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The Marching Season
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The New York Times Bestseller by the author of The Confessor.When the Good Friday peace accords are shattered by three savage acts of terrorism, Northern Ireland is blown back into the depths of conflict. And after his father-in-law is nominated to become the new American ambassador to London, retired CIA agent Michael Osbourne is drawn back into the game. He soon discovers that his father-in-law is marked for execution. And that he himself is once again in the crosshairs of a killer known as October, one of the most merciless assassins the world has ever known...

The Good Friday agreement that promised to bring peace to the embattled Protestants and Catholics of Northern Ireland is jeopardized by a new paramiltary group bent on destroying the truce. Michael Osbourne, the hero of Silva's previous thriller, The Mark of the Assassin, is rerecruited by the CIA when Douglas Cannon--his father-in-law, a former senator, and the new ambassador to the Court of St. James--is targeted for death by the Ulster Freedom Brigade. Osbourne has long since given up on the spying game and is reluctant to be drawn back into it again. Then he discovers that the Brigade has shopped the contract on Senator Cannon to October, the assassin who narrowly missed killing Osbourne a few years ago but succeeded in murdering the woman he once loved. It's a good setup for a political thriller, with nonstop action that moves from Belfast to Armagh, New York to Washington, London to Mykonos. What really notches up the suspense is the double-dealing in the corridors of power, particularly the CIA and a secret organization called the Society--a nasty assemblage of politicos, spymasters, arms merchants, and killers bent on destabilizing nascent peacemaking efforts all over the globe. Down but not out at the conclusion of Silva's latest, the Society and Osbourne will likely be back for a return engagement the next time warring factions attempt to beat their swords. In fact, as the director of the Society says in the last chapter, "The Kosovo Liberation Front would like our help: Gentlemen, we're back in business." --Jane Adams

Customer Reviews:

  • Good CIA Thriller
    For some reason, I inadvertently read books in a series out of sequence and such is the case here. I read "The Marching Season" without having read the first book, "Mark of the Assassin." This was a very good book, but I probably won't read its prequel because I now know how things are resolved. In any case, I heartily recommend this novel if you've read the first book. It zips along nicely, is well-crafted, like most Silva novels, and has a lot of suspense and excitement. It gives a pretty clear view of various aspects of "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland. One downer for me is the inclusion in the plot of a malicious global organization which exists only to foment turmoil. I think that's a device that insults the reader. Also, the ending gets crazy and silly. Silva cooks up such a good plot that he doesn't know how to resolve things, so he just makes a mad dash for the exit. In any case, I'm a big Silva fan and I enjoyed this book. If only I had read the other book first........more info
  • "Memories are long in Ulster, and neither side has been willing to declare that the civil war is truly over."
    Against the backdrop of the Good Friday Accords of 1998, this 1999 thriller explores several groups which have reason to want the peace process to fail so that they can accomplish their own agendas. Partisans of the Republic and partisans of the Union have come to an agreement regarding peace and power-sharing, but the new Ulster Freedom Brigade believes that all sides have sold out, and they are willing to murder Catholics and Protestants alike as they continue the sectarian violence. At the same time an international group, the secret Society for International Development and Cooperation, consisting of powerful business and security officials from around the world, decides to use the uncertainties in Ulster to further their own business interests.

    Michael Osbourne, formerly with the CIA, is lured out of retirement to promote the peace process and to guard his father-in-law, Douglas Cannon, who has just been appointed US ambassador to the Court of St. James. Osbourne has experienced personal danger, having escaped an assassination attempt the previous year, and he knows his way around Ireland. The Society, however, contacts the man who previously tried to kill him, a Russian known only as October, and hires him to stop Osbourne and the Ambassador and end the peace process.

    Though the mystery associated with Ulster is exciting and filled with authentic detail, including some of the real characters associated with the Accords, the novel wanders into other, unrelated areas. The Society for International Development and Cooperation includes powerful and amoral renegades in high positions in the US, Israel, the UK, and other countries, and as the action shifts to Egypt, France, Greece, and other countries, the subplots shift the focus away from Ireland and into an international netherworld.

