The Kill Artist

Book review by Deane Barker tags: fiction, spies

This is an excellent spy novel.

Years ago, I listened to quite a few of Daniel Silva’s novels on CD in the car. I remember really enjoying them, and always wanting to get back to them.

I looked up the Gabriel Allon series (his most successful series), and found the first title in it (this one). Then I went to Amazon to buy it…only to find I had bought the Kindle version 11 years ago.

I checked my Kindle. Yep, it was on there, paged all the way to the end. So, I guess I read this 11 years ago, but I have no memory of it.

So I read it again.

Gabriel Allon is an ex-Mossad agent who has retired and become an art restorer. His old boss recruits him for one last job – to hunt down the terrorist that killed his wife and child!

…okay, so it’s not a really original plot. But it’s handled well. It’s an absolute page turner. It moves fast – I love Silva’s writing style. The chapters are short, and it jumps around to different locations. The chapters are all location-stamped, which I like.

There are a lot of threads and characters all intertwined with each other. He doesn’t leave anything hanging. There’s a nice wrap-up to them all.

I did have problem with one aspect of the plot – that an international supermodel who walked runways in Florence and Milan could be recruited by an intelligence agency to pose as a receptionist in an art studio. How would she not be recognized? This didn’t ring true at all, but other than that, it’s a banger of a story.

Also, I’m interested in Silva’s political position. Allon is an Israeli, and the book goes to great lengths to establish his desire to protect Israel and take revenge on those that have harmed it. Silva was raised Catholic, and converted to Judaism when he got married, so this fits – he’s Jewish.

However, the book also goes to great lengths to explain the conflict from the Palestinian point-of-view. In fact, one of the terrorists details the Sabra and Shatila and Deir Yassin massacres in great detail. The Israelis are clearly the good guys, but Silva doesn’t go easy on them or pull any punches. His portrayals of the terrorists border on sympathetic.

A great read. I’ve ordered the next installment. I’m going to try to get through the entire series – as of this writing, Silva has written 23 of them. Here’s to hoping they’re all this good.

Book Info

Daniel Silva

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