Meet Gabriel Allon, reluctant assassin. "The Kill Artist," published in 2000, introduces us to Daniel Silva's popular Gabriel Allon series. Yes, the..Show More » series gets better as it progresses: "The Kill Artist" is not its best entry. In fact, I think that each entry gets better than the last one, reflecting the growing skill of the author. None-the-less, I still recommend that anyone wishing to listen to the subsequent Gabriel Allon novels should start here, with "The Kill Artist," and then listen to the novels in sequence. The Gabriel Allon character has a lot of complexity, as do the plots of all his adventures. Although Daniel Silva does a good job summarizing all that you need to know for each successive episode, you will still miss out on the richness of this series if you pick it up in the middle. (In fact, I did just that, not knowing any better at the time. Now, I am enjoying going back and listening to the series in the proper order ... and getting so much more out of it than I did the first time 'round.)
Author Daniel Silva is a pretty complex character, himself. Raised in a devoutly Catholic family, he converted to Judaism in adulthood, as a result of his marriage. Now he writes compelling novels about an Israeli Mossad assassin (although, curiously, the Mossad is never mentioned in any of his Gabriel Allon novels -- it is just called "the Office"), in which we learn more than we may have ever wanted to know about the Holocaust, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, international politics, and recent world history. Whether or not these novels suit one's taste in fiction, one cannot deny the deep, penetrating intelligence and profound, cynical knowledge of world events and human nature that emanates from all of Daniel Silva's novels. As some previous reviewers have noted, "The Kill Artist" has some pretty dark aspects to it -- don't buy it for light escape fiction -- but it does offer some intriguing, disturbing, and surprisingly fair-minded insights into current headlines and the human psychology behind them.
George Guidall, as always, does an excellent job narrating "The Kill Artist." He has a lovely, warm, mature voice, that he can adapt into many different characters, including female characters. Although he draws some of his accents from his "generic" bag, he uses a pretty credible French accent for this audiobook.
I don't know if it's Daniel Silva's writing or if it's John Lee's narration, but I am definitely hooked.
The plot is quite good with enough twis..Show More »ts. If you're an international traveler, the detailed descriptions of Zurich and Vienna, as well as Venice will invoke memories.
I enjoyed 2 of Silva's previous books "The English Assassin" and "Murder in Vienna". I thought this one was pretty good too until I read the 1st gent'..Show More »s review (forgot his name)and - being only half-way thru this one at that time - noticed he was right about the trite phrases and juvenile plot "twists." (I mean Katherine, come on, I know you guys liked it, but she's a Bond-barbie.)Sadly I gave it 4 stars b/c compared to everything else published, well...John Lee is to die for. Have him record the telephone book, it'd be wonderfullllllllllllllll.
The story was exciting. The message was deep. And the abilities of the reader greatly complemented the narrative style. The voices, accents and cha..Show More »racterisations 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 book is great, but the audio quality and narration is really substandard. Sounds like telephone quality audio, the first time I've seen this after..Show More » some 20 downloads. Worse, the narrator mispronounces almost every Arabic and Hebrew word, both personal and geographic. My favorite stumble was when he called MI-5 M-fifteen. Aside from the audio reproduction and mispronounciations, he did a good job.
I confess that I am a real fan of Daniel Silva and his main character Gabriel Allon and his mentor Ari Sharon. I have read several in the series and ..Show More »think this one is the best yet. While I thought the Messenger started a little slowly, Silva made up for it soon and the plot thickened quickly. The characters blended together into a real mosiac of excitement and suspense. The plot turns came fast and furious and I hated to put it down. You can't go wrong with The Messenger.
I have been reading thriller spy books since I read my first James Bond in 1962. While I am by no means an expert, I have read most of the really goo..Show More »d ones over the years and lots of very bad ones. I started reading Daniel Silva 2 years ago. I have generally liked his work but he truly captured me with his Isreal spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon. Allon and his mentor Ari Shamron of the Isreali secret service are a great team. Allon appears in at least 8 Audible books and they are all good.
The Secret Servant is not just good it is one of the best I have read over these many years. There are enough plot turns and twists to satisfy even the most demanding thriller fan. The good guys are good but always with a trace of bad. The bad guys are bad but don't fully fit that mold either. Lots of killing and other bad stuff but intermixed is some of the most thoughtful discussion of the Isreal/Palestine conflict I have seen in a long time. The discussion is almost philosophical at times but compliments the action and makes you think about both sides of a very complicated issue, something most of us don't do very often. The book has at least three satisfying conclusions and leaves you wanting a fourth. This is in my judgment one of the best thrillers ever written. The narration is excellent.