    The staccato sentence structure, while effective for conveying action, gets wearisome here because there is so much action, not all of it related to Ireland, and Silva's descriptive abilities, so obvious in some of his other novels, are subordinated here to the action. One gets some insight into October and how he became the assassin he is, but Osbourne, while clever, remains somewhat indistinct from other thriller "heroes." This Silva novel lacks the unity and intense characterization one associates with the Gabriel Allon series, and Ari Shamron, Allon's mentor, is a sinister SIDC character here. Still, the novel is fun to read, a fast-paced thriller which does give some insights into the complexities of Ulster and the difficulties of the peace process. n Mary Whipple ...more info
  • Another very good effort from Silva
    Another page turner from Daniel Silva!!! Michael Osbourne, hero from The Mark of the Assassin, returns as the chief protagonist in the Marching Season. Against the backdrop of the long-standing conflict in Northern Ireland, the secret order called the Society is again attempting to create global unrest to further their own agendas. The Marching Season is a fast-paced, exciting read. Many of the characters from the Mark of the Assassin, both good and evil, are back, allowing for further character development for the readers who also read Silva's previous work. The story has action, excitement, intrigue, and frequent plot twists - leading up to an unexpected ending. This is another solid effort by Silva. You won't be disappointed if you give this a go....more info
  • Super Sequel
    Unlike many sequels, this was every bit as good, if not even better, than the original. The two protagonists, Osbourne and Delaroche, are such fascinating character studies. That alone made the book riveting. Also, I really loved the rather unconventional ending. I am now reading the later works by this author, but the absence of these characters makes them problematic....more info
  • Terrific!
    This is a great sequel to Mark of the Assassin. The characters are terrific. The focus on the conflict in Northern Ireland is insightful, educational and very interesting....more info
  • Exceptionally talented writer
    It takes a great writer to entice me to buy all of their books. I bought all of Silva's books after completing "Mark of the Assassin."

    He weaves a lot of fact, including history, into his tales. Thus making them more credible and worthwhile from a learning perspective.

    I find the "Society" to be quite fascinating as I am intrigued by factual conspiracies. Though Silva's "Society" is fictional, there is something in the real world with several similarities. I would sure like to know Silva's thoughts on what is fact and what is fiction.

    I'm surprised that some movies have not been produced based on these fine yarns.

    Sorry I don't always give my perspective on what the story was. Almost everyone else does that, as well as all book jackets. Sometimes it seems repetitive to see dozens of readers recapitulate the story (this one deals with the centuries old problem of terrorism in Ireland). Now I know why England has so many bloody security cameras....more info
  • Awful
    Nothing, but nothing, turns me off more than an author who tries to "fake it" with technical material. Specifically, Mr. Silva needs instruction/mentoring in the subject of firearms. Silva refers to a "high power Browning. I assume he means a "Browning Hi-power", also known as a P-35 and is chambered for 9x19 mm cartridge. He then refers to a "high powered Herstal firing a 2 gram bullet. I assume he means the Fabrique National (FN Herstal) 5.7x28 mm pistol. Among several loadings listed are a 32 GRAIN (1.8 gram) bullet. Please, Mr. Silva--in the USA we measure projectile mass in grains, not grams.

    He also exhibits clear bias against hunting, the Republican party and features a protagonist so dumb that he tells terrorists to put down their sub-machine guns (instead of shooting them first)....more info
  • Half a Loaf is Better Than None
    First of all, I like Daniel Silva's writing and I thoroughly enjoyed his first two novels. "The Unlikely Spy" was one of the best World War II espionage novels that I had read in a long time. "Mark of the Assassin", the prequel to this book, was also quite good. But, I guess I just missed the boat on this one.

