The Mark of the Assassin

Narrated by: Christopher Lane
Series: Michael Osbourne, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1,948 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When a commercial airliner is blown out of the sky off the East Coast, the CIA scrambles to find the perpetrators. A body is discovered near the crash site with three bullets to the face: the calling card of a shadowy international assassin. Only agent Michael Osbourne has seen the markings before - on a woman he once loved.

Now, it's personal for Osbourne. Consumed by his dark obsession with the assassin, he's willing to risk his family, his career, and his life - to settle a score...

©2003 Daniel Silva (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The prose is slick, and readers will find themselves racing through these pages as the body count grows and the conclusion nears. The Mark of the Assassin is a worthy effort from a rising star." (Amazon.com review)

What listeners say about The Mark of the Assassin

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Worth your time

If you like international espionage then this book will not disapoint you. Among the layers of bad guys the good ones seem like they are truly up against it and in the form of a good suspense novel the outcome is uncertain until the very end, and even then......... no plot spoilers here.
Daniel Silva is a good writer and this is one of his best works. Good story, Good naration.

29 people found this helpful

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

Uncanny Portentous Prophecy

"The Mark of the Assassin," published back in 1998, spookily augured a real event that occurred three years 𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙧: on 09/11/01. Here, Daniel Silva -- in only his second novel -- is already hitting his stride, showing his potential for excellent writing, plotting, and insight. Fans of his popular Gabriel Allon series will see in "The Mark of the Assassin" the emergence of the future Gabriel Allon character -- in the person of Jean-Paul Delaroche, international assassin and accomplished artist -- as well as several other characters that will appear in the Gabriel Allon series: most notably Ari Shamron (director of Israel's Mosad), Adrian Carter (director of the C.I.A.'s Counter-Terrorism Task Force), and Graham Seymour (England's MI6 spymaster). Fans of the 9/11 conspiracy theory will appreciate Silva's Society for International Development and Cooperation -- consisting of "rogue intelligence officers, politicians, arms merchants, mercenaries, drug lords, international crime organizations, and powerful business moguls" -- who secretly engineer a deadly terrorist attack on American soil to enrich their own agendas. Sound familiar? I don't doubt that such an organization may, in fact, exist on this planet, secretly manipulating events that profoundly affect all of us little people to its own ends. (Bilderberg Group, anyone?)

I have just finished listening to Silva's entire oeuvre in chronological order -- from "The Unlikely Spy" to "The English Girl" -- with great enjoyment, appreciating his evolution as an author along the way. In particular, I admire his growing encyclopedic knowledge of international affairs and behind-the-scenes political machinations. Also -- of interest to female listeners -- I have witnessed a subtle, but noticeable, evolution in Silva's feminist awareness. Whereas in Silva's early works -- including "The Mark of the Assassin" -- you will see the female characters portrayed as unlikeable, irritable, shrill, dependent, possessive harridans, in later novels the female characters begin developing into more admirable women. I also appreciate the fact that, although Silva necessarily includes the obligatory sex scenes in his novels, he makes them mercifully brief and un-explicit, more so with each novel.

Regarding the narrator, Christopher Lane, I subtracted a star from his rating, only because of an odd, overly nonchalant inflection that he adopted for the "bad guys" in this audiobook. Otherwise, I liked his reading of "The Mark of the Assassin." He has a nice voice, and distinguishes the characters from one another pretty well.

In summary, I highly recommend "The Mark of the Assassin" to most thriller lovers; although I admit that it may not suit everybody's tastes. In general, if you like your thrillers with intelligent, complex plots, with a bit of gratuitous cynicism, then I think that you will enjoy all of Daniel Silva's novels. By the way: "The Marching Season" -- the novel which immediately follows "The Mark of the Assassin" -- picks up where its predecessor left off, effectively continuing the story. So, if you end up enjoying "The Mark of the Assassin," I would suggest purchasing "The Marching Season" next, in order to hear the rest of the story.