This book leaves you wanting Silva to write another Allon adventure and he did. I am now reading Moscow Rules and it is shaping up to be another great one. I am sure any of Allon adventures could be read in any order but I would advise starting with the Prince of Fire, then The Messenger and then to Secret Servant. There are earlier books also but these three seem to form a nice trilogy.
A pretty good story, but why, oh why, can't the producer/director or whoever is responsible get a reader who can properly pronounce French, Yiddish, H..Show More »ebrew, Russian and Italian words, all of which are part of the story? A 'chupah' is not a 'chewpaw', etc., etc. It is most annoying and disrupts the flow of the story. The same problem exists with other readers of some other of his books (not all) -- and it's a shame.
Excellent audiobook with a fine vocal performance from Phil Gigante. In this continuing series of Gabriel Allon, we finally get to see his dark side, ..Show More »and dark it is indeed. The story crosses the usual assortment of countries and brings back all the previous characters in the series.
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 sm..Show More »art 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.
Those of us who have become passionate fans of Daniel Silva's Mossad agent Gabriel Allon's secret service work around the globe will love this book. L..Show More »ike John LeCarre, Silva writes with brilliance and subtlety--so there are none of the Tom Clancy style over-the-top action sequences for which some others have criticized this book. Instead, you get very nuanced, multi-layered, developed characters richly informed by Silva's experience as a UPI journalist based in the Middle East. , , , And I heartily disagree with those who criticize the narration. The reader paints pictures with words, and creates a world where it is easy to lose yourself.
This is another good book by Dan Silva with Gabriel Allon -- one of the most intriguing characters in thriller fiction. He is an assassin with a high..Show More » sense of purpose, a master spy and detective, a loving family man, and a master of art restorer. He is best friends with the Pope and saves his life at least twice during the series of books. But, he also saves the state of Israel at least once or twice per book.
This episode is constructed as a string of thrillers that starts with the murder of an art historian at the Vatican, and wanders through Paris, St. Moritz, Denmark, Berlin and Jerusalem. Along the way, we get a nice dose of the local scenery, history, and a few art, history, and religion lessons.
Silva's characters stay true to themselves throughout the series and are fairly complex, but once you get to know them, you wish for some new folks to come on board. In this episode, the only new characters of note are the various villains who are just evil people.
George Guidall is always a great narrator/performer and anything he does is worth a listen.
In summary -- if you liked the other books by Silva, you will also like this one. You better read it soon, because it is so timely that I suspect it will not wear well over the years.
Gabriel Allon is finally aging, and finally realizing his human limitations. This story moves him around the board, and promises to change his career..Show More » and family life. It is a great deal to accomplish in one book. The shows, as usual, an unwilling Gabriel called into action. But somehow he appears more human in this. By teaming up with former enemies who showed themselves to be as good as he was, he improves what the author tantalizingly alludes to as perhaps his last "secret" assassination assignment. All of Silva's books are excellent. It is interesting that he is allowing his protagonist to age and perhaps mellow. It will be interesting to see how far he carries that drift in subsequent books.
Nothing was really wrong with the book. I have listened to every Allon book, and they are starting to sound the same with the plots playing out in sim..Show More »ilar ways. If this is your first in the series, you'll love it. If you are a big Allon fan, you've probably heard this one before.
This is my only review of Daniel Silva book since my negative review of Marching Season which was written very early in his career. I am a fan of all..Show More » 16 of Silva's Gabriel Allon series which started very well and has only gotten better as he matured as a writer. If more than 5 stars were allowed the English Spy would get more. The English Spy brings back one of my favorite Silva characters, the English assassin and ex-spy living on Corsica, and "rehabilitates" him to a British spy agency. Gabriel Allon, now in his 50's, simply gets better with age. He is supposed to take over leadership of the office, an Israeli spy agency, but we;ll have to wait for the next Silva book to see.
Of all of the well read mystery/thriller series Silva's Allon is the most complex and tragic. But with the children born to him and his young wife Chiara at the end of The English Spy there is hope. The tragic Leah remains in the picture.
This book confirms that Daniel Silva is THE master of the mystery/thriller/spy genre if any doubt remained.
George Guidall has one of the easiest to listen to voices of all narrators. He is, as always, excellent.