    The success of the Good Friday Agreement is being threatened by a new terrorist group and the current British Prime Minister requests that the U.S. President appoint a heavyweight to the Court of St. James to show U.S. support for this agreement. Senator Douglas Cannon, a political rival of the current administration, gets the appointment and since he is Michael Osbourne's father in law, we know that the former hero of "Mark of the Assassin" will be lured back into the web of dirty deeds and operatives. Even the "Assassin" from "Mark of the Assassin" returns. What more could one ask for.

    Unlike many, I thought that the first half of the book was extremely well done. Especially where Silva lays the seeds for the problems in Northern Ireland and introduces his new paramilitary "bad guys" (and "bad gals"). But, with the introduction of a super-secret cabal known only as "The Society", whose directors are interested in world domination and control from an economic as well as a political/military level, I think he starts to lose it. First of all, the identity of the U.S. delegate to this group is a piece of cake to figure out. Then, "October", the assassin from the second book, performs a hit for the Mossad and Osbourne can recognize him from his hand (?). The Society itself - that world domination thing, again - is vintage Robert Ludlum. Even the three word title is downright Ludlumesque. And having Osbourne and Jean Paul Delarouche ("October") join forces to save the world.......well, let's say I double checked a couple of times just to make sure whose name was on the cover.

    A number of authors of this genre have had their first couple of books be their best work and later novels become the literary equivalent of popcorn. I think that Silva is too good a writer to allow that to happen. But, I look forward to his next novel, just to make sure....more info

  • An Excellent and Logical Sequel To The Mark of the Assassin!
    This is the third of Daniel Silva's books that I have read and all I can say is that THE MARCHING SEASON is perhaps the best sequel I have read in any of the genres I read in. At the very beginning of this book I did not think I would end up saying this, but here I am, saying it in spite of my initial reservations.

    To be sure, this book starts off more slowly than I would have expected or liked. However, that is where the skill that Daniel Silva possesses reveals itself. Without a doubt, here is a relatively new author who is already a master of pacing, tension, plot, scene, character development and everything that is needed to craft a finely wrought spy novel.

    Michael Osbourne is reprised from THE MARK OF THE ASSASSIN as are his wife, his liberal father-in-law, retired U.S. Senator Douglas Cannon and other members of the government and the CIA. Also returning for a not so welcome guest appearance is Jean-Paul Delaroche, aka October, the Assassin who unsuccessfully attempted to kill Michael Osbourne in the previous installment.

    The internal machinations of the U.S. and British governments, as well as the possible goings-on inside both the IRA and the various Irish Protestant paramilitaries are also revealed here and in fine detail. Another master stroke that Silva employs throughout this story is that he doesn't ever really get preachy. With some authors, their natural biases come out in their writing. Not so with Daniel Silva. He simply tells the story and writes about the people he populates the book with.

    Is there moral outrage on Silva's part? I would have to guess yes. No normal person could ever condone the terroristic acts that are carried out in the name of one misguided cause after another around the globe. If he shows that outrage, it is when he talks about how various splinter factions have risen out of the ashes of the fires of terrorism to scuttle the Irish peace process. He also writes damningly of THE SOCIETY, a super secret extra-national intelligence organization that continues to stir the pot around the globe for its own greedy interests. These are the folks you can tell Silva despises; the globalists with no loyalties to any nation or flag. They are only loyal to their own financial interests.

    Although Silva continues to be spare with his information on Jean Paul Delaroche, he provides just enough material to keep the reader plunging along in headlong pursuit of the final denouement. This is what makes October so interesting and ultimatley almost sympathetic. For throughout the international chases, October is a man who maintains his own sense of values and morality. Michael Osbourne may not agree with October's view of the world or himself, but ultimately, the respect, while grudging begins to grow. How Silva brings this all about is what makes this an exceptional spy novel.

    If you have not discovered Daniel Silva, you are in for a real treat. Start with THE UNLIKELY SPY and then read THE MARK OF THE ASSASSIN, followed by THE MARCHING SEASON. Only the last two are directly related but, if you read them in the order I have listed, you will get to follow Silva's rapid development as a writer and see his promotion into the ranks of spy-thriller masters.

