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Spy novelist Daniel Silva visits Fort Wayne

By Jim Fester

Fort Wayne Reader

2008-05-06


The Fort Wayne Jewish Federation is bringing one of the most acclaimed thriller writers in the US to Fort Wayne for a free lecture and a book signing on May 12.

Best selling author Daniel Silva started his career as a journalist with UPI, eventually becoming Middle East correspondent in Cairo and the Persian Gulf. He married NBC correspondent Jamie Gangel in 1987 (they were covering the Iran-Iraq war), and went to work for CNN in Washington after returning to the US. His first novel, The Unlikely Spy came out in 1996, and since then a new novel has arrived roughly every year, with his latest, Moscow Rules, set for publication in July.

The Unlikely Spy is spy thriller set in World War II. The next two — The Mark of the Assassin and The Marching Season — featured CIA spy Michael Osbourne. But it was with his fourth novel, The Kill Artist, that Silva really hit his stride, though maybe “hit his stride” is the wrong term — his thrillers were already popular and critical successes, but The Kill Artist took him to another level, earning him favorable comparisons with John LeCarre, Frederick Forsyth, and even Graham Greene.

The Kill Artist introduced the character Gabriel Allon, art restorer and Mossad agent, who has been in Silva’s books ever since. The novels have plenty of action and suspense, but the episodes of derring-do seem less the point of the stories than the machinations of spycraft and the toll that kind of work takes on the characters. Moral compromise and the way the past never seems to rest in peace are the themes of much of Silva’s work.

Silva is speaking in Fort Wayne as a part of the annual “People of the Book” lecture, which has been sponsored by the Fort Wayne Jewish Federation. Past authors have included Irving Howe, Chaim Potok, Calvin Trillin and Scott Turow. “One of our committee members brought up Daniel Silva's name, and the more we
researched him, the more we liked what we learned,” says Fran Adler, Chair of the People of the Book Committee. “He writes very well, has
written a string of best-sellers, and has a very interesting background. We also
began to hear that he had a lot of readers in Fort Wayne.”

Adler says her husband became an instant fan. “Just last March, that committee
member lent us a copy of one of his books. My husband read it — and has read five more of Silva's books since then!”

Adler expects that Silva will speak about what started him writing and how he does his research. If he’s willing, she adds, he’ll probably do a Q & A session with the audience.

Fort Wayne Jewish Federation People of the Book Lecture presents Daniel Silva
Congregation Achduth Vesholom
5200 Old Mill Road
Monday May 12, 2008
7:30 PM

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