Sent to Vienna to authenticate a painting, the art restorer and sometime spy Gabriel Allon is sidetracked by a photograph that throws his world upside-down. Could it really be the face of a man who during the last days of World War II had brutalized his mother on the Death March from Auschwitz?
Questions abound when Allon, driven by an intensity he had not felt in years, begins to investigate, discovering in the process that the hunt for one man is a hunt for many-and a network of unimaginable evil spanning sixty years.
©2004 Daniel Silva; (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.
"Superbly crafted narrative of espionage and foreign intrigue....Action and suspense abound, but this is serious fiction with a serious purpose." (Publishers Weekly)
"The action, despite careening across cities and continents, retains knife-edge-sharp suspense....This finely wrought thriller reads like an exquisitely suspenseful chess game." (Booklist)
"John Lee gives a masterful performance....All the accents, from Italian to German, sound perfect....And his pacing is excellent, always in tune with the action. A riveting narration." (AudioFile)
"Daniel Silva has now indisputably joined the ranks of Graham Greene and John le Carre." (Chicago Tribune)
Daniel Silva is a superb writer and storyteller. "A Death In Vienna" is one of his best. The narrotor is a fine match for this story and he added much to my enjoyment.
Contrary to what other reviewers have said about John Lee's "fine" reading, John Lee cannot pronounce the simplest Italian. For instance, he mispronounces, veneto, polizia, trastevere...Given how crucial Italy is to Silva's plots and characters, Lee should take a few basic lessons. And after one or two mistakes shouldn't the editors and producers made the same suggestion?
Despite how Lee's bad Italian grates on my ear, I still love Silva's books. I've listened to two and will buy others. But if really lame mispronunciations make you shudder, think twice before putting yourself through Lee's botched reading.
German atrocities during WWII are never a pleasant subject to deal with. This novel makes a salient point. You can destroy a people but you will never destroy their need to seek revenge against those that committed these deeds. Silva handles this in a fast paced exciting manner that hits all the right buttons. Gabriel Alon is an agent for Israel whose family was wiped out during the Holocaust. Over fifty years later a friend is murdered in Vienna under suspicious circumstances. This sets into motion an exciting investigation that turns up all of the old hatred.
If you enjoy a vast pace action novel, this should be your cup of tea.
Daniel Silva writes a great story. His series about an Israeli spy rings true in today's political/news events climate. There are more clever twists and turns than I can remember--a good reason to read it again. And buy the next in the series. Maybe he will have a son to follow in his footsteps? :)
This one hooked me from the first ten minutes. The Narrator is a perfect match for this book. Excellent job. The story told by Gabriel Allons' mother is an amazing bit of writing. I was a little confused of the names of the characters, but rewinding helped. Listen....you may learn something.
The story was exciting. The message was deep. And the abilities of the reader greatly complemented the narrative style. The voices, accents and characterisations were superb throughout and the reader did much to aid the impact of the "first hand accounts." The testimonies seemed to resonate long after the words had dissipated. This was my first Silva, but I have immediately started another feeling somehow engrossed in the stories of the past and their impact on today's political climate.
The first quarter is slow going with two-dimensional characters brought out in bewildering numbers, only to provide background for a plot too quickly revealed. It gets better and provides some insight into the Holocaust and current events in Europe and the Middle East. But hey, this is supposed to be a spy thriller. On that ground, it wobbles slightly then peters out. Better than some on the market but can't hold a candle to Le Carre' or many of the other tried and true.
Not sure i've read all of the "Gabriel Allon" series, but several, and enjoyed them all. (This was my first on audio.) I think i liked this one the best; Gabriel seemed a little less distant, Shamron more involved, and the subject matter was intriging, with both personal and global interests. As to the narration, it was one of the best i've heard, with very real "feeling" accents over varied nationalities. An excellent listen all around.
This will make a great movie - fast paced, covers a lot of geography, great intrique, detailed history, plus some violence and some beauty.
This book has a very slow start and I almost gave up completely but perservering I found it to be riviting. The characters are complex and believable and the plot delicately balances between the present and the holocaust without overdoing it. It suprised me and I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrillers and spies.
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