    I recommend these books unreservedly to all fans of well-crafted spy fiction. Read them and you too, will be telling your friends about Daniel Silva.

    Thank you, Mr. Silva for many hours of reading enjoyment. I hope you'll keep Michael Osbourne as a central figure in your future novels. I think he still has more to say.

    Paul Connors...more info

  • A typical sequel
    I liked Daniel Silva's "The Mark of the Assassin", so I expected I would like "The Marching Season" as much, and I wasn't disappointed. This is a sequel to the previous book, with the same main characters, including the title character of the first book. At the end of "The Mark of the Assassin" you're told he was killed in a storm escaping his attempt to kill the good guy. Anyone who's ever seen or read any mysteries knows that's a dead giveaway: the assassin's still alive, and of course at some point he gets his cross-hairs on our hero again.

    I liked this book about as much as I liked "The Mark of the Assassin". Silva's a good writer in the Vince Flynn/Stuart Woods line of things. These books aren't literature, the plots (so far anyway) contain no surprises or twists you can't forsee, but they're reasonably well-written and the pages fly by you at a blistering pace. Good for a day or two at the beach....more info
  • the marching season
    i like silva so much i bought the remaining 7 of his books i had not already read. i finished 4 of them in the last week and am eager to read the remaining 3. his writing is clear, elegant and easy to read. his characters are very real and always interesting. some are exceedingly complex. try him, you'll like his stories....more info
  • Good on its own, and as a prequel for certain Allon characters
    As with The Mark of the Assassin, Silva's other novel about CIA agent Michael Osbourne, The Marching Season is a solid spy thriller. However, it also surprisingly is the de facto second part of the story that began in The Mark of the Assassin and, even though both novels stand on their own, The Marching Season is better plotted and a better story. And read together, they're even more satisfying.

    It's a nice bit of writing structure and pays off very well.

