Silva’s fourth novel in the Allon series, Prince of Fire begins with a truck bomb at the Israeli embassy in Rome, leaving more than 50 people dead. Investigating whether the truck bomb is connected to the bombings of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Silva takes his reader on a journey through the streets of Italy and Israel in an attempt to solve this case. We meet Ari Shamron, now 75, a wise and aged gentleman who once headed Israel’s secret service and was Allon’s mentor. Weaving fact with fiction, Silva presents a suspenseful novel for those who long for a political spy thriller and an understanding of Middle East issues. His characters are provocative, often flawed, as they shift through their countries and impact upon one another in an attempt to deal with racism, xenophobia and genocide as they exist today. Although it is well written, I found the book often slow and somewhat confusing for those with no exposure to Silva’s other novels. Nevertheless, his characters are believable, brought to life by Silva’s eye for detail.
Barbara S. Cohen is a trial attorney in Los Angeles who specializes in child abuse cases. She is a member of NAMI and a supporter of NARSAD, and is an advocate for those who suffer from mental illness.