Excerpt of The Messenger by Daniel Silva
(Page 6 of 9)
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I have money.
Enough to live like a hermit, but not enough to live. Shamron lapsed into a
momentary silence and listened to the wind. Its quiet now, isnt it? Tranquil
almost. Its tempting to think it can go on like this forever. But it cant. We
gave them Gaza without demanding anything in return, and they repaid us by
freely electing Hamas to be their rulers. Next theyll want the West Bank, and
if we dont surrender it in short order, theres going to be another round of
bloodletting, much worse than even the second intifada. Trust me, Gabriel, one
day soon it will all start up again. And not just here. Everywhere. Do you think
theyre sitting on their hands doing nothing? Of course not. Theyre planning
the next campaign. Theyre talking to Osama and his friends, too. We now know
for a fact that the Palestinian Authority has been thoroughly penetrated by
al-Qaeda and its affiliates. We also know that they are planning major attacks
against Israel and Israeli targets abroad in the very near future. The Office
also believes the prime minister has been targeted for assassination, along with
Of course, Shamron said. I am, after all, the prime ministers special
adviser on all matters dealing with security and terrorism. My death would be a
tremendous symbolic victory for them.
He looked out the window again at the wind moving in the trees. Its ironic,
isnt it? This place was supposed to be our sanctuary. Now, in an odd way, its
left us more vulnerable than ever. Nearly half the worlds Jews live in this
tiny strip of land. One small nuclear device, thats all it would take. The
Americans could survive one. The Russians might barely notice it. But us? A bomb
in Tel Aviv would kill a quarter of the countrys population maybe more.
And you need me to prevent this apocalypse? I thought the Office was in good
hands these days.
Things are definitely better now that Lev has been shown the door. Amos is
an extraordinarily competent leader and administrator, but sometimes I think he
has a bit too much of the soldier in him.
He was chief of both the Sayeret Matkal and Aman. What did you expect?
We knew what we were getting with Amos, but the prime minister and I are now
concerned that hes trying to turn King Saul Boulevard into an outpost of the
IDF. We want the Office to retain its original character.
Boldness, countered Shamron. Audacity. I just wish Amos would think a
little less like a battlefield commander and a little more like . . . His voice
trailed off while he searched for the right word. When he found it, he rubbed
his first two fingers against his thumb and said, Like an artist. I need
someone by his side who thinks more like Caravaggio.
Caravaggio was a madman.
Shamron started to light another cigarette, but this time Gabriel managed to
stay his hand before hed struck his lighter. Shamron looked at him, his eyes
We need you now, Gabriel. Two hours ago the chief of Special Operations
handed Amos his letter of resignation.
London. Shamron looked down at his captured hand. May I have that back?
Gabriel let go of the thick wrist. Shamron rolled the unlit cigarette between
his thumb and forefinger.
What happened in London? Gabriel asked.
Im afraid we had a bit of a mishap there last night.
A mishap? When the Office has a mishap, someone usually ends up dead.
Excerpted from The Messenger, Copyright © 2006 Danile Silva. Reproduced with permission of the publishers, Penguin Putnam. Reproduction prohibited. All rights reserved.