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Gabriel Allon

The Secret Servant

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The Secret Servant is the seventh book in the Gabriel Allon series. The daughter of the U. S. ambassador to the United Kingdom is abducted by Muslim terrorists who plan an attack on a famous building. Graham Seymour is introduced.

Synopsis Edit

Death of a Prophet Edit

Lament over the dead Christ
A Dutch Jew who tracks the activities of radical Muslim groups is assassinated in December in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Gabriel Allon returns to Israel after restoring Lament over the dead Christ by Giovani Bellini for the Vatican. Uzi Navot meets him at the airport and, after bringing him up to date on Office politics, tells him to go to Amsterdam because of the Dutch Jew's death. Gabriel and Uzi arrive at Gabriel's apartment, where Ari Shamron is waiting. Shamron tells Gabriel that his mission in Amsterdam is to ensure that there is nothing is Dutch Jew's files to connect him to the Office.

Gabriel checks into his hotel and is met by Eli Lavon, who gives him a gun delivered by an Office representative when Eli arrived. After some hours of looking through files, Gabriel goes out for takeout food and encounters a man who says he is the person Gabriel is looking for in Dutch Jew's files and that he wants to help. The man says that he was the source of the information that helped the Israelis avoid having one of their airlines shot down by a missile. He also tells Gabriel that a radical Muslim named Samir al-Masri who preaches killing Infidels has disappeared with four other men; he gives Gabriel al-Masri's address. Later, Gabriel and Eli search al-Masri's apartment and learn that he and others departed in a hurry; Gabriel finds a series of photographs, including one of the American Embassy in London and a pad of paper with impressions in the top page. He decides to fly to London to talk with MI5.

Gabriel arrives in London and meets with Graham Seymour of MI5. Seymour is sceptical. Gabriel goes on to meet with people at the Israeli embassy and, later, to the Office safe house. The next morning, Gabriel realizes the the scribbling that left the impression on the notepad is a map of Hyde Park in London. He calls Seymour again but Seymour refuses to act. Gabriel calls Adrian Carter, who asks him to respond to the threat. Gabriel arrives too late. Six Americans lie dead in Hyde Park and Elizabeth Halton, the Ambassador's daughter is being abducted. Gabriel kills two of the abductors and fires at the van being used in the abduction. He sees Samir al-Masri lying wounded at the scene. Al-Masri dies as Gabriel is arrested by the police. In Washington, the president's national security advisor notifies the president of the crime.

The Land of Strangers Edit

The British police were able to track the vans used to abduct Elizabeth until it turned into an alley; the vans were later found abandoned. Gabriel is kept in custody at an MI5 safe house until the U.S. ambassador arranges for him to be released; Halton escorts Gabriel to his flight home. Gabriel tells Halton that Elizabeth fought her abductors.

Elizabeth Halton, fighting until she is drugged, is taken by van to a nondescript room where she is kept in shackles. While being held she is asked to provide medical care to one of her abductors, who has been shot. After telling her captors that the man should go to a trauma center, she provides a list of supplies she needs and cautions that if she does not get everything the man will die.

Gabriel goes home to Israel, where Ari Shamron tells him that an Egyptian official has information about the abduction. Gabriel asks to meet he official in Cyprus in lieu of Shimon Pazner. Gabriel goes to the apartment he shares with Chiara Zolli and they talk about their future together. Gabriel asks Chiara to come to Cyprus with him.

Elizabeth's captors provide the medical supplies she requested. From the packaging, she verifies that she is still in the England. She treats the wounded man and is taken back to her cell. The captors tell her they have a gift for her, then inject her with the dangerous sedative they had used before.

In Cyprus he Egyptian official tells Gabriel that Elizabeth Halton's abduction is designed to free a high-ranking terrorist from United States' custody and that it is a joint operation between al-Qaeda and the Sword of Allah. He adds that the man driving the operation is known as the Sphinx. Gabriel goes through documents left by al-Zayyat and finds a reference to Ibrahim Fawaz of Amsterdam.

In Paris, Yusuf Ramadan passes instructions to his field operatives.

A message is received on the hot line at the American Embassy to look under a boat on a beach some distance from London. The search reveals a DVD whose existence is revealed only to senior officials.

