Your audiobook is waiting…

The English Assassin

Narrated by: John Lee
Series: Gabriel Allon, Book 2
Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,890 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Israeli art restorer and occasional secret agent Gabriel Allon has a problem. A prominent Swiss banker has called him to Switzerland to restore his Raphael. The problem is that Allon finds the banker dead in front of his Raphael, and he's the prime suspect. After some diplomatic intervention, Allon is freed. However, the banker's daughter, wracked by guilt, tells him that her father's cache of French Impressionist paintings, acquired under dubious circumstances during the Second World War, has been stolen by the murderers. Once Allon knows about the banker's wartime misdeeds, he attracts the attention of a secret Swiss organization dedicated to suppressing knowledge of all such crimes, and he is pursued by a shadowy killer known only as "the Englishman."
©2002 Daniel Silva (P)2002 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A thriller that entertains as well as enlightens." (Orlando Sentinel)
"Superbly crafted thriller." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,400
  • 4 Stars
    1,045
  • 3 Stars
    363
  • 2 Stars
    47
  • 1 Stars
    35

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,321
  • 4 Stars
    631
  • 3 Stars
    253
  • 2 Stars
    48
  • 1 Stars
    38

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,159
  • 4 Stars
    780
  • 3 Stars
    282
  • 2 Stars
    33
  • 1 Stars
    20
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cliff
  • West Chester, OH, USA
  • 07-16-04

Not his best but still good.

This is an exciting and thrilling story until you reach the end. As always Silva includes many thoughtful and unpredictable twists. The end of this story was the only thing I didn?t like. In the end things come together way too nicely. It almost seemed like Silva ran up against a deadline so he stopped being creative and just rushed to the end of the story. My recommendation to anyone new to Silva is to listen to his earlier works first. This will help with character background and give you a better idea of how talented Silva's writings can be. To those of you who have followed Gabriel Allon this is worth listening to, but don't expect him to escape death without some unusal help.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I'm hooked...

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 twists. If you're an international traveler, the detailed descriptions of Zurich and Vienna, as well as Venice will invoke memories.

On to the next adventure or Mr. Allon...

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 03-16-15

Silva's Done Better

Revealing my problem with this story will trigger a spoiler alert. Yep, it's near to the ending and leaves the rest, and even the buildup, frustrating as if you bit into a Hostess Twinkie, that lacked inner icing.

John Lee's indeterminate continental accent adds a veneer of sophistication to Silva's work, but as I've just written, perhaps the story leaves Lee's efforts sounding a tad pretentious.

Still, Silva stuck in a low gear is better than a lot of others who's plotting might be better tuned, but rarely purr with (in this case) Swiss engineering that Silva can bring to the page. I'll get another one of this guy's books, and if you already enjoy him… Hey, you ought'a get another one too - Instead of the "English Assassin".

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Snoodely
  • Santa Barbara, CA United States
  • 11-01-13

'Beware the gnomes of Zurich'

In case you have not yet familiarized yourself with Daniel Silva's amazing oeuvre, you should know this going in: Silva is an author with a mission and a message. In "The English Assassin," he explores the appalling -- and little-known -- role that supposedly-neutral Switzerland played during WWII, aiding and abetting Nazi Germany. Our hero, Gabriel Allon, moves with mastery in both the art world -- as a world-renowned restorer of Old Masters -- and in the espionage world -- as a master assassin. Sound kind of unlikely? Well, yes; but Daniel Silva writes so well that he makes it work: We can suspend disbelief, because we are enjoying the story so much. Most of the episodes in Silva's Gabriel Allon series utilize both of Allon's skills to mutual advantage. In "The English Assassin," Allon uncovers a dirty little secret that "the Swiss financial oligarchy" tries to keep under wraps: the extent to which Switzerland helped Nazi Germany steal and sequester art works from their Jewish owners. (Probably, Swiss listeners should bypass this audiobook.) The general tone and message of "The English Assassin" is well summarized in the following quote from a character known as "The guilty conscience of Switzerland:"

