As someone who grew up reading – and idolizing – the outstanding espionage writer Frederick Forsyth, I never thought there would come a day when I had a new favorite. But as Forsyth has aged and understandably slowed down in his writing, I now look to Daniel Silva for my fix when it comes to spy novels. And does he ever deliver. The Secret Servant is the seventh book in the series featuring Israeli spy Gabriel Allon. And like all of Silva’s works, this is one damn good read. In the recommendation on the front of the book, USA TODAY compares Allon to Jack Bauer. I completely disagree. The thing that sets Allon apart from traditional spies like Bauer or Jack Ryan or even James Bond is his intellect, not to mention his spectacular cover story, which isn’t really a cover. Allon is a world renowned artist who specializes in the restoration of masterpieces. Unfortunately for Allon, he also happens to be a world class spy who keeps getting called back into service for his country. In The Secret Servant, Allon is sent to Europe for some routine clean-up work and he quickly becomes involved in a kidnapping/terrorist plot which takes him to Amsterdam, London, Cairo and Copenhagen. Like every Silva novel, the story moves quickly and features meticulous research on both the political and religious ideals of the story’s main characters. In the end, Allon’s identity is no longer a secret, something that sadly hinders both of his jobs, but he will no doubt return to both worlds in future novels. (Follow The Secret Servant on Google Maps)