The Defector by Daniel Silva

‘The Defector’ is the 9th book in Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series. This book continues a story started in the 7th book ‘Moscow Rules’ where the villain – Ivan Kharkov was outsmarted and confined to Russia, but still alive. Book 7 also finished with a number of Russian Defectors – Colonel Grigori Bulganov (ex-KGB), Olga Sukhova – a Russian journalist, and Elena Kharkov (Ivan’s wife) along with their two children Anna and Nikolai.

Now Grigori has gone missing from his London home. The British quickly dismiss him as a double agent who has now re-defected to Russia, but Gabriel knows him better and is convinced that he has been kidnapped. So, Gabriel is once again pulled away from the famous painting he is restoring and his extended but much disrupted honeymoon with Chiara, to find out what has happened to Grigori.

It turns out that Ivan Kharkov is still able to live his old life, even though he is confined to Russia. He has so much money that getting what he wants from the Kremlin seems to be no problem, and he still has plenty of contacts around the world. There are two things that he now wants – To get his children back, and to take revenge on those who nearly brought him down in the past. His targets are – Grigori, Olga, Mikhail Abramov and of course Gabriel.

He attempts to attack Gabriel in the same way he feels he was attacked. Rather than directly attack Gabriel, he steals something from him so as to make his life unbearable.

Filled with rage and desperation, Gabriel and his team go after Ivan to try to undo his wrongs, and put an end to his empire once and for all.


This novel had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. This novel would probably work OK as a stand-alone novel, but the character build-up in ‘Moscow Rules’ was very valuable to the story. I can’t wait to continue the series with – ‘The Rembrandt Affair’.


Book Published 2009


See a full list of books by Daniel Silva

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