Not the best moments of Daniel Silva
*** SPOILERS! *** SPOILERS! *** SPOILERS! ***
I am afraid I found "The Marching Season" rather sloppy,
meaning that the scenario was not always convincing
and in some aspects it contradicted the previous book
("The Mark of the Assassin"), for a number of reasons
(in no particular order):
1) Obsourne appears to have forgotten that it knows the
identity of the killer, referring to him only as October, and
not mentioning his real name at all, even though he has
read his file and knows who he is (in fact, he expoilted this
knowledge at the end of the previous book to unerve the
2) In the previous book, the Director orders the elimination
of October, to cover up all tracks to his organization. October
manages to escape, pressumably eliminating in the process
his would be killers. However, in "The Marching Season" there
is no information on how October managed to escape. Even
more strange, there is no explanation as to why October
chooses to work again for the guy who set him up. In fact,
the Director is having face to face meetings with October,
without being afraid that the latter will kill him, even though
October has killed for less.
3) In "The Mark of the Assassin", October is about to quit,
having enough money. Even though the loss of his girlfriend
may have made him having second thoughts, it does not
appear that he was so desperate to get back to business,
being forced also to ruin a handsome face. Furthermore,
he goes and kills the plastic surgeant without even trying
to make it look like an accident (the guy was drank and alone
so it would have been relatively easy to do so), thus alerting
4) October continues to use the boat house in Amsterdam
that belonged to his killed girlfirend. I can't believe that he
does so so easily, without being afraid that the authorities
will be able to track it down and put it under observation.
5) The way the organization meets and after each meeting
destroys a villa, is the best way to attract attention. First
of all, it is rather difficult for people who are having senior
positions in intelligence agencies or private/public organizations
to disappear of the face of the earth for 2-3 days, at least
3-4 times a yeat to attend such meetings. Second, the blowing
up of the meeting place is bound to eventually attract attention.
Even if you can get away with it in a remote part of some desert
or jungle, you cannot expect not to raise interest when you
do it in Mykonos, probably the most famous Greek island.
Especially, with the members of the organization having to stay
in different hotels in Chora (the villa was too small to house them),
thus showing their faces around the island,
and then trying to find a not that small number of Range Rovers
with dark windows (how many of those can you find in a Greek
island?), march as a convoy to the villa, have the meeting and
then just after departure blow the villa up. I mean, the Greek
police and intelligence services are not top class but their
people are not mentally retarted either.
6) I cannot understand why the people watching the house
with the guns in N. Ireland were still there when the terrorists
went to kill them. By that time, MI5 and CIA knew what the terrorists
would do and therefore they should have removed their
people from around the house, in case they attract attention.
7) Everybody knows that you don't use the famous Downing
Street no. 10 door to get into the PM's house. This is only
used for official visits. There are many other entries to the
house, and much less conspicuous ways to get in. I cannot
imagine a MI5 or CIA person using that door at 3am! A
reporter hanging around would make a story the next day.
8) I find difficult to believe that the Queen knows by heart
the code names of secret operatives. Furthermore, handing
Osbourne his knighthood in a face to face meeting with only
the two around, as if it is a London souvenir, also is not plausible.
I am sure her Majestry in her long career has awarded knighthoods
to a number of secret agents and there must be some formal
procedure about it.
9) Finally, overall I found the story rather boring, just a single
thread of action going on, with mostly predictable turns.
Certainly, not the best moments of Daniel Silva. I wonder if
it is a mere coincidence that Osbourne disapperead after
this second adventure of his to be replace by Gabriel Allon.
Having said the above, I have thoroughly enjoyed the rest of
Daniel Silva's books and I remain a great fun of them.