3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good novel in the series...
Okay, here's the thing from a reviewer's viewpoint. You would probably not be reading the reviews of Daniel Silva's newest book in his Gabriel Allon spy series if you weren't already familiar with his writing. Silva's written 13 or so novels in the series and I think I've read most of them. And this one, "Portrait of a Spy" is a very good Daniel Silva/Gabriel Allon book...
Published on July 19 2011 by Jill Meyer
3.0 out of 5 stars Same Old Same Old but Still Good
Book 11 in the Gabriel Allon series
Once again Daniel Silva takes his readers on an exciting action-packed journey into the world of terrorism. This political thriller explores a lot of current events through the eyes of his protagonist, although meant to be entertaining above all it nevertheless leaves a breathtaking portrait of courage in the face of global...
Published 20 months ago by Toni Osborne
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good novel in the series...,
Daniel Silva is deeply concerned with the Middle East and the problems with radical Islamism that have risen from there in the last 60 years or so. Silva uses his books - characters and plots - to speak intelligently about those problems and the repercussions - terrorist bombings in both the Middle East countries and in Europe. Silva seems to publish a new book in the series every July. Now, this year and this book, 2011 and "Portrait of a Spy", pose a fairly tricky problem for Daniel Silva. How much of the "Arab Spring" - which actually began in mid-December, 2010 - does he include in his story? And does he include the assassination of Bin Ladin, which occurred fairly close to the time of publication? I could tell that he makes reference to Bin Ladin's death in a line towards the end where the text could still be changed in final proofs. The "Arab Spring" is mentioned towards the end. That's the problem he may have faced with the plot. But it's with the characters he's facing the most problems.
Gabriel Allon has not changed much in the 15 or so years he's been the subject of Daniel Silva's pen. And Chiara, his younger Italian wife is still gorgeous. They are still trying to retire to the English countryside and really go back to art restoration. But the Mossad is still trying to drag Gabriel back in to work on missions for them. Shomrom is still the aging lion of King Saul Boulevard, still hunting down the same Islamic terrorists. Other peripheral characters like English art dealers are still doing their selling and Israeli, British, and American agents are still doing their spycraft. In effect, not much has changed in the lives of Gabriel Allon and his cast of characters. I would love to see some further character development by Silva in next year's Allon book. Give him a kid - who is not killed in a terrorist attack. Let Chiara age a little and maybe become less gorgeous. Give her a haircut. Finally kill off Shomron, who seems to be a pain in everyone's side in Israeli intelligence.
So, why am I giving "Portrait" five stars, even with my silly complaints and comments? Because, it is a very good Daniel Silva/Gabriel Allon book. It gives the reader - who is usually well-acquainted with the characters and on-going plot line - another good read. And that's really the reason for a writer to write a review and for a reader to read one.
5.0 out of 5 stars RATED FAR! ABOVE MY EXPECTATIONS. WRITE ON MR. SILVA.,
This review is from: Portrait Of A Spy (Paperback)If there is another GOOD writer out there other than Daniel Silva - I'd like to know the name.
I've just finished ALL of the Gabriel Allon series except for the last one not out yet. I will need to go on withdrawal after reading such good writing. Daniel Silva, so far has exceeded all I'd ever want in a mystery/spy story series. If he continues writing
that includes Gabriel in it, well, I'll be ok - if not where is the next place to have my addiction taken care of. Yes - his stories
ARE really that good. You do not need sex to sell a good book. You do not need swearing to sell a good book. You do not need gore to sell a good book. You just need Daniel Silva to keep on writing like he does and I'll devour every one he writes. Period.
PORTRAIT OF A SPY FILLED ALL OF THE ABOVE - RATED 5 STARS.
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard To Put Down,
This review is from: Portrait Of A Spy (Mass Market Paperback)Gabriel Allon has apparently been around for a while as this is the 11th book he has starred in. However, it is the first that I have read. Whereas this would be a huge disadvantage with some authors and some books, there were not the constant references to his previous exploits, which would have made this difficult to read on a standalone basis.
Gabriel is a former member of the Israeli Security Service who has retired to live in Cornwall. However, events conspire to bring him back into the fold and he becomes involved in an interesting plot which also involves the CIA and the pursuit of some particularly threatening and determined jihadists. The plot is bang up to date and is post both the Arab Spring and the death of Bin Laden so it has a very contemporary feel about it.
