cover image The Fallen Angel%E2%80%A8

The Fallen Angel%E2%80%A8

Daniel Silva, read by George Guidall. HarperAudio, unabridged, nine CDs, 10.5 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-0-06-218927-1

Spy and art expert Gabriel Allon, officially retired from the Israeli intelligence service after a nearly fatal assignment, is safely ensconced inside the Vatican restoring a Caravaggio when a young female antiquities curator falls to her death at St. Peter's Basilica. The police call it suicide, but the pope's private secretary asks Allon to discreetly investigate. It's the ideal setup for a mystery, especially when looted antiquarian treasures, the Mafia, and money laundering are added to the mix. And before long, Allon's mentor arrives on the scene in an attempt to lure him back into the spy game. Initially narrator George Guidall's deep baritone sounds a bit too avuncular for Allon. But as the audiobook progresses, his rendition of the character becomes stronger and takes on a hint of weary cynicism. Guidall's accented interpretations of Vatican officials, Israeli spies, and even a Frenchman or two prove entirely convincing. And his pacing%E2%80%94especially as events unfold leading to yet another of race against time for Allon%E2%80%94ideally complements Silva's suspenseful novel. A Harper paperback. (July)