Gabriel flies to the United States on a CIA aircraft and is taken to CIA headquarters to meet with Adrian Carter, who shows him the contents of the DVD from the beach. Four masked men stand with Elizabeth Halton. One reads a statement from the Sword of Allah demanding the release of a prisoner held in the United States in exchange for Elizabeth's life. Gabriel tells Adrian the Ibrahim Fawaz was one of the early organizers of the Sword of Allah. They discuss the Sphinx. Gabriel agrees to apprehend Ibrahim in the Netherlands and interrogate him if the Prime Minister agrees. Carter wants a CIA representative present and offers Sarah Bancroft.

A young Muslin man with a van travels from England to France via ferry as a deception ploy.

Sarah Bancroft joins Gabriel on the CIA aircraft and he tells her about Ibrahim Fawaz as they fly to Tel Aviv. Upon arrival, they are re-united with Gabriel Allon's Team. Gabriel tells the group that they are going to abduct Ibrahim Fawaz and interrogate him without errors. By the end of the day, they had acquired all the support they needed and broke into groups to travels to Europe.

In Amsterdam, Gabriel, Sarah and Eli plan the abduction of Fawaz. Gabriel remembers Fawaz's aversion to homosexual men and decides to take him after confronting him with two gay men; he decides Mikhail and Yaakov will play the parts.

In Washington, D.C., the existence of the DVD leaks. A reporter tells the White House press secretary that she knows the Sword of Allah has Elizabeth Halton. She threatens to air the information unless she gets an interview with the President of the United States. The President accepts Scanlon's advice and announces in the briefing room the Sword wants a prisoner released in return for Elizabeth's freedom; he adds that the demand will not be met. Adrian Carter is watching the announcement when he is joined by Shepard Cantwell, the deputy director for intelligence of the CIA, who tells Adrian that his information leads him to believe that the demand for the prisoner's release is false and what the Sword and the prisoner's brother really want is a revolution in Egypt. Cantwell recommends that the national threat level be raised to the highest level.

In Amsterdam, Gabriel and his team abduct Fawaz.

The Sacrifice of Isaac Edit

Gabriel interrogates Ibrahim Fawaz in northern Germany. Sarah Bancroft participates to lend credence to Gabriel's claim that Fawaz is in the hands of the CIA. Fawaz tells about the beginnings of the Sword of Allah and about his and his daughter's torture at the hands of Egyptian security officials.

The body of the abductor whose life Elizabeth Halton tried to save is found on a beach. In one of the corpse's trouser pockets is a receipt for ferry transportation to France.

Fawaz tells Gabriel that he was held by security officials for six months and that his daughter was raped to death. After losing his position as a teacher, he moved to Amsterdam. He tried to explain the pitfalls of radical Islamism to his son Ishaq, who lives in Copenhagen. His attempt failed and Ishaq became more politicized. He was one of the men who abducted Elizabeth Halton. Ishaq calls home every night at his son's bedtime.

Three shaheeds detonate bombs at the international airports in Zurich, Madrid and Vienna. Yusuf Ramadan was retained as a consultant by a French television station. He says that the United States had better open communication with the Sword of Allah.

Adrian Carter flies to Copenhagen to meet with Gabriel and others, including Sarah Bancroft. He tries to take control of Ibrahim Fawaz away from the Office, but Gabriel refuses to comply with his plan. Adrian ends up agreeing with Gabriel.

In Egypt, a police officer interrogates a prisoner to learn where he acquired the audio tape on which Tayyib Abdul-Razzaq refers to the abduction of Elizabeth Halton. Mandali lies to al-Zayyat and al-Zayyat leaves him in the custody of the torturers.

The Office sets up a monitoring station in a Copenhagen hotel. As predicted by Ibrahim Fawaz, Ishaq does call home on schedule.

The prisoner confesses to having been present when Tayyib Abdul-Razzaq recorded his sermon in an apartment in a building owned by a Saudi Arabian prince. Police arrive at the building soon after the apartment was vacated.

Gabriel listens to the recording of Ishaq's call. Ishaq tells his wife Hanifah that he wants her to fly to Lebanon the coming Friday. They argue and Ishaq agrees to call the next night. Gabriel tells Sarah Bancroft that Ishaq is at a rest stop in northwestern Germany with at least one other man and that they are moving Elizabeth Halton around in a van

Adrian Carter meets with a Danish security official and tells him that members of the Office, including Gabriel Allon, have entered Denmark in hot pursuit of Elizabeth Halton's abductors at the request of the CIA. Upon meeting Gabriel, the official allows the operation to continue. The Danes arrest Hanifah and her son Ahmed.

