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"The Marching Season" picks up where "The Mark of the Assassin" -- Silva's previous novel -- left off, continuing the story with all the same characters. (I think of them as basically one novel.) So, if you haven't yet listened to "The Mark of the Assassin," I would suggest that you do that first, before beginning "The Marching Season." Although here the ostensible peril shifts from Islamic terrorists to Irish terrorists, we know from the previous novel that the real culprits are to be found in the Society for International Development and Cooperation. This maybe-not-so-fictional league of powerful, wealthy, influential people is secretly pulling the strings, manipulating world events from behind the scenes, "in order to make money and protect their own interests." These movers-and-shakers have discovered that peace does not serve their financial interests as well as conflict. Accordingly, in "The Mark of the Assassin," the Society arranged an Islamic terrorist attack on the United States in order to generate spending for its arms-manufacturing, arms-merchant, mercenary members (sound familiar?). In "The Marching Season," the Society aims to thwart the Good Friday Peace Accord in Northern Ireland, so that the Catholic Republicans and the Protestant Loyalists will continue their centuries-long conflict.
Fans of Silva's subsequent Gabriel Allon series will notice a curious phenomenon in these two earlier novels: Ari Sharon -- director of Israel's Mossad, and secondary hero of the Gabriel Allon series -- is a member of the Society ... and, therefore, one of the bad guys. (The Society, and Sharon's membership in it, is never mentioned again in the Gabriel Allon series; nor is Michael Osborne, hero of both "The Mark of the Assassin" and "The Marching Season," although several of the other characters carry on into the Gabriel Allon series.)
I noticed that some of the previous reviewers of "The Marching Season" objected to Frank Muller's voice and narration. Muller -- who tragically died in 2008 -- did have a unique voice -- not to everyone's taste -- but, if you pay attention, you will begin to appreciate his superlative acting skill. In particular, I truly admire his ability to change voices instantly -- as when one character interrupts another in dialogue. I have never heard another actor accomplish that feat so well. I say, give Muller a chance. We sadly won't be hearing any more from him.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
the Marching Season is very disappointing. Had this been my first Silva novel, it would have also been my last. It simply lacks the suspense of the Gabriel Allon series.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful