Friday, February 10, 2012

The Marching Season by Daniel Silva

I just finished reading The Marching Season by Daniel Silva. It's the second, and unfortunately last, book in the Michael Osbourne series. Silva is known for his spy books, especially the Gabriel Allon series. Allon is the Israeli spy who keeps Israel and the world safe by killing terrorists. Michael Osbourne is a different kettle of fish. He's a CIA operative, and definitely doesn't feel easy about killing others. The action preys on his soul. The first book in the Osbourne series was The Mark of the Assassin. In that book, we are introduced to a secret organization that is trying to influence events in the world by creating terror. In that book, an airliner is blown out of the sky so a US businessman can sell his Star Wars type security system to the US people and government. The assassin is a man code-named October, Jean Paul Delaroche, who killed Osbourne's love many years ago. In Mark of the Assassin, October came after Osbourne and his wife Elizabeth.

In The Marching Season, we join Osbourne a year after Mark of the Assassin. Osbourne is now retired from the CIA, and he and Elizabeth are the happy parent of twins. Osbourne is feeling the strain of retirement and isn't as happy as he was when he worked for the CIA. But things are about to change! Elizabeth's father, former Senator Douglas Cannon, is offered the post of US ambassador to England after a series of terrorist acts in the UK, which were meant to spoil the peace in Northern Ireland. Considering that the book was published in 1999, it's not such an unlikely scenario. Osbourne gets pulled back into the CIA to protect his father-in-law from possible assassination, and October gets pulled back into his role as assassin by the Society, who believes that killing Osbourne and his father-in-law would really disrupt peace, and eliminate Osbourne, who has become a real pain in the neck.

It's so obvious that Silva used the Osbourne books as a springboard for the Allon books. Adrian Carter, Graham Seymour, and Shamron are cross-over characters in both series. Delaroche/October has some of the physical and personality characteristics of Gabriel Allon, including being an artist. The Marching Season is a very good book, full of thrills. I found myself quickly moving through the pages when I had time to read, which wasn't much over the past week or so. Silva made Delaroche/October into a sympathetic character. Although I didn't want him to succeed in killing Osbourne, I did want Delaroche to survive and some how find happiness. In The Marching Season, I did get the sense of closure for both Osbourne and Delaroche, and I was very happy. I wish that there were more Michael Osbourne books, but I guess that I will just have to satisfy myself with the Gabriel Allon series.

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