The Fallen Angel (Gabriel Allon #12)

While Gabriel is taking refuge restoring art in the Vatican, he is summoned to St. Peter's Basilica by the Pope's private secretary Donati; the body of a woman lies beneath Michelangelo's magnificent dome. The Vatican police suspect suicide, though Gabriel believes otherwise. Fearful that a public inquiry might inflict another scandal on the Church, Donati tasks Gabriel to quietly pursue the truth—with one caveat. "Don't ask too many questions." The dead woman had uncovered a dangerous secret—a secret that threatens a global criminal enterprise looting and sellingtimeless treasures of antiquity. Gabriel's investigation becomes a chess match between Gabriel and the terrorists planning the third Intifada. The climax takes place in Jerusalem on Good Friday during a visit of the Pope, with a breathtaking race between the terrorists and Gabriel and Eli to defuse a bomb that seeks to destroy the Temple Mount and all the history with it. A great read. Daniel Silva clearly has a better understanding of Middle East dynamics than most of us.

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