Coral Gables Congregational Church. July 26, 2012. 7:30 p.m.
When last we encountered Gabriel Allon in Portrait of a Spy, he was pitted in a blood-soaked duel with a deadly network of jihadist terrorists. Now, exposed and war-weary, he has returned to his beloved Rome to restore a Caravaggio masterpiece for the Vatican.
But while working early one morning in the conservation laboratory, Gabriel is summoned to Saint Peter’s Basilica by his friend and occasional ally Monsignor Luigi Donati, the all-powerful private secretary to his Holiness Pope Paul VII. The body of a beautiful woman lies smashed and broken beneath Michelangelo’s magnificent dome. The Vatican police rule the death a suicidal fall, though Gabriel, with his restorer’s eye and flawless memory, suspects otherwise. So, it seems, does the monsignor. Concerned about a potential scandal, Donati fears a public inquiry will inflict more wounds on an already-damaged Church; he calls upon Gabriel to use his matchless talents and experience to quietly pursue the truth – with one important caveat:
“Rule number one at the Vatican,” Donati said. “Don’t ask too many questions.”
An intoxicating blend of art and intrigue, The Fallen Angel moves swiftly from the private chambers of the Vatican, to a glamorous art gallery in St Moritz, to the hidden alleyways of Istanbul – and finally, to a pulse-pounding climax in the ancient city of Jerusalem, the world’s most sacred and contested parcel of land. Each setting is rendered with the care of an Old Master, as are the spies, lovers, priests, and thieves who inhabit its pages. It is a story of faith and of the destructive power of secrets. And it is an all-too-timely reminder that those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.
Daniel Silva is the award-winning #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Unlikely Spy, The Mark of the Assassin, The Marching Season, The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules, The Defector, The Rembrandt Affair and Portrait of a Spy. His books are published in more than 30 countries and are bestsellers around the world. He serves on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and is married to NBC News Today National Correspondent Jamie Gangel. They live in Washington D.C. with their two children, Lily and Nicholas.
Coral Gables Congregational Church
3010 De Soto Boulevard
Coral Gables, FL 33134