42 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Super Thriller

I enjoyed every portion of this book. The author gets right to the point of the plot and quickly identifies and developes his characters very well. This was my first book by Silva but will not be my last. I would have rated this a 5 but the narrator, although good with the voices, had a very bad habit of not pausing when switching conversations. He would move from a conversation between two people to a conversation between two different people with virtually no pause. It would take you a few moments to discover the switch. This was very irritating and until you get used to it will detract from the book.

28 people found this helpful

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

Edge of Your Seat Story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would recommend this audiobook to a friend because it may arouse in that friend an understanding of why the USA has to be fighting on foreign soil. We, as a nation, cannot allow our nation to be undermined or open to destruction.

What other book might you compare The Mark of the Assassin to and why?

I might compare The Mark of the Assassin to Outlaw Platoon because when these men and women were met by their enemies, it was only then, that they knew the hatred and fury between them would propel one or the other to be the winner. Each would fight to their death for what they believed in. The assassin's belief was money and a lot of it. The Outlaw Platoon fought from a mountain-valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier for the USA.

Have you listened to any of Christopher Lane’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, I have listened to Christopher Lane's other performances before and this one compares to the other's as another excellent read. He is a narrator who is a joy to listen to. He had read books of the same genre. There are many variations of of emotions that he does very well. Lane has the capability to present to the listener a real man or woman with a personality. You know as you're reading, who the person is being characterized by Lane. Be sure to listen to a book read by Christopher Lane, you will not be disappointed.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, I did have an extreme reaction to this book. Elizabeth Osbourne and her husband were having difficulties conceiving. The appointment, when Elizabeth and Michael would be told what the problem was and who had the problem, Michael did not go to the appointment as expected. Elizabeth was given the answer, by herself, that the problem was with her and not Michael.

Any additional comments?

The Mark of the Assassin is an edge of your seat listen. There are many encounters between the enemies, each trying to kill the other. Michael Osbourne was not working for money but for his country, the USA. The assassin was a mercenary. The narration is a pleasurable listen as I've stated above. The character's have been well developed. You will be able to formulate a personality for the character's. The book is filled with action and suspense. The book continues to explain why we, as American's, have to fight for our country.

10 people found this helpful

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

Less dramatic interpretation please

I would have enjoyed this story more without the often strained accents applied to many of the characters. It robs the imagination to hear exaggerated speech patterns that are ill fitting and limiting to a reader's enjoyment.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

SURPRISE

Not into spy thrillers,but this is one you can not stop listening to.This was in the top 5 books I have listened to.The only con was sometimes he would get bogged down in superficial details,if it was not for that it would have been a 5

14 people found this helpful

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

Listen to the first half at 1.5 speed

This book is a tale of two halves.

The first introduces Michael Osbourne, a CIA analyst in the 1990s and his shrew wife, the most annoying wife on three continents.

As the conspiracy unfolds, VERRRY slowly, it reveals itself as touching some of the highest levels of the US government.

An airliner is brought down and a known terrorist organization takes credit. But all is not as it seems and Osbourne concludes that the airliner was brought down for a different reason. But for what reason? And by whom? And why did the terrorists take credit?

That brings us to the second half, in which we finally see the Daniel Silva that we know and love. The layers of the onion are exposed and assassins start to take more people out. Will they come after Osbourne? Will the conspirators be exposed?

So the second half saved it and I'm now considering whether I would want to read a sequel whereas I was definitely NOT going read a sequel after the reading first half of this book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

good political spy thriller

It said copyright 2003 so this SHOULD have been under post 9/11 thought and world events. However many terrorist groups such as the IRA, etc. are mentioned often. Many of these groups, agencies etc. have been out of business or disbanded or remade since the 90s! This book WAS NOT completely written post 9/11 and I normally NEVER read the ones from the 80s or 90s, because so much has changed. Surveillance technology etc. also seems dated as do our enemies. The story is fine as is the narrator.

10 people found this helpful

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

great spy novel

well written spy novel. a joy to listen to. the narrator was excellent. certainly left enough questions unanswered and key characters alive for a sequel.

6 people found this helpful

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

Good but could be better

The storyline was a bit dated but it was still a good read. The characters were developed well and the storyline is believable. Overall a good book but Silva’s newer novels are more appealing to me.

2 people found this helpful