Haunted by his failure to stop a suicide bomber in London, Gabriel Allon is summoned to Washington and drawn into a confrontation with the new face of global terror. At the center of the threat is an American-born cleric in Yemen who was once a paid CIA asset.
Gabriel and his team devise a daring plan to destroy the network of death - from the inside - a gambit fraught with risk, both personal and professional. To succeed, Gabriel must reach into his violent past. A woman waits there, a reclusive heiress and art collector who can traverse the murky divide between Islam and the West. She is the daughter of an old enemy, and together they form an unlikely and dangerous bond.
Set against the disparate worlds of art and intelligence, Portrait of a Spy moves swiftly from the corridors of power in Washington to the glamorous auction houses of New York and London to the unforgiving landscape of the Saudi desert. Featuring a climax that will leave listeners haunted long after the final words, this deeply entertaining story is also a breathtaking portrait of courage in the face of unspeakable evil - and Daniel Silva's most extraordinary novel to date.
©2011 Daniel Silva (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
While this is another Gabriel Allon novel, it seemed to illustrate a few real issues/peeves of the author: treatment (bad) of women in the islamic world, dedication of the radical jihad adherents against western morals and views and spy trade craft...to name a few. I couldn't help drawing those conclusions even though the story was fictitious. Well researched, I'd say.
Big fan of Simon Vance, and enjoyed earlier Gabriel Allon stories, so I had to give this one a listen. While it's somewhat formulaic in its plot, the characters in this story are well-drawn, the politics are sufficiently nuanced, and the geographic detail realistic enough to allow even a cynic like me to suspend belief and just get caught up in the adventure and intrigue.
I have read all the books in this series, this is the first time I listened to one. I enjoyed it as well. Gabriell is such a great character you just have to want everything to go well for him. I'm always rooting for him to find some peace and time to just paint, however, that wouldn't make for a good story so im happy he is always brought back to work.
The narration is a bit odd ... the Israelis come across a bit like Transylvanians, like Count Dracula, especially Shamron and Allon.
But a great story!
Silva does a good job of engaging the reader- and keeping them engaged
settings a bit familiar to other books of his.
It ranks right up there with the best
The history that comes with it and the enterplay between the characters.
I am afraid I am not very good at remembering who the performers are. I did enjoy his performance!
History comes alive
I felt lost with the new narrator. It is like I do not know the characters anymore because their voices are different. I really loved how Phil Gigante brought Gabriel and the other characters to life.
Listening allowed me to grasp the 'accent' and 'flavor' of this well told story that is alarmingly all too close to the truth.
I would highly recommend this audio book.
Carol Deming Casey
The quality of writing is even more superb. The descriptive of the scenes, time of year, and time of year is outstanding. The conversations and dialogue are so real and strong--no fillers, no fluff, just strong material. As you listen to the book, you get lost between fact and fiction - the topic is appropriate for the 21th century and the world on terror. I found this book a real page turner, suspenseful, and thrill-a-minute. This is my first book writing by Daniel Silva, I am already engrossed in his talented writing, and I can't wait to read more.
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