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The Marching Season by Daniel Silva
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The Marching Season (edition 1999)

by Daniel Silva (Author)

Series: Michael Osbourne (2)

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808919,510 (3.72)14
In the first uncertain year of the peace process in Northern Ireland, a renegade group of Protestant extremists tries to turn back the hands of time with three savage acts of terrorism in a single night. Retired CIA officer Michael Osbourne is lured back to the agency when it is discovered that the Protestant gunmen have marked his father-in-law, the new ambassador to London, for execution, setting in motion a deadly contest of wits and deception.… (more)
Member:scallorn
Title:The Marching Season
Authors:Daniel Silva (Author)
Info:Berkley (2004), Edition: First Edition, 512 pages
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The Marching Season by Daniel Silva

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This 1999 work is Daniel Silva's third book, and the 3rd in his Michael Osbourne series. I read it in abridged form (compliments of Reader's Digest) and found it somewhat wanting. The plot is as follows. Peace is about to break out in Northern Island, but a secret organization seeks to disrupt the process by assassinating the new US Ambassador to that country. This organization -- the Society of International Development and Cooperation -- has no political agenda; they simply seek to foment conflict to advance their own shadowy economic interests. The hire assassin is Jean-Paul Delaroche (nicknamed "October"), a KGB trained agent who is an old enemy of the CIA's own assassin, Osbourne. Last time the duo met, October's lady-love wound up dead, killed by bow and arrow by Osbourne's own lady.

So with this history behind them, Osbourne and October match efforts and wits; October seeks to kill the ambassador, who (in a strategically stupid move -- since they know he's been targeted) is brought to the house where Osbourne's wife and children are staying. Towards the end, once Osbourne has disarmed and wounded October, he grants the latter his life in return for information on who the highly placed turncoat is in the CIA. A terrorist assassin like October may murder hundreds without compunction and simply for the money, but under his high code of morality, when he makes a promise (i.e., utters a few verbalizations) he keeps it. And of course Osbourne doesn't take the opportunity to kill October, to save his future victims. . So Osbourne finds out the identity of the CIA double agent, and October and Osbourne both live to kill again.

In my opinion, there are too many characters, too much implausibility, and too many scenes obviously constructed for effect. In addition, the work didn't lend itself well to abridgement, since the characters flew by too fast to become familiar. ( )
2 vote danielx | Dec 12, 2019 |
25.99
  BlakesburgLibrary | Mar 11, 2017 |
Wow, great book. I'm glad I took Vince Flynn's recommendation and started reading Daniel Silva because his books are outstanding. This one was tense from start to end, and I thought it ended on an unexpected, yet great note. Maybe someday Silva will revisit the world of Michael Osbourne. On to Gabriel Allon next.... ( )
  utbw42 | Dec 21, 2014 |
I have come to enjoy the Gabriel Allon series of spy stories from Daniel Silva. The Marching Season is not exactly part of that canon, but it does share some characters and has another character who could have served as an extended character study for Gabriel.

This book and the Allon series are connected through the story of Adrian Carter, a CIA operative who becomes head of the CIA, a role continued in later books. Also present is Ari Shamron, Gabriel Allon’s boss at the Mosad. In Marching Season, he is a minor character, still in charge of Mosad Operations, and a character of dubious moral fiber. The third thread that connects the two is a mysterious assassin, known primarily by his cover name, October. Like Allon, he is an artist, as well as an accomplished assassin, has a physique like a cyclist and can pass for different nationalities.

The Marching Season stands on its own merits, and stands very well indeed, but these similarities were too noticeable not to comment on. Silva’s writing style is as fluid as his more recent works. Despite his penchant for detail, I found it annoying from a technical point that he constant used “clip” in place of “magazine” for the device that holds bullets in an automatic weapon. This technicality did not bring down the rating, however.

The plot is well constructed and plausible, but there were not enough twists to really elevate this story beyond four stars. If you are a fan of Gabriel Allon, this will fill in some of the backgrounds of the characters in that series. If you like old school spy novels, this is a good addition to your bookshelf: very little in the way of gadgets but lots of stalking, intelligence gathering and trying to outguess the other guy. ( )
  PghDragonMan | Aug 17, 2010 |
In the sequel to “Mark of the Assassin”, ex-CIA agent Michael Osbourne is recouping from his physical injuries and gets bored out of his mind playing Mr. Mom. When Osbourne’s father in law has taken a position as the USA’s ambassador to the Court of St. James Osbourne willingly comes back to the CIA in order to investigate a new Irish terrorist group as well as protect his relative. Osbourne manages to foil the plot, but the group takes out a contract on his life.

