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Saturday, October 08, 2016

The English Spy

My latest book checked out from the public library is The English Spy (Gabriel Allon Series Book 15) by Daniel Silva.

The series is about Israeli art restorer and agent, Gabriel Allon, and this installment takes us to Northern Ireland. Here below is a bit from an NPR interview with Silva about the book. You can listen to the whole interview at the link.

Daniel Silva On 'Double-Edged Sword' Of Writing An Israeli Spy Protagonist

Another summer, another best-seller from novelist Daniel Silva. In The English Spy, the most famous woman in the world — a titled and gorgeous ex-member of the British royal family — is sunk on her yacht. To track down her killer, British Intelligence needs a little help — actually, a lot of help — from Gabriel Allon, an unassuming art restorer who is also, to those who have to know, a legendary and indispensable Israeli spy.

The English Spy is Silva's 15th novel in what's become the Gabriel Allon franchise. He tells NPR's Scott Simon about the real tragedies that inspired the book and his relationship with his hit character ...

It was interesting to read about Ireland and the history and present of the Troubles there. One thing that was mentioned was the existence of peace lines, the barrier walls separating Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. Here's that bit in the novel, where Gabriel and an English friend are driving through neighborhoods ...

From Milltown they drove past the Ballymurphy housing estates to Springfield Road. Along its northern flank rose a barricade separating a Protestant enclave from a neighboring Catholic district. The first of the so-called peace lines appeared in Belfast in 1969 as a temporary solution to the city’s sectarian bloodletting. Now they were a permanent feature of its geography—indeed, their number, length, and scale had actually increased since the signing of the Good Friday accords. On Springfield Road the barricade was a transparent green fence about ten meters in height. But on Cupar Way, a particularly tense part of the Ardoyne, it was a Berlin Wall–like structure topped by razor wire. Residents on both sides had covered it in murals. One likened it to the separation fence between Israel and the West Bank.

“Does this look like peace to you?” asked Keller.

“No,” answered Gabriel. “It looks like home.”

- The peace line along Cupar Way in Belfast, seen from the Protestant side, Wikipedia


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