5.0 out of 5 stars excellent reading
Danial Silva writes a very good book. He is a bit long winded, but that is not a major criticism - having finished this book I am going straight to another Silva book! The characters are very well drawn, and especially for me, since I am a lover of art and of Israel. For anyone who likes to escape into a book of fiction, very well told, you can't do much better than...
Published 2 months ago by John Cowan
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting new protagonist in the world of intrigue thrillers!
As most international spy vs spy intrigue type thrillers are wont to do, Daniel Silva's latest thriller, "The English Assassin", moves from locale to locale across Europe with rather dizzying speed.
Silva's underlying premise to the story is the fact that Switzerland, while claiming neutrality during WW II, was actually considerably less than a mere sideline...
Published on July 31 2009 by Paul Weiss
Most Helpful First | Newest First
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent reading,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The English Assassin: Gabriel Allon Series, Book 2 (Kindle Edition)Danial Silva writes a very good book. He is a bit long winded, but that is not a major criticism - having finished this book I am going straight to another Silva book! The characters are very well drawn, and especially for me, since I am a lover of art and of Israel. For anyone who likes to escape into a book of fiction, very well told, you can't do much better than Daniel Silva
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting new protagonist in the world of intrigue thrillers!,
This review is from: The English Assassin (Mass Market Paperback)As most international spy vs spy intrigue type thrillers are wont to do, Daniel Silva's latest thriller, "The English Assassin", moves from locale to locale across Europe with rather dizzying speed.
Silva's underlying premise to the story is the fact that Switzerland, while claiming neutrality during WW II, was actually considerably less than a mere sideline observer to the proceedings of the war. Indeed, it appears that not only were they willing participants in Nazi Germany's veritable raping and pillaging of galleries, personal collections, museums, churches and public buildings of the priceless art treasures they contained, but they were also private bankers and money laundering agents for the senior members of the Nazi elite. The aristocratic families of the Swiss banking oligarchy, having become unimaginably wealthy through this illicit relationship, will now do almost anything to prevent a modern world from exposing their sordid history and forcing the return of the ill-gotten art treasures and the related wealth to their rightful owners.
Gabriel Allon, one of the world's foremost art restorers (and, coincidentally, a member of the Israeli Secret Service) has been commissioned to restore a Raphael painting belonging to Swiss banker, Augustus Rolfe. When he arrives at Rolfe's home, he is shocked to discover that Rolfe has been brutally murdered and that he is the number one suspect in the crime. The Swiss police are unable to make the charges stick and when Allon is released with orders to leave the country and never return, he vows to investigate to discover who was responsible for such an obvious set-up and (you'll pardon the pun) frame job!
He returns undercover to Switzerland seeking to question Rolfe's daughter, Anna, a world famous violinist, and, as Sherlock Holmes put it so very often, the game was afoot! Allon and Rolfe are now the targets of a shadowy assassin hired by a secretive Swiss cabal of bankers who intend to ensure that the secrets of WW II remain locked in Swiss vaults and safe from prying outside eyes!
In Gabriel Allon, Daniel Silva has created a memorable hero with significant colour and depth that fans will want to follow further. In this particular story, the clever pairing of a reclusive art restorer with a moody, temperamental, world class concert violinist allows for an extremely interesting exploration of the arts world in Europe, from both historical and current points of view. While not quite at the level of travelogue, Silva's attention to detail in placing his action in various European cities provides an extra dose of reality and interest to a plot that is already quite satisfying.
"The English Assassin" is certainly more than workmanlike and, while I enjoyed it, I thought it less than spectacular. The genre of intrigue thrillers is a crowded one, indeed, and while it benefits from Silva's addition, "The English Assassin" is not a standout such as Ken Follett's "Eye of the Needle" or Jack Higgin's "The Eagle Has Landed".
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hooked from the first chapter,
This review is from: The English Assassin (Mass Market Paperback)Silva hooked me into this novel in the first chapter and never let up. I won't repeat the story line here; but will tell you that the twists and turns of this story will keep you turning the pages until the end.
Silva takes you through the streets of Zurich, Vienna, Paris, London, Corsica, and others in an exciting and thought provoking novel. The history concerning the stolen art by the Nazis during WWII was especially interesting. Enjoy this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting Novel...,
This review is from: The English Assassin (Mass Market Paperback)I had never heard of Daniel Silva nor seen any of his works until I walked into my local library about a week ago and saw this novel. I decided it sounding like the kind of books I tend to enjoy and I found it was a book that I plan on adding to my massive book collection very soon.
The English Assassin is no Dan Brown book to be sure and it was never intended to be marketed that way, especially since it was published long before The DaVinci Code. The plot twists in the book were amazing along with the description of various cities, paintings, and history of World War II to present day. Silva weaves a wonderful thriller novel together with several story arcs at the beginning that converge at the end of the novel to really leave a zinging ending. This is one of the better books I have read and the intensive look at foreign policy and diplomacy that must have been done prior to this novel definately shows.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Intelligent Spy Thriller,
This review is from: The English Assassin (Mass Market Paperback)I am now amazed at how Daniel Silva's book entrance me every time I pick them up to read. I love his WORK! It is like I am truly seeing life in whatever viewpoint/nationality/political group that he writes about. Very GOOD stuff! I would HATE to take his books to Aruba-I would be hard pressed to leave the hotel for reading or leave HIS books at home so that I could enjoy Aruba! (laughter) EXCELLENT WORK, Daniel!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great spy thriller!,
This review is from: The English Assassin (Mass Market Paperback)This was my first read of a Daniel Silva novel, and won't be my last. The characters are damaged and fallible, which always makes for an interesting read. The plot was well constructed, with some interesting reversals. Definitely a a book to curl up in front of the fire with for a cold night's read!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The English Assassin is an intelligent, and informed thrillr,
This review is from: The English Assassin (Mass Market Paperback)Daniel Silva's fourth novel, introduced an unusual but credible new hero: Gabriel Allon, a world-class art restorer and former member of the Israeli Secret Service. The Kill Artist brought Allon out of retirement to confront the Palestinian agent who destroyed his family. In Allon's latest adventure, The English Assassin, he comes out of retirement once again and finds himself enmeshed in a murder investigation whose roots reach back to the cataclysmic policies of Nazi Germany.
