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Daniel Silva burst onto the scene in 1996 with one of the most auspicious thriller debuts in years-- The Unlikely Spy , a New York Times and international bestseller. The following year he solidified his reputation as one of the foremost thriller writers of his generation with another instant New York Times bestseller, The Mark of the Assassin .
With The Marching Season, Silva delivers his most entertaining novel yet--an electrifying tale of terror, revenge, and greed, straight out of tomorrow's headlines. It is the first uncertain year of the peace process in Northern Ireland, a land ravaged by centuries of religious and political conflict. On a single night, a renegade group of Protestant extremists tries to turn back the hands of time with three savage acts of terrorism.
Retired CIA officer Michael Osbourne, the hero of The Mark of the Assassin, is lured back to the Agency after his father-in-law, former U.S. Senator Douglas Cannon, is nominated to be the new American ambassador to London. When Michael discovers that the Protestant gunmen have marked Cannon for execution, he sets in motion a deadly contest of wits and deception that will determine whether the peace in Northern Ireland will survive and whether his father-in-law lives or dies.
What Michael Osbourne does not realize is that he is a pawn in a much larger game. Once again, his destiny is controlled by the Society, a secret order that uses its power and influence to foster global unrest for financial gain. And once again, he is pitted against his personal bte noire, Jean-Paul Delaroche, the world's most dangerous assassin, who slipped through Michael's fingers at the climax of The Mark of the Assassin .
Filled with breathtaking plot twists, The Marching Season spirals to a riveting conclusion. It is a novel of power and intrigue, where appearance and reality are enemies and trust is betrayed as often as it is honored. 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