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.