their own will when they make decisions, yet Shamron knew how they would react all along. If Shamron weren’t so deceiving he’d belong commanding armies.

I didn’t like that the story starts almost nine years after the event that cost Danny his life and Leah her sanity; I would have preferred to know Gabriel from the beginning not the seasoned yet haunted veteran, but this event is a key piece in the story because Gabriel comes face to face again with Tariq, the man who took Danny’s life.


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    I haven’t gotten into this series but I plan to. Love espionage tales.

    1. James, thanks for stopping by. What I love most about this Gabriel Allon series is that fact and fiction intermingle perfectly, and one gets to learn a lot in the process. I'm almost done with this series; just three books away from the end so far.


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