After narrowly surviving his last operation, Gabriel Allon, the wayward son of Israeli intelligence, has taken refuge behind the walls of the Vatican, where he is restoring one of Caravaggio's greatest masterpieces. But early one morning, he is summoned to St. Peter's Basilica by Monsignor Luigi Donati, the all-powerful private secretary to his Holiness Pope Paul VII. The body of a beautiful woman lies broken beneath Michelangelo's magnificent dome.
The Vatican police suspect suicide, though Gabriel believes otherwise. So, it seems, does Donati. But the monsignor is fearful that a public inquiry might inflict another scandal on the Church, and so he calls upon Gabriel to quietly pursue the truth - with one caveat.
"Rule number one at the Vatican," Donati said. "Don't ask too many questions."
Gabriel learns that the dead woman had uncovered a dangerous secret - a secret that threatens a global criminal enterprise that is looting timeless treasures of antiquity and selling them to the highest bidder. But there is more to this network than just greed. A mysterious operative is plotting an act of sabotage that will plunge the world into a conflict of apocalyptic proportions....
©2012 Daniel Silva (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
Silva's stories always seem believable given the history of what has happened in the Middle East. His gift for details that mirror those in real life accounts always seem to put you in the scene. To top it off, the reader is so good at what he does, you become either the characters themselves or you end up siding with them and supporting their every move. You begin to anticipate their next actions, knowing their will be a setback and twist in the story but you know not when it will come.
Allon is always my favorite character because he is so calculating and cool. I find myself cheering for a known assassin and justify it because he is up against terrorists that reflect those in the world today that threaten our own security.
I have listened to many of his performances and they are all excellent. He and Scott Brick and the readers in David Hewson's, James Lee Burke's and some of WEB Griffin's books are my favorites. I really cannot say that this performance is better then previous ones, he is so consistent from book to book, he enhances Silva's writing and story telling each time. I have been listening to Audio Books since 1990 and I find that the reader of the book is equally as important as the quality of the story being read. That said, I search on this site by reader many times and purchase books that way.
It always makes me angry and hopeless about the situation in the Middle East. I am not a Jew, I am a Catholic who very much understands the biblical history of the Jewish people and I find myself sympathizing and siding with them both in the book and in real life. Although I do not know Silva's intentions, I feel his motivation for writing these books is to make people aware of the political realities in the region and Israel's tenuous position among the arab/muslim states.
Perhaps I have read to many of the authors books, I found this one only mildly entertaining. I suggest the main character is getting on (age related) to be doing the things he does, indeed I feel the author is getting a little tired of him. Perhaps my last Silva book
Another Gabrial Allon book with the same type cast of characters & same plot lines. For me it never gets boring!!! A very typical good read
Its time for Gabriel Allon to retire and for Daniel Silva to create some new characters.
I have been a long time fan of the series, but the last couple of books have been below par.
One man can only save the world and Israel so many times. Gabriel's continued angst
is becoming boring and frankly excruciating.
Nothing< I have just become tired of the series.
Refer to my rreview
Download, Run, Listen and repeat
Clearly Silva is a great writer. Bringing today events into the world of fiction. This was another cannot put it down story.
His story line is repetitious from his previous novels, Same characters, same line about Gabriel being like a son to Shamron, His 1st wife almost dying in Austria, his son dying in Austria, his action group in Tel Aviv, his repairing a Vatican painting, His learning to be a restorer, his friendship with the Pope's assistant and his saving the Pope's life was already done. He's done most of this Fallen Angel story line before. Same art thief in Paris. The Vatican murder resembles a Dan Brown novel. It appears that Daniel Silva has run out of stories for Gabriel Alon. So he should move on to completely new characters.
Don't care for his deep voice. Should use a voice with a slight British accent.
The finding the First Temple and it being a small part of the story. Finding parts of the 1st Temple is a novel in itself but since it isn't true it would be like Raiders of the Lost Ark. Only good for an Indiana Jones movie.
Maybe Daniel Silva has to retire for a few years then come back with fresh ideas.
Not if they are all like this one. George is a wonderful reader. I have heard him on other books.
Something funny, plausible, bio, but no more ridiculous combinations of terrorists, church type back drops and of course a murder where our hero saves the world. OMG!
Yes, he is a pro!
The stupid terrorist who thinks he can tunnel under the Dome of the Rock, just to blow it up. INSANE!
I did enjoy the TRUE facts at the end of the story. But come on! Either tell the true story, or just take ONE aspect and make up a good story.
I remember the first Allon book and enjoyed many in the series. The story had promises, but it was just slow for me. Maybe I'm loosing interest I these types of books, but the action was almost non existent and I couldn't even make it to the end.
Yes - dull. He sounded like an 80 year old trying to be 40.
Is it required that there must be a lengthy recap of every character in every book. I know it may be the first rodeo for some readers, but for those of us who have read all of the Gabriel Allon books it can be exasperating. As someone who has enjoyed Mr. Silva's books for many years I have finally reached the point where I feel that it is time for the main character to really retire and never be heard from again. I never thought I would get to this place but alas I am there.
The narrator was the final nail in the coffin. Has audible signed an exclsuive deal with George Guidall to narrate every book that involves spies? The prior narrators were all excellent but Mr. Guidall feels so omnipresent in the books I read I can no longer distinguish the varied characters that I have come to know and love. This is no offense to Mr. Guidall, but market saturation would hurt anyone.
No, but I am turned off by the series now.
The main character. He must disappear for the good of all concerned.
Not anytime soon
2nd half was definitely the stronger portion of the book.
Overall, there are many better examples of this genera available.
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