Allon's involvement begins when he accepts a commission to restore a priceless Raphael original. He travels to Zurich, only to find that his client -- wealthy Swiss banking magnate Augustus Rolfe -- has been shot to death just hours before. On the heels of that discovery, Allon is arrested by the Swiss police and narrowly avoids prosecution. When Allon's former mentor, legendary spymaster Ari Shamron, informs him that Rolfe had recently requested a meeting with the Israeli Secret Service, Allon launches an investigation of his own.
At the heart of the novel's central mystery lies another mystery. According to the victim's daughter, world-famous violinist Anna Rolfe, a valuable collection of Impressionist paintings disappeared from Rolfe's house at the time of the murder. The paintings, as Allon discovers, may have been part of the vast collection looted by the Nazis before and during World War II. As Allon pursues the missing paintings, he begins to understand the close -- in fact, collaborative -- relationship that once existed between the Nazi hierarchy and the wealthy banking community of neutral Switzerland.
Silva's prose is clean and uncluttered, his action sequences crisp and effective, his sense of place impeccable, and his varied cast of characters all sharply individualized. Ultimately, though, it's the impressive level of secondary detail -- the scrupulous historical research, the insights into the arcane world of the professional art restorer -- that give this book its distinctive flavor and lift it above the level of the garden variety espionage novel. Another incredible novel on topic is Giorgio Kostantinos's~~The Quest~.
5.0 out of 5 stars Spine chilling page turner,
This review is from: English Assassin (Hardcover)This is the first Daniel Silva work that I have read and I am sure it will not be my last. His writing style pulls you in from one chapter to the next, with no blank spots. The book is historically well researched and it kept my attention to the very last page. Possibly the strongest point of this book is that the character of Gabriel Allon is shown to be fallible, and not like some of the espionage characters who have all of their ducks in a row. While not perhaps on the technically descriptive level of John LeCarre's characters, the espionage that Daniel Silva writes will keep you up all night. I look forward to next reading "The Confessor".
4.0 out of 5 stars The new master of the international spy thriller,
This review is from: The English Assassin (Mass Market Paperback)Gabriel Allon is an art restorer living in England. He is also a highly trained Israeli agent used by the Foreign Ministry headed by his boss Ariel Shamron. Allon is asked to restore a painting in the home of a prominent Swiss resident in Zurich. Unfortunately, upon arrival, Allon finds his host dead on the floor. As Allon looks into the death, he eventually begins to uncover a sinister plot involving prominent Swiss businessmen throughout the country. In an effort to discover the cause of her father's death, Allon is accompanied by Anna Rolphe, the victim's daughter and a world-class concert violinist. Always behind them is the English assassin who eventually sets his sites on Anna.
I have often said that Daniel Silva is one of the best thriller writers currently working. After having discovered his books several years ago, I have eagerly awaited each one as they are released in the spring. Silva has a prodigious way of drawing the reader immediately into the story by use of vivid characterizations, dangerous situations, and exotic locations. Some time is, of course, required to fill in details of the plot which can admittedly be a bit complex, however, never as complex as so many of Robert Ludlum's books. They are easy to grasp which is important considering these books are not meant to require a great deal of brain cells while being read. The story flows smoothly and the suspense never lets up. Again, I strongly urge the reader to check out the work of this new master of the international thriller sub genre.
4.0 out of 5 stars being a true proffesional,
This review is from: The English Assassin (Mass Market Paperback)When an Israeli reads a book about a Mossadnik written by a foreign author, s/he tends to be somewhat doubtful about the accuracy of details in that book; Daniel Silva's research leaves one amazed as well as admiring - the book "the English Assassin" is impeccable as far as creating a truly convincing background for Gabriel Allon the protagonist- the Mossad man as well as the art restorer. Silva even went so far as to use Hebrew terms relating to Mossad (the Israeli secret service) terminology, some of them familiar almost solely to Hebrew speakers, terms he clearly and accurately explains to his English readers, terms which add credibility and enriches the atmosphere he is so successfully creates in this book.
When an art curator reads the book, again s/he can only admire, once again the minute details which add other layers of meaning and volume to this book.
The main characters: Allon, Shamron, Anna Rolf, Gerhardt Peterson and the Englishman (as this character is referred to through out most of the book) -
All of them are three-dimensional beings with goals, desires and above all acute professionalism! Each one of these people takes genuine pride in what they do for a living, even if their job is the kind usually frowned upon.
For various reasons the genre of the thriller has been considered (at times rightly so) to be beneath other literary genres, Daniel Silva's writing might help this genre gain back some of the respect it lost.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
The English Assassin by Daniel Silva (Mass Market Paperback - Feb. 25 2003)
CDN$ 12.50 CDN$ 11.25