Thursday, October 2, 2014

Guest Review: The Heist

Summary: Gabriel Allon, art restorer and occasional spy, searches for a stolen masterpiece by Caravaggio in #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva’s latest action-packed tale of high stakes international intrigue.

Sometimes the best way to find a stolen masterpiece is to steal another one . . .

Master novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled readers with sixteen thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back—from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. His brilliant creation, Gabriel Allon—art restorer, assassin, spy—has joined the pantheon of great fictional secret agents, including George Smiley, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, and Simon Templar.

Following the success of his smash hit The English Girl, Daniel Silva returns with another powerhouse of a novel that showcases his outstanding skill and brilliant imagination, and is sure to be a must read for both his multitudes of fans and growing legions of converts. -- Harper

When I heard that Daniel Silva had a new book out called THE HEIST in his series featuring Gabriel Allon, I knew my dad would want to review it. He has really enjoyed this series in the past and this book sounded like another good one. Here are his thoughts:

I had previously reviewed Daniel Silva’s THE BRITISH GIRL and looked forward to reading his latest novel, THE HEIST.

THE HEIST begins with Israeli intelligence agent and part time art restorer, Gabriel Allon, repairing a painting in Venice while awaiting the birth of twins. He is soon confronted by a policeman involved in recovering stolen art who wants Allon to find the killer of a former British diplomat with a reputation of dealing in stolen art. As an incentive for Allon to help, the policemen threatens to pin the murder on Allon’s art dealer friend who discovered the body. The police are particularly interested in this case because it is rumored that the ex-diplomat was in possession of a famous painting by Caravaggio that has been missing for decades.

Allon soon concludes that the buyer of the stolen art is probably the killer and develops a complex plan, which includes the theft of Van Gogh’s famous “Sunflower”, to lure the buyer. Allon discovers that the former diplomat was involved in selling stolen art to agents of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian dictator who used the art to hide large sums of money. What started as a simple murder case evolves into one with significant international implications. Allon heads back to Israel to solicit the assistance of the Israeli intelligence agency which he has been named to soon lead. Through the use of sophisticated computer techniques and inside help from a woman at an Austrian bank looking for revenge, they find a way of diverting billions of dollars of Assad’s money. From there the story takes some exciting twists and turns involving both Assad’s money and Caravaggio’s painting that leaves Allon with one final difficult decision.

As was the case in THE ENGLISH GIRL, Silva utilizes several characters from prior novels in this latest book including a head of a Corsica family of assassins, a British spy who faked his own death and a fortune teller. The author does an excellent job of transitioning to and from Allon’s career as an Israeli spy, his relationship with his wife, his art career and his free-lance investigating. Silva also brilliantly blends today’s political and social issues and some interesting art history with an exciting and suspenseful story full of interesting characters.

THE HEIST is a fast paced well written novel that shows why Silva is considered one of today’s best spy novel writers. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good spy mystery.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel and to Booking Pap Pap for his terrific review.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I really need to get one of Silva's books because I'm sure I'd love it. Great review!