Daniel Silva is a renowned political thriller author. He has written thirteen novels, ten that feature the hero Gabriel Allon, an art restorer who is also an Israeli spy. In all of the Allon books, New York Times bestsellers by the way, he blends the world of art with the world of intelligence. His latest book, The Rembrandt Affair, could be considered a ‘faction book’-completely fictional with a plot rooted in fact. This novel artfully intertwines the Holocaust, a Bernie Madoff type character, the history of looted art, and the Iranian nuclear situation in a masterful fashion. NewsRealBlog had the pleasure of interviewing Daniel Silva.
NewsRealBlog: Did you write this book to send a warning to your readers?
Daniel Silva: In one-way in this book I am trying to be prophet-like. I want to point out that we have got to make decisions quite quickly or this is going to get away from us in a hurry. I do believe that sabotaging the Iranian nuclear program in little ways may not be as dramatic as I did it in my book. Yet, covert action against the program is a way to buy our policymakers much needed time. You cannot bomb knowledge. The Iranians will resurrect bombed facilities.
NRB: In many of your books you blend reality and fiction. For example in your book, TheConfessor, the speech by the fictional Pope before the Italian Jewish community, was eerily similar to the one made by Pope John Paul II. Did you intentionally do that?
Silva: Yes. I draw from and am inspired by real life.
NRB: In The Rembrandt Affair you talk about what I will refer to as “the China Syndrome.” Because of America’s debt to China we are held hostage to get them to cooperate more. Please explain.
Silva: We have very little ability to put pressure on the Chinese. Admiral Mullen said the other day that the greatest threat of our national security is our debt. I truly believe that a debtor nation cannot be a great power. We have to get the debt under control right away or we are going to circle the drain as a great power.
NRB: Was it the theme of the book?
Silva: The spine of the book is greed. It is a story of historical greed from one of the darkest chapters of the Second World War, the Holocaust, to one of the greatest threats today. The common thread is greed. Keep in mind that on the way to the gas chamber the people were systematically robbed.
NRB: Having a father who was a Holocaust survivor I thought you realistically got into the psych of the survivors. Please explain.