Reviewed by Caleb S.

The Defector is the ninth book in the Gabriel Allon series. Gabriel and Chiara are recuperating at a villa in Italy while Gabriel is refinishing a painting for the Vatican. Both are laying low, off Ivan Kharkov’s radar, since Ivan’s family defected from Russia. Out of the blue, Grigori Bulganov, who defected at the same time as Ivan’s family, disappears from Britain. Moreover, it appears that he left on his own volition. Gabriel doesn’t buy it and decides to look into it, keeping a promise he made.

Gabriel is looking into Grigori’s disappearance and checking on other people who can be in on the hit list when his wife Chiara is kidnapped. Gabriel knows who did it and why. The question he wants answered is: can he get her back alive?

The Defector was my favorite Gabriel Allon book and it kept the action and suspense going without getting overpowering. Gabriel is a man with a mission, a mission that is deeply personal. He has an enemy who is rich and powerful and who also knows that Gabriel is coming. I relate this to a ‘man on fire’ kind of book: someone has crossed the line and Gabriel plans on making them pay. Lots of action, lots of excitement and a great spy story on top of it all.

Check out Caleb’s thoughts on another Gabriel Allon novel, The Rembrandt Affair, here.

Caleb is a software engineer and amature woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

This book was provided free of any obligation by Signet. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.