Gabriel talks to Ishaq by phone twice and tells him that, if Elizabeth Halton is not released, Hanifah and Ahmed will be flown to Cairo for interrogation. Ishaq agrees to release Elizabeth to his father Ibrahim somewhere in Denmark and to call the next day with details.

Elizabeth Halton ponders her captivity. She has no idea how much time has elapsed since she was abducted. She only knows that she is fed four times at each stop then given an injection of ketamine to prepare her for the next move. She awaits her fourth meal.

Gabriel and Ibrahim Fawaz walk a long street while the terrorists look for counter-surveillance. They return to their car and Ishaq calls Gabriel to issue limited instructions. Gabriel begins the journey.

Elizabeth has her fourth meal then forces herself to regurgitate. When the abductors arrive to give her an injection she tells them that the ketamine is making her sick. They agree to move her without giving her the drug but warn her that they will kill her if she tries to alert anyone. She agrees.

Gabriel receives instruction to drive to a cemetery in far northern Denmark. Upon looking where he was directed, he finds more instructions.

Elizabeth Halton suffers while being transported to her new location in a box inside a van. Upon arrival, she knows she is near the sea.

At Gabriel's destination, a woman with a pistol enters the car and forces Ibrahim Fawaz to accompany her. Ibrahim meets a man whose hair is dyed blond. He is led inside a cottage. An explosion follows.

The Bridge over Jahannam Edit

Hours pass and the United States Government learns that Danish emergency services have responded to the explosion and found the bodies of a male and female terrorist and of Ibrahim Fawaz. Gabriel Allon is alive. Elizabeth Halton was never in Denmark. The ambassador drafts a letter resigning his position and visits with the prime minister of that country. He then prepares to make a public statement of an offer to the abductors of his daughter.

In Denmark, Gabriel provides details of the events in Denmark to a security official and boards an aircraft. Adrian Carter and Sarah Bancroft are already aboard. Adrian tells Gabriel that the ambassador has resigned his post as ambassador and has offered to pay a ransom for Elizabeth's release.

In Paris, Yusuf Ramadan listens to he former ambassador's offer of twenty million dollars ransom and uses an internet chat room to contact another member of the Sword of Allah. They agree to the concept of accepting the ransom offer, but only if Halton will pay thirty million dollars. They also agree to make Israel pay in some manner.

Amid a flood of phony calls, a man claiming to have Elizabeth Halton who knows where the DVD was left talks to the hosage negotiator. Gabriel is met at his plane by Graham Seymour, who tells him the plans have changed.

Graham takes Gabriel to meet with the British Prime Minister, who apologizes for the way Gabriel was treated after he tried to help in Hyde Park and asks if Gabriel will help again. Gabriel agrees. They enter a room already occupied by the director of MI5, the director of MI6 and the chief of the London metropolitan police. Gabriel correctly surmises that they want him to deliver the ransom. Adrian objects because he thinks the offer is a trap. His director points out that agreeing to pay the ransom will give law enforcement at least twenty-four additional hours to search for Elizabeth. Gabriel demands that the operation be entirely Israeli. The MI5 director says no but is overruled by the prime minister. Gabriel and Carter go to the American Embassy and Gabriel speaks to the abductor by phone. He then goes for a walk in Hyde Park and is happy to see that Chiara is watching his back.

Chiara takes Gabriel to the Israeli Embassy where he meets with Ari Shamron; Shamron is angry that Gabriel agreed to deliver the ransom. Ari is eventually mollified and Gabriel says he wants his team, especially Mikhail brought in from Amsterdam. Ari agrees and tells Gabriel to get some rest. Gabriel and Chiara go to a safe house. As they make love, Chiara makes Gabriel promise that he will not be killed the next day.

The Office descends on the Israeli embassy in London. In addition to Gabriel's Team, the staffs of London Station and several other European stations are present and Uzi Navot has arrived with operatives from King Saul Boulevard. They plan all day. Gabriel walks to the American embassy, speaks with the former ambassador privately, receives instructions from the terrorists by telephone and departs in a car equipped with a GPS locator with the ransom for Elizabeth Halton.