The plot actually has two main parts, the Irish terrorists who call themselves “The Ulster Freedom Brigade”; the second is about Osbourne and the two parts are closely related.

This book has most of the same characters as its prequel, but the book is not as enjoyable. The pace is fast but the story is predictable, about half way through (if not sooner) I already figured out the ending which, this time, had no twists.

This is an OK thriller, I liked Silva’s other books better. ( )
  ZoharLaor | May 16, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
*** SPOILERS! *** SPOILERS! *** SPOILERS! ***

I am afraid I found "The Marching Season" rather sloppy,
meaning that the scenario was not always convincing
and in some aspects it contradicted the previous book
("The Mark of the Assassin"), for a number of reasons
(in no particular order):

1) Obsourne appears to have forgotten that it knows the
identity of the killer, referring to him only as October, and
not mentioning his real name at all, even though he has
read his file and knows who he is (in fact, he expoilted this
knowledge at the end of the previous book to unerve the
assasin).

2) In the previous book, the Director orders the elimination
of October, to cover up all tracks to his organization. October
manages to escape, pressumably eliminating in the process
his would be killers. However, in "The Marching Season" there
is no information on how October managed to escape. Even
more strange, there is no explanation as to why October
chooses to work again for the guy who set him up. In fact,
the Director is having face to face meetings with October,
without being afraid that the latter will kill him, even though
October has killed for less.

3) In "The Mark of the Assassin", October is about to quit,
having enough money. Even though the loss of his girlfriend
may have made him having second thoughts, it does not
appear that he was so desperate to get back to business,
being forced also to ruin a handsome face. Furthermore,
he goes and kills the plastic surgeant without even trying
to make it look like an accident (the guy was drank and alone
so it would have been relatively easy to do so), thus alerting
the authorities.

4) October continues to use the boat house in Amsterdam
that belonged to his killed girlfirend. I can't believe that he
does so so easily, without being afraid that the authorities
will be able to track it down and put it under observation.

5) The way the organization meets and after each meeting
destroys a villa, is the best way to attract attention. First
of all, it is rather difficult for people who are having senior
positions in intelligence agencies or private/public organizations
to disappear of the face of the earth for 2-3 days, at least
3-4 times a yeat to attend such meetings. Second, the blowing
up of the meeting place is bound to eventually attract attention.
Even if you can get away with it in a remote part of some desert
or jungle, you cannot expect not to raise interest when you
do it in Mykonos, probably the most famous Greek island.
Especially, with the members of the organization having to stay
in different hotels in Chora (the village was too small to house them),
and then trying to find a not that small number of Range Rovers
with dark windows (how many of those can you find in a Greek
island?), march as a convoy to the villa, have the meeting and
then just after departure blow the villa up. I mean, the Greek
police and intelligence services are not top class but their
people are not mentally retarted either.

6) I cannot understand why the people watching the house
with the guns in N. Ireland were still there when the terrorists
went to kill them. By that time, MI5 and CIA knew what the terrorists
would do and therefore they should have removed their
people from around the house, in case they attract attention.

7) Everybody knows that you don't use the famous Downing
Street no. 10 door to get into the PM's house. This is only
used for official visits. There are many other entries to the
house, and much less conspicuous ways to get in. I cannot
imagine a MI5 or CIA person using that door at 3am! A
reporter hanging around would make a story the next day.

8) I find difficult to believe that the Queen knows by heart
the code names of secret operatives. Furthermore, handing
Osbourne his knighthood in a face to face meeting with only
the two around, as if it is a London souvenir, also is not plausible.
I am sure her Majestry in her long career has awarded knighthoods
to a number of secret agents and there must be some formal
procedure about it.

9) Finally, overall I found the story rather boring, just a single
thread of action going on, with mostly predictable turns.
Certainly, not the best moments of Daniel Silva. I wonder if
it is a mere coincidence that Osbourne disapperead after
this second adventure of his to be replace by Gabriel Allon.

Having said the above, I have thoroughly enjoyed the rest of
Daniel Silva's books and I remain a great fun of them.

George
added by GeorgeAngelos | editMy comments
 
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In the first uncertain year of the peace process in Northern Ireland, a renegade group of Protestant extremists tries to turn back the hands of time with three savage acts of terrorism in a single night. Retired CIA officer Michael Osbourne is lured back to the agency when it is discovered that the Protestant gunmen have marked his father-in-law, the new ambassador to London, for execution, setting in motion a deadly contest of wits and deception.

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