The Cellist

HarperAudio. (Gabriel Allon, Bk. 21). Jul. 2021. 10:13 hrs. ISBN 9780062835031. $26.99. M
Viktor Orlov is a wealthy Russian in exile in London, where he fights against corruption in the Russian government. Despite extraordinary security precautions, Orlov is found dead in his mansion, the documents in front of him contaminated with a deadly nerve agent. Police believe that a woman who worked for Orlov was, in fact, an assassin working for the Kremlin. Gabriel Allon believes otherwise and sets out to find the truth. This fast-paced thriller moves among Zurich, Tel Aviv, Paris, Amsterdam, and London, with a multitude of characters involved in the espionage. Adding significance to this narrative is the timetable for this adventure: it takes place during the worldwide COVID-19 shutdown. Narrator Edoardo Ballerini skillfully performs a variety of accents, speaking at a fast pace that requires full attention from listeners.
VERDICT Although this is the 21st of Silva’s spy novels featuring the assassin/art restorer Gabriel Allon (after The Order), the story can stand alone. Established fans will enjoy recognizing characters from previous mysteries, but the plot and characters are amply developed to satisfy those just starting out with the series.
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