Saturday, August 27, 2016

THE KILL ARTIST





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The Kill Artist, Daniel Silva, Random House, 2000, 423 pp


Summary from Goodreads: Gabriel Allon is an art restorer persuaded out of retirement by Ari Shamron, Israeli spymaster, to kill Palestinian Tariq before he assassinates old comrade Yasir Arafat.

Tariq's role in the murder of Gabriel's wife and son draws in Gabriel and his mistress, French model Sarah Halevy. Sarah infiltrates Tariq's inner circle. Before Gabriel can rescue her, tables turn.
 


My Review:
I learned about Daniel Silva from my blogger friend Carmen at Carmen's Books and Music. She has read and reviewed his entire Gabriel Allon series and since all the books are connected in some way with Israeli intelligence, I was curious. My husband is the thriller reader in our house, so I initially tried out this first book in the series on him and he liked it. 

Gabriel Allon's work as an art restorer brings him income and peace of mind, but is actually a cover for his assignments carrying out assassinations of Israel's enemies. He has been away from the spy work for some time due to having lost his wife and son during an act of Palestinian revenge. The irresistible and indestructible Ari Shamron has called him back for another act of revenge and help in restoring the credibility of the Israeli intelligence office.

Though the novel took a while to get going, it turned quite tense and exciting, then raced to the end. Like most fictional spies, Gabriel is a troubled man with plenty of baggage including a former bat leveyha. This was a new term for me and means a female agent who poses as the lover or spouse for a field agent. She is also called back to assist Allon in his assignment, providing romantic interest, but is maybe an even more interesting character than the spy himself.

Because the action takes place during the Middle East Peace Talks of the Bill Clinton administration, it makes for a good piece of historical fiction, if you think of the 1980s as history. I feel that Daniel Silva writes under a heavy John le Carre influence and at least in this first of a 16 book series did not quite measure up. 

For providing non-Israeli readers a look into the Israel/Palestine conflict though, it is quite good. Husband and I decided to keep reading the series.


(The Kill Artist is available in various formats by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)


10 comments:

  1. Good to know you want to keep reading, Judy. Thanks for the shout out! 😃 Daniel Silva has been called the new Le Carre, but I think he is more heavily influenced by Frederick Forsyth.

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    1. You are welcome and thanks for introducing me to Silva. I have not read any Forsyth. I appreciate your mentioning him. So many books to read!

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  2. Gabriel has grown on me after sixteen novels, but I think the best character in the series is Ari Shamron; he is my favorite.

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    1. I agree. He is a fascinating character.

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  3. I recently discovered the series, also, and found this first book entertaining. I, too, will be reading more in the future - although it'll take me a while to catch up to Carmen!

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  4. How is it on the convoluted spy scale? I don't think I've read Silva. Once in a blue moon I'll read a spy type thriller but not too often. Usually I leave those to the Hub. But I have enjoyed some of the films based on le Carre books. hmm which reminds me did you see the review in the NYT yesterday of le Carre's autobiography: The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories of My Life. (what a perfect gift idea, shoosh.)

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    1. It was fairly convoluted though not as much as a le Carre. Yes, I want to read that autobiography!

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