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
The narrative about the world of art restoration is interesting and informative, set inside a well managed story. It is an education for the reader, who like myself knows little about that world.
Both the story and the narration were excellent. I enjoyed the details about art, the insight into the workings of the Vatican, and the Israeli and Hezbollah political information. The story was fascinating, and I like the author's explanations at the end of what was true and what he'd imagined.
The narrator was terrific. I hope to hear more of his work, and I'll listen to this again sometime.
Simon Vance and John Lee are terrific. George Guidall's range is very narrow (for example, Allon's wife sounds like a male), his accents terrible (Allon sounds American, the other characters barely recognizable), and his cadence is just the same as in all the other books he reads (by authors other than Silva). I don't object to Guidall in American murder mysteries that don't call for accents, but in the Allon series he's pitifully inadequate. Please, please drop Guidall for the Silva books -- he's significantly detracting from my enjoyment of a series I've greatly enjoyed to date.
Drop George Guidall as narrator. He can't do the Daniel Silva characters.
Yes i would
WONDERFUL... Love his narration ,
I like Daniels work when he does not dwell so much in the past or go into history lessons.. The whole plot DRAGGED.. did not like it at all.
buy this book!
Gabriel is like a less violent Mitch Rapp who has more empathy the story pulls you in little by little and makes you want to visit all the places that the book is set in. I was set to book my ticket to rome after listening to this book.
Gabriel and the Pope.....
I listened to it while driving to work and listened to it again.
If you like a good story with some dry humour and excellent narration then you cannot go wrong. Enjoy!
I'm currently reading David Baldacci's 'The Hit'. The suspense, the plot and character development, the primary 'fight-for-right' at the risk of losing their own lives (Gabriel Allon) and Will Robie), the commitment to find the truth and find justice... are similar.
'This fallen angel uncovers the devil's plots... thank God!'
This is my first intro to Gabriel Allon. Since I've read one of his later 'adventures', I'm interested in going back to Day1 to see how his character develops, how he pursues rightness and justice, and copes with his frailties...
I don't know, I think it would be the same.
It was interesting and kept me wondering what would come next.
The main character, was interesting and had a normal sort of life outside of the assassinations, black ops, etc.
I don't know where else to find a clever Mossad agent taking on the bad guys, but Allon's story line has become too predictable.
Also, I've read and enjoyed every one of these books except the newest one, and do enjoy them overall, but the hero really is a little too super-duper. It reached silly proportions when he was required to shoot a pistol at a firing range to obtain some kind of official permit. No big deal there, but he refused eye and ear protection with some gritty, Clint Eastwood-esque kind of comment. Great, now his ears are immune to the damaging effects of gunfire. Really, the guy should have on blue tights and a red cape or something. That was just silly.
I have not read this book in print, so I couldn't compare.
I especially like listening to George Guidall perform. I agree with another reviewer who I recall wrote something to the effect that he could listen to George Guidall read the tax code. When I'm searching for the next book, I sometimes look through the list of books he's narrated to see which ones might be of interest.
I save my audio books for the bus ride to work and a few minutes before bed. If I had the time and unlimited funds I might enjoy this in one sitting, however, I need to make them last a little while.
I enjoy the story's inclusion of historical facts mixed in with the fiction. Especially for covert op type of stories, because it makes you wonder how much of the story really is true.
I am an avid reader/ i.e. listener of spy novels of the Flynn, Thor and Berenson caliber and am always open to new characters. For some reason I cannot align with Mr Allon and his escapades. Maybe I'll start from the beginning and go from there...I'm just not sure where I stand with this series, and that for me is a strange place to be with a book. However I do enjoy listening to Mr Guidall, narration truly is his calling. Just my $0.02..
Report Inappropriate Content