Despite being a devoted Daniel Silva fan, sadly I have to confess that The Order reads more like a wannabe Dan Brown than a spy novel.

Enjoyable, yes.

But nothing more.

Initially, I was thrilled to see Gabriel Allon back in Venice and restoring Christian old masters. I have always enjoyed the mixing of the Jewish and Christian faiths and the love of art, in the earlier Allon books, but The Order lacks the tight focus of the earlier novels, and we get bogged down in Vatican politics and skullduggery, with not enough gritty Israeli life to counterbalance it all.

It is undoubtedly a good read, heavy on the appalling treatment of Jews over the decades, but at times it reads more like a history lesson than a thriller.

For what it’s worth, I am a Catholic and read this book over the Easter weekend, finishing it on Easter Sunday afternoon, so all the religious talk and the symbolism, and the historical after-effects of the Crucifixion were timely, to put it mildly.

But the book was not a thriller – it reads more like an interesting enough history lesson wrapped up in a murder mystery. It definitely didn’t grip me the way earlier Allon novels have.

Fun holiday read. Nothing more.

And to remind you, here are a few links to reviews of other Gabriel Allon books, which (I repeat) I by and large love. there are many more reviews of Mr. Silva’s books for you in my blog:

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