    Both these novels predate the current series of Silva spy thrillers featuring protagonist Gabriel Allon. And fans of those richer tales (mostly because Allon is a more interesting main character) will discover, to their delight, that both The Mark of the Assassin and The Marching Season act as pseudo-prequels to the Allon novels. Several characters that show up in the later series also appear here, including the CIA's Adrian Carter and Mossad's Ari Shamron. As a result, the two Osbourne books are must-reads for die-hard Allon fans....more info
  • Daniel Silva Does it Again
    An excellent followup to "Mark of the Assasin".Our hired killer returns to the world scene doing a hit for the Chief of the Mossad. The secret committee is once again using October to cause big problems on the world scene. The ending of the book was also very unique. Revenge is gained on this Committee thanks to October. This was the perfect way to end this book. This is another must buy book....more info
  • Great, but ...
    The book is excellent, and every bit as good as The Mark of the Assassin. The only negative thing I have to say about both books is: Will someone please educate Silva about firearms? I cringe every time I read some inaccurate description...more info
  • A terrific sequel - with more to come
    The troubles of Northern Ireland spark the return of Michael Osbourne to the CIA and his nemesis, the assassin known as October to the killing fields. The Society is still up to its usual deadly mischief, double dealing in Washington DC is alive and well and it looks as though there is little that can be done to stop an assassination which will sabotage the peace process. How all of this plays out is what keeps this book humming from start to finish. Some scores are settled, but it is doubtful that we have seen the last of the characters that survive David Silva's sequel to The Mark of the Assassin. And that is very good news....more info
  • Daniel Silva Strikes Again!
    This book was an excellent followup to "Mark of the Assasin".
    The Society,a group dedicated to making money from destabilization in the world is once again in the picture. They call upon October to do a contract killing on behalf of the Mossad Chief in the Middle East. October is given an assigment to
    assasinate Senator Cannon, Osbourne's father in law. It is uo to Osbourne to stop him. The book has an excellent plot and plenty of action. There is never a dull moment in this book. Osbourne and October struggle all over the world. The ending of the book is also very good. This is another quality product from Daniel Silva. I am now waiting for "Kill Artist" to turn paperback. Do
    not miss the "Marching Season"....more info
  • The Marching Season
    Daniel Silva keeps me reading!! The situation in Northern Ireland has always bothered me greatly and sadly. Perhaps the scariest part of this book is knowing that the 'situation' in N. I. never really has changed!
    The Marching Season is a fast paced book, and you want to keep reading til you finish!! You just have to KNOW.......Is the Director of the CIA really rotten?? And how in the world could a person from MI6 be so very crooked??? Is Delaroche going to finally annilate Michael Osborne???
    KEEP READING!!...more info
  • I'm a Daniel Silva fan, however this book,....?
    ...is simply awful. That is awful, not awesome. God, what a stinker.
    Technical details are shallow and/or missing, and the story is so laughable implausable, that for me being a Silva fan caused me to put this sad effort down and then return to it a half dozen times.
    It is where silly meets dumb and provide for the least interesting characters possible. I found that I was migrating towards minor characters like real estate agents and canines rather than the main and secondary protagonists.
    I am very glad that Mr.Silva's writing has improved in his later works. This one was, well,...painful.Worse. It was boring....more info
  • need more of Oct.
    I wish that Oct. had more stories about him. Even though he is an assassin, and bad. I still liked reading about him. Its just fun reading about what is going on in his head and how he deals with his killing. This book was still good, but a slow read. If you read the Mark of the assassin, you should read this one as well. Just don't expect to read it in a few days, like i am used to doing....more info
  • Great read
    I went to college with Daniel Silva and had a big crush on him, so that's why I started reading his books. But now I'm kind of hooked just for the characters alone. This is my favorite one so far, because I liked the Douglas Cannon character. Now if only he could write female characters as well. Douglas's wife (Elizabeth?) is a potentially great character, and I would like to see him expand on her motivations if/when he revisits the Cannon family....more info
  • Nonstop read
    This one flew as I finished it in only three sittings.

    The action never stopped. The players were most realistic and it was easy to get involved with all of them.

    Cat and mouse kept me on edge of my seat. The twists and turns and red herrings made it impossible to put down.

    The characters were well drawn and I will go back and read his earlier books. The ending was spectacular and what a surprise. The resolution leaves plenty of room for continuation of these characters and I look forward to a follow up.

    This is a thriller drama at its best....more info

  • A SURPRISINGLY GOOD SEQUEL
    When a paramilitary group uses terrorist tactics to squash the Good Friday Peace Accords, the British prime Minister asks the US President to appoint an experienced politician to the post of US Ambassador to London. The unanimous choice is former US Senator Douglas Cannon, who publicly and vehemently vows to not give in to "thugs" who want to derail the peace process. Although the British politicians are encouraged by his remarks, his intrepidness makes him a target for assassination. Out of concern for the Ambassador's safety, Michael Osbourne, Cannon's son-in-law and retired CIA counter-terrorism expert, launches his own unofficial investigation. Osbourne is shocked when he discovers that his old nemesis, the painter-assassin Jean-Paul Delaroche, whom Osbourne thought was killed during their last encounter, is alive and is responsible for the execution-style killing of a Hamas leader in the Middle East. Osbourne returns to the CIA to stop Delaroche before he carries out his next assignment: The assassination of the US Ambassador to London.

    4 and 1/2 Stars. THE MARCHING SEASON starts off slowly and but recovers as the narrative continues. Silva demonstrates why he is one of the best researchers in the genre. The reappearance of Delaroche and Osbourne make this sequel memorable, although their "reunion" was not what I anticipated. Nevertheless, Silva is a very talented writer who churns out an emotionally charged ending from a slow and steady storyline. Die-hard Silva fans like myself will want this book even if it is a bit more passive compared to his previous efforts....more info