In many ways this book does all the right things for a spy thriller. The plot is pacey, but in a measured sort of way so the action does not become ridiculously frenetic. Fiction is woven into fact which gives the whole story credibility. Gabriel Allon is an interesting character, quite complex and definitely independently minded who it is quite easy to identify with. The book is not short, but does not suffer from padding with little relevance to the plot, which some authors feel obliged to add in, so that this story remains focused throughout.
This is a book which I read through very quickly. I did find it to be the archetypal page turner. The chapters are relatively short which keeps the reader engaged. Certainly after reading this one I do plan to get hold of Daniel Silva's other Gabriel Allon books as it was a very enjoyable read and one I would unreservedly recommend.
3.0 out of 5 stars Same Old Same Old but Still Good,
This review is from: Portrait Of A Spy (Mass Market Paperback)Book 11 in the Gabriel Allon series
Once again Daniel Silva takes his readers on an exciting action-packed journey into the world of terrorism. This political thriller explores a lot of current events through the eyes of his protagonist, although meant to be entertaining above all it nevertheless leaves a breathtaking portrait of courage in the face of global terror.
The story opens when we learn an American cleric has set up an Al Qaeda like operation in Yemen and has unleashed a wave of suicide bombings. The bloody carnage leaves the citizens of Paris, Copenhagen and London in a state of fear and disbelieve and the world wonders where the terrorists will strike next?
Gabriel Allon, a renowned art restorer and former Israeli spy, has retired to Cornwall England with his wife, Chiara, to follow his passion in the field of arts. One day, a chance observation at London's Convent Garden jolts him out of retirement and into the service of the U.S government. He is recruited to devise a daring plan to destroy the network of death that is causing havoc and targeting more and more countries. With the help of Nadia al-Bakari, a reclusive Saudi heiress, Gabriel and his team will traverse the murky divide between two very different cultures.
After reading a number of books very little has changed in this series, Allon is still trying to retire but after so many years with the Mossad as a spy it is hard to distance himself from the trade. King Saul Boulevard and their allies in the US always have one more mission up their sleeves and need an experienced professional to execute it, Allon is one of their preferred operatives and they always have a convincing story to entice him back.
Mr. Silva has skillfully mastered a formula that combines the art world and counter-espionage to create a suspense filled plot with depth and endless action, guaranteed to sustain the reader's interest for hours.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Appealing Antiterrorism Story,
Your right hand will find those who hate You." -- Psalm 21:8 (NKJV)
Portrait of a Spy beautifully displays the art restorer and avenger sides of Gabriel Allon's dual callings. Daniel Silva does a masterful job of weaving together threads from past stories, familiar characters, complex themes about the difficulties in stopping terrorism, and new challenges to set the stage for another Trojan horse designed to make the bad guys vulnerable. The ultimate story has a delicate balance in its complexity that works unusually well. This is by far my favorite of the more recent books in the series.
I suggest that you not even read the dust jacket copy of the book before starting. The less you know about the story . . . the more you will enjoy it.
Settle in for a rewarding read!
5.0 out of 5 stars Bond who? Gabriel Allon you have a new fan!,
This review is from: Portrait Of A Spy (Paperback)Admittedly I am a very latecomer to Daniel Silva's already long list of novels, and incredibly grateful to the friends that pointed me in his direction (I should have listened to you earlier). Portrait of a Spy was a fantastic place to start. This is great international-spy genre writing, with a gripping plot, cliff hangers galore, fast-paced narrative, and above all fabulous characters. If, as I was, you are yet to get acquainted with Gabriel Allon, don't wait any longer and start reading, you will not be disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 stars Silva surpasses himself once again,
Silva's knowledge of the techniques employed by the different counterterrorism agencies is really believable and up-to-date as are the politics in the Middle East. Besides his enormous talent, a lot of care and research have been put into making this one of his best novels to date.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother!,
This review is from: Portrait of a Spy (Gabriel Allon) (Kindle Edition)Another silly book with a silly plot and an even sillier ending. Silva needs to learn some of those advanced writing skills like subtlety, texture and nuance. And the zealous cheerleading for the "good guys" is really too much to bear. Silva should consider a side career writing PR for Israel. Oh, wait - he's already doing that!
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Portrait Of A Spy by Daniel Silva (Mass Market Paperback - Feb. 6 2012)
CDN$ 9.99 CDN$ 9.49