Gabriel drives to a coastal area, parks, and removes the two bags with the ransom from the car. Walking to a bench, he encounters a vagrant who he chases away. He finds a cell phone. The phone rings, Gabriel receives instructions and he throws the phone in the trash. While Ari and Uzi discuss their options, Gabriel disposes of his radio and weapon and follows the instructions to another vehicle he has never seen before. Gabriel places the ransom in the vehicle and drives He hits a man who pounds on the vehicle and places a new GPS locator in a wheel well. Meanwhile, Eli has returned to his bench and has identified the man assigned to surveil Gabriel. Gabriel arrives at a deserted beach. After he moves the ransom out onto the sand, someone knocks him out. Yossi Gavish is ordered to follow and finds the place where Gabriel was dragged aware, apparently to a boat. At the operations center, Ari concludes that the terrorists are taking Gabriel to a marina.

Gabriel awakes to find himself in a room that he senses was used to hold Elizabeth Halton. Ishaq Fawaz enters the room and rips the tape from Gabriel's mouth. Gabriel is beaten; he fights back, uselessly. He passes out.

Eli Lavon follows the man whoi had been watching Gabriel to a house. Graham Seymour puts his electronic security assets to work. They produce lists of telephone numbers called from the house. Sarah Bancroft, Rimona Stern and Dina Sarid begin analyzing the lists. Graham is notified that a boat has been found. After being told about the boat, Shamron observes that Gabriel is alive but not for long.

Gabriel awakens again to find hims body being cleaned up. Ishaq Fawaz enters the room and demands to know the location of his wife and child. Gabriel refuses to reveal their location. Ishaq tells him he will soon die and offers hium an opportunity to convert to Islam.

Dina Sarid finds a lead to the telephone number and address of a man whose brother was last known to be in the custody of the Egyptian secret police. Gabriel is placed before a camera and given a script to read under threat of death; he refuses. Graham Seymour identifies a likely location for Gabriel's captivity. Ishaq reads the statement on Gabriel's behalf. Gabriel, who realizes that Ishaq intends to martyr himself, is then beaten again and given an injection. At the Israeli operations center, Ari tells Uzi that the operation will not be complete until both Gabriel and Elizabeth are retrieved.

The Office deploys to the warehouse in Harwich and finds Gabriel alive and being placed in a van with a bomb. The prepare to take him back. Gabriel awakes in the van to find Ishaq with him. Chiara is driving a motorbike with Mikhail Abramov riding behind her with a weapon. They close in on the van for the kill. Gabriel hears the engine of the bike. After a faked accident fails to stop the van, Mikhail kills the driver. As the van left the road, Ishaq tried to shoot Gabriel but Gabriel kicked the gun out of his hand. The van rolls.

Chiara comes to Gabriel's aid and yells at him not to die.

Gabriel asks Ishaq where Elizabeth Halton is. Every time Ishaq fails to answer, Gabriel shoots him. In his final pain, Ishaq yells out an address and the plan.

Elizabeth Halton is told by one of her captors that she is about to be freed. Gabriel is returned to the American embassy where he learns that Elizabeth Halton had not been at the address Ishaq gave but that there was evidence that someone had been there very recently. Gabriel reviews that facts. Elizabeth is a piece of one part of the plan Her abductors intend to execute her and many others outside Westminster Abbey on Christmas morning; the van in which Gabriel had been riding was intended to kill first responders. They agree to let Gabriel and Mikhail kill the two Shaheeds before they can set off their bombs.

Gabriel and Mikhail prepare for their kills. Elizabeth is driven to the abbey. As she walks toward the structure with the shaheeds, Gabriel and Mikhail strike. Elizabeth's father embraces her.

A Wedding by the Lake Edit

Elizabeth Halton returns to the United States and the agents from the Office return to Israel. The cover story breaks down and Gabriel is recognized from a photograph of the shooting outside Westminster Abbey. The Israeli government refuses to make Gabriel available to testify anywhere. Gabriel visits Leah and she tells him to marry Chiara.

Ari Shamron tells Gabriel to make his wedding to Chiara a surprise for her. Gabriel's team plans his wedding to Chiara, keeping her in the dark. They marry at Ari Shamron's home.

Adrian Carter gives Gabriel a check for ten million dollars from the former ambassador. Gabriel declines at first then decides he can use the money to pay informants to track down the Sphinx.

Gabriel flies to Cairo and stays at the same hotel at which he stayed when searching for Khaled al-Khalifa; Mr. Katubi, the concierge, expects the same ill-mannered "Herr Klemp" but is amazed at how polite Klemp has become. Gabriel leaves the hotel and meets Mikhail Abramov and Mordecai. Together they execute Yusuf Ramadan.

Commentary Edit

  • Headlines in the synopsis are from the book.

Blue Line

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