While at Politics & Prose in D.C., I picked up The English Assassin by Daniel Silva. The book immediately caught my interest, and even though it is book #2 in the series, I decided I’d give it a try (P&P didn’t have book 1).
I have to say that I had no issue following the story without having read The Kill Artist so don’t worry if you find yourself in the same boat as me.
The Unlikely Spy, Daniel Silva’s extraordinary debut novel, was applauded by critics as it rocketed onto natio
nal bestseller lists. Now Silva has outdone himself, with a taut, lightning-paced thriller rooted assuredly in fact: Switzerland’s shameful WWII record of profiteering and collaboration with Nazi Germany.
When art restorer and occasional Israeli agent Gabriel Allon is sent to Zurich, Switzerland, to restore the painting of a reclusive millionaire banker, he arrives to find his would-be employer murdered at the foot of his Raphael. A secret collection of priceless, illicitly gained Impressionist masterpieces is missing. Gabriel’s handlers step out of the shadows to admit the truth-the collector had been silenced-and Gabriel is put back in the high-stakes spy game, battling wits with the rogue assassin he helped to train.
Tense, taut, expertly crafted, and brimming with unexpected reversals, The English Assassin is Daniel Silva at his storytelling best.
* * *
Don’t be intimidated by the length…you will be intrigued from the start and have no problems getting to page 437. Gabriel Allon is a likable hero. He’s had a tragic past and now works his butt off as a part-time spy and part-time art restorer. He is savvy and smart and totally dedicated to his work.
The story is set mostly in Europe—from Zurich, Switzerland, to London, England, and even Venice, Italy. Oh, and I can’t forget Portugal or Corsica. I loved Mr. Silva’s descriptions. The snowy Swiss mountains came alive. I felt like I was navigating the narrow canals of Venice. So many things drew me into the plot. The mystery of the Jewish art stolen by the Nazis. Why exactly Anne’s father was murdered. What exactly Peterson’s role was…oh how I loved to hate him when he first caught Gabriel. And the identity of the Englishman.
Well-written, action-packed, and filled with intrigue and complex characters. Kudos, Mr. Silva!
My rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Daniel Silva’s website. You can find him on Twitter @danielsilvabook
Next book in the series…The Confessor. I’m looking forward to starting it! Stay tuned for details.