"When you're dealing with Switzerland, Mr. Allon, it's best to keep one thing in mind: Switzerland is not a real country -- it's a business, and it is run like a business. It is a business that is constantly in a defensive posture. It has been that way for 700 years. ... There are people in Switzerland who stand to lose a great deal if the sins of the past are exposed, and the sewers of the Bahnhofstrasse are given the thorough flushing they so desperately need. These people are an invisible government, and are not to be taken lightly. ... If you choose to pursue this matter, I suggest you watch your back: Beware the gnomes of Zurich."

In "The English Assassin," the invisible government referred to in the above quote calls itself The Council of Rütli, and dedicates itself to guarding the illicitly-garnered treasures stolen from doomed Jews during WWII, and hidden in Swiss banks ever since. Gabriel Allon -- Israeli-born son of Holocaust survivors, master art-restorer, and Mossad assassin -- reluctantly gets himself involved in this nest of vipers, nearly to his own demise. One of the previous reviewers understandably wondered about the title of this audiobook -- "The English Assassin" -- since our hero is Israeli, not English, and the eponymous English assassin, Christopher Keller, appears only intermittently as a secondary character in the book. The answer comes eleven years later, in Gabriel Allon's 13th adventure, "The English Girl," where Keller shows up again, this time teaming up with Allon, rather than opposing him. Apparently, Sliva liked the Keller character enough to dust him off for another outing!

I reluctantly docked a star from my rating of narrator John Lee. While he undeniably has one of the most gorgeous voices in all of audiobookdom, and he enunciates beautifully, he doesn't distinguish the characters from one another very well. To me, the ability to individualize the characters with different voices matters a lot in an audiobook, and signifies a good actor, even if that actor doesn't have such a beautiful voice as John Lee's. However, "The English Assassin" otherwise works well as an audiobook thriller, with an albeit dark, serious agenda. I wouldn't recommend to to anybody searching for light listening, nor to Swiss nationals!

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Couldnt stand the fake accents

Would have been better off just reading naturally. Instead, Israeli, Swiss, Germany accents sounded the same. Gabreal Aalon speaks fluently and without accent so even that was completely unnecessary.
I have a sensitive ear so the accents pretty much ruined the experience of a pretty decent story. I listened on 1.25 to get it over with. The first book was much more enjoyable to listen to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars

Not a fan of the narrator

I may be too accustomed to the narration style of George Guidal, and while the quality of the narration is on point, the extreme attn to diction and the French accents can be wearing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Awful narration

This narrator is only capable of two accents-- well, maybe three. But to saddle Israeli characters with a terrible German accent seems so dreadful that I will not listen to more Silva books with this narrator, and I recommend that you don't either. At one point I was having such difficulty keeping track of who was supposed to be talking that I almost stopped listening. They all had terrible German accents. Too bad-silver is an interesting author

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 02-19-16

Interesting connection!

Those of us addicted to Daniel Silva's wonderful Gabriel Allon series are aware that many of the characters appear in different books. Indeed, one of Silva's strengths is character development; you get to know his characters. The English Assassin is Book 2 of the 15 book Gabriel Allon series. The English assassin, who is being desperately hunted, reappears in Book 15 rehabilitated as the English spy and now is a good guy.

All Daniel Silva novels in the Allon series are must reads for lovers of espionage thrillers. The next novel in the series is titled The Black Widow and will be released on July 12, 2015.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not one of the better in the series

Any additional comments?

John Lee's narration often left me confused as to which character was speaking- the vocal characterizations were sometimes too similar. I much prefer George Guidall.
Plot points were weak and poorly developed in several areas, unlike what I have experienced in the other Allon works,

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Weak plot

The narrative wasn't as gripping as the first book. A Le Carré story without the philosophical insights

2 of 2 people found this review helpful