The Mark of the Assassin

[Amazon Link]

So back in 2017 I read The Unlikely Spy, a World War II thriller by Daniel Silva. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but was reluctant to commit to reading Silva's oeuvre. (Because once I start down that road, it's hard to stop.)

But I picked this, his second novel, at Portsmouth Public Library. See how it goes. Written in 1998, it's a globe-hopping tale of violence and intrigue, but mainly violence. The hero, Michael Osbourne, is a CIA employee whose career as a covert agent was terminated when a KGB assassin (we learn his code name is "October") brutally murders his girlfriend, implying his cover is seriously blown.

Years later, Michael's married and works as a staid analyst. But another murder comes to light bearing October's trademark (three bullets in the face), accompanied by a jetliner shot down by a Sidewinder fired from the waters off Long Island. So he's drawn back to the game, and finds himself finding out way too much about a nefarious plot involving … well, that would be telling. Let's just leave it at "nefarious".

Silva's a successful writer, but I didn't like the book much. Way too much unlikely dialogue, high amounts of coincidence, pointless descriptions. It's written from a tedious liberal perspective (no spoilers). And the ending is unsatisfying (slight spoiler) sequel-bait.

So I don't know if I'll continue with Silva. There are other books in the library.