Determined to sever his ties with the Office, Gabriel Allon has retreated to the windswept cliffs of Cornwall with his beautiful Venetian-born wife, Chiara. But once again his seclusion is interrupted by a visitor from his tangled past: the endearingly eccentric London art dealer Julian Isherwood. As usual, Isherwood has a problem. And it is one only Gabriel can solve.
In the ancient English city of Glastonbury, an art restorer has been brutally murdered and a long-lost portrait by Rembrandt mysteriously stolen. Despite his reluctance, Gabriel is persuaded to use his unique skills to search for the painting and those responsible for the crime. But as he painstakingly follows a trail of clues leading from Amsterdam to Buenos Aires and, finally, to a villa on the graceful shores of Lake Geneva, Gabriel discovers there are deadly secrets connected to the painting. And evil men behind them.
Before he is done, Gabriel will once again be drawn into a world he thought he had left behind forever, and will come face-to-face with a remarkable cast of characters: a glamorous London journalist who is determined to undo the worst mistake of her career, an elusive master art thief who is burdened by a conscience, and a powerful Swiss billionaire who is known for his good deeds but may just be behind one of the greatest threats facing the world.
Filled with remarkable twists and turns of plot, and told with seductive prose, The Rembrandt Affair is more than just summer entertainment of the highest order. It is a timely reminder that there are men in the world who will do anything for money.
©2010 Daniel Silva (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
The main requirement for reading The Rembrandt Affair, by Daniel Silva, is not to think too much. It is filled with always beautiful women, always smart and tough men, characters who are savagely beaten only to magically arise and walk away in tact, a villain with an operational support system which would be the envy of any government, government bureaucracies which make decisions quickly and act decisively, and electronic devices that work flawlessly the first time. No glitches permitted. Yet, The Rembrandt Affair is about as good as this international intrigue genre gets. It’s exciting, forward moving, engrossing, and thoroughly entertaining. How does Daniel Silva get the reader to suspend belief? First, he involves the reader in the personality of the protagonist, Gabriel Allon, the reluctant Israeli intelligence operative with multiple talents, a complex person with an admirable core set of values, whose personality has been developed over several books in this series. Add to this, a love affair or two, interesting interpersonal relations between members of various intelligence agencies, and the reader is quickly involved in Allon’s world of intrigue, rooting for him all the way. Another Silva attribute is meticulous and fascinating research so that the book sounds historically grounded and familiar to any reader of the daily newspaper. It has the feel of authenticity. Finally, the plot is so fast moving that the reader has no time nor need to ponder any of its details. Nor does Silva stop along the way to explain motivations, internal musings or conflict resolutions. Any need to understand is provided by the action itself. Any existential angst, which is sometimes hinted at, is tossed aside by the relentless pursuit of evil by the good guys. This is the third book in the Gabriel Allon series that I’ve read, and it is the best. Although the plot neatly resolves itself, the main characters are still very much alive at the end. I'll read the sequel.
I have so thoroughly enjoyed Phil Gigante reading the Gabriel Allon series that I cannot bear to read them myself anymore. I had pre-ordered this book at Amazon, but was afraid they would send me the hardbound addition, so I cancelled it a week before the release date. Then came the long countdown until July 20th followed by an eager audio download, then a few hours of complete pleasure before the novel ended. I could not stop listening. It was that good.
This is perhaps my favorite of all the Allon stories. It depicts Gabriel with the rapid brush strokes of a master at the top of his craft. It enriches with the heartwarming and noble cast of Gabriel's team and a striking and an authentic new female protagonist whom I hope will return in future stories. It contains all the elements that draw me to Silva's work time and again: fabulous settings meticulously drawn, holocaust history sensitively presented, contemporary international intrigue that is both intelligently written and flawlessly paced.
My only wish for this book would have been more of all of the above. But I totally understand the reason for keeping Silva's novels somewhat short, so he can keep them coming. I'm ready for the next one TODAY but now will need to wait another year. Boo-hoo!!!
Bravo, Daniel Silva -- may your success continue for many years to come!
Gabriel Allon must tread delicately while learning about the history of a beautiful painting if he wants to rip apart a pretty picture of the past, painted by greedy men and countries. The better to deceive you, my dear.
Daniel Silva will break your heart while he reveals the world's past, but he will also show you beauty and healing in unexpected places. His books are at the top of my Must-Read (or listen) list.
i love this series. silva writes with such a sure tone. the characters have gotten richer with each successive book. the plots have gotten more complex and the revenge is sweeter than ever. thank you dan silva.
I love the Gabriel Allon series and The Rembrandt Affair is probably the most interesting story line yet. Mr. Silva brings out the injustices done to the Dutch Jews during the Holocaust at the hands of the Nazi's and the local population occupied by the Third Reich. Hatred and distrust may have been the main reason for the Dutch to sell out their Jews, but money and opportunity was nipping right at it's heels. The story opens with a modern day murder over a little known work by Rembrandt that was stolen from Julian Isherwood, a friend and cohort of Gabriel Allon. Julian is an art dealer, who is threatened by ruin if the painting is not recovered. Thinking this was a relatively simple investigation, Gabriel agrees to look into the matter. What he and his usual team of spies uncover is a complicated and twisted story about greed, sorrow, guilt and redemption for those who were connected to the painting and the great crime that is uncovered by a secret it holds. As always, Allons' powers of deduction and total commitment to the task at hand, makes for a fast paced and often violent story with a bit of Jewish wit and wisdom thrown in for good measure. As a result, I could relate to the characters because I grew up Jewish and understand the mentality, even though I'm not a famous spy and assassin. I'm looking forward to the next book in the Allon Series.
I've read all the Gabriel Alon novels and have enjoyed then thoroughly but this one just seemed a bit too formulaic thus predictable. I continue to be intrigued by the character so I look forward to more Gabriel Alon stories.
I think this is a great series, I like the writing, the art lessons, and the ride through espionage. The bad characters are well done and truly a menace.The good guys are heroic for all the right reasons. If you want to start reading a good series, start reading Daniel Silva.
Maybe it is just me, but I didn't get involved in this audio book as I usually do with books from this author. Usually I can't stop listening...to even sleep or eat, but this one just didn't hold my attention. I will listen to it again, to see if maybe I missed something early on that would have roped me into the storyline.
I guess because I've read all of Daniel Silva's novels, I found this book to be much too "padded" with flashbacks and information from his earlier works. It would seem to me that the story should be able to stand alone without rehashing all of what happened in the books that came before. WHY?? - is it just a lazy and easy way to pad a book and get the number of pages one needs for publication?
It explored many areas from finance to arts and history with intriguing characters. The network of the characters is complex and engrossing.
So what happened in Russia that is often alluded to? Another book I have not listened to, obviously.
Loved the narrator - his portrayal of the characters was completely convincing and the pace just right.
Most likely the exploitation of the victims of the Holocaust.
Yes - see the first comments.
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