In quick succession I completed the two Michael Osbourne novels by Daniel Silva. The first of the two is The Mark of the Assassin, and the second is The Marching Season. The protagonist in both is the CIA operative Michael Osbourne. Michael’s wife Elizabeth, is a successful attorney and the daughter of former U.S. Senator from New York Douglas Cannon.
Both books revolve around Michael’s quest to find and capture the killer for hire known only as “October”. October is a former KGB assassin. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he became a sought after private contractor. His current employer is a shadowy group known as the Society for International Development and Cooperation. The Society, an invitation only group, is composed of powerful business executives and directors of security services from around the world. Their goal is to keep the world unstable in order to further their own interests.
The title The Mark of the Assassin refers to October’s signature-killing his victims with three shots to the face. The Marching Season refers to the (former) troubles in Northern Ireland, specifically the time of year when the Protestants march through the streets to commemorate the victory of William of Orange over King James II in 1690.
Aside from being dated, these books are intriguing and well-written. The characters are interesting and multi-dimensional, although I would have liked a few, particularly Elizabeth Osbourne, to be more complex. As always, I enjoy reading about the inner workings of the CIA and other intelligence services. Making brief appearances in these books is Ari Shamron, who will be become a central character in Silva’s later books about Mossad agent Gabriel Allon. Silva intersperses the books with real people, such as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.
In the post 9/11 world we live in, I’d like to see Daniel Silva continue to write books with Michael Osbourne as the main character. Silva has an interesting perspective on global terrorism and its perpetrators. It would be great to see where he goes with that!