Book Review: Moscow Rules

I have to say, I’m still finding it so weird that I can write out my thoughts about each book I read. Usually, I just try and tell someone, who’s probably nowhere near as interested as I am, but now I get to tell you! And I love that! Okay, enough rambling! Confessions time: I actually love a good spy thriller but that’s a fairly recent development, and it’s all down to this guy: Gabriel Allon. Or, more specifically, his creator – Daniel Silva. I picked up my first Daniel Silva novel when the mum of the family I was nannying for at the time was reading The English Affair and I asked her if I could borrow it. That was 2014, and I’ve been hooked ever since. At the time, I didn’t realise there was an order to the books (and I’ll be honest I’m still making my way through them and have yet to read the first in the series – The Kill Artist) – but I think that that just proves, you don’t have to start at the beginning. So, moving onto the book. This is the official blurb:

Now the death of a journalist leads Allon to Russia, where he finds that, in terms of spycraft, even he has something to learn. He’s playing by Moscow rules now.

It is not the grim, grey Moscow of Soviet times but a new Moscow, awash in oil wealth and choked with bulletproof Bentleys. A Moscow where power resides once more behind the walls of the Kremlin and where critics of the ruling class are ruthlessly silenced. A Moscow where a new generation of Stalinists is plotting to reclaim an empire lost and to challenge the global dominance of its old enemy, the United States.

One such man is Ivan Kharkov, a former KGB colonel who built a global investment empire on the rubble of the Soviet Union. Hidden within that empire, however, is a more lucrative and deadly business. Kharkov is an arms dealer—and he is about to deliver Russia’s most sophisticated weapons to al-Qaeda. Unless Allon can learn the time and place of the delivery, the world will see the deadliest terror attacks since 9/11—and the clock is ticking fast.

Unsurprisingly, I loved this book. Israeli Assassin? Check! Mentions of Italy? Check! Jaunts through Europe? Check! Russian thugs? Check! It’s basically the perfect spy thriller!

One thing that I adore about Daniel Silva’s writing is that he gives you little tidbits about each of the characters throughout the books, but not enough that you’re satisfied! It keeps me coming back time and time. And, as a former politics student, anything involving the Middle East (fun fact: I grew up there!), Russia and the US has got me hooked from the get-go! This isn’t a book that’s going to have you thinking hard, looking up words in a dictionary (I know I can’t be the only one who does that!) or keep you awake at night trying to figure out what’s going on; but it is gripping, captivating and unputdownable. I read the whole thing in 5 days – and that included being at work for 8+ hours all week! If you’ve yet to pick up a Gabriel Allon thriller, do it, and do it now. I promise you won’t regret it for a single second.

Have you read any of Daniel Silva’s books? Are you hooked too? Are you into spy thrillers? Let me know in the comments! Until Friday!


Annéka xo