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The Kill Artist Book Review

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Title: The Kill Artist
Author: Daniel Silva
Published: 2000, Ballantine Publishing Group
No. of Pages: 433
Cover Price: $8.99 US



Daniel Silva’s first novel in the popular Gabriel Allon series begins as Gabriel is brought out of retirement by Ari Shamron, who is called back to head “the Office (headquarters on King Saul Boulevard in Tel Aviv)” due to a series of botched missions that have threatened the credibility of the Israeli spy network. Gabriel, one of the most sought after art restorers in the world, has been living in England in a small out-of-the-way cottage, restoring a famous painting for Julian Isherwood (not-so-ethical gallery owner and aide to Shamron), and has kept himself as far away as possible from his previous dealings as an Israeli spy. While in Vienna on his last mission almost 10 years prior, a Palestinian terrorist group, led by Tariq al-Hourani, bombed Gabriel’s car, killing his son and leaving his wife, Leah, shell-shocked and unable to cope – she now lives in a home and rarely recognizes Gabriel during his weekly visits.

A deadly terrorist incident has just happened in Paris, and Shamron is sure Tariq is behind it. Tariq is dying and is planning to make an impact before he goes; The Office believes that he is going to upset a long-negotiated peace agreement which is to be signed shortly.

Against his better judgment, Gabriel puts his painting aside and joins Shamron in an attempt to thwart Tariq’s mission. It is decided that a woman is needed to penetrate Tariq’s network, so Jacqueline Delacroix, a French model and former spy who worked closely with Allon on previous missions, is brought in to assist.

Daniel Silva is a master at weaving his fictional characters into a backdrop of historical and modern-day incidents that have had an impact on the Jews in the Arab world. This novel has been well-researched, and is even quite believable. Silva’s style of writing is “a cut above” that of many thriller writers who grind out several books a year, and the high-quality of his writing is evident as he tells his story. Readers will be on the edge of their seats while reading this novel; the suspense doesn’t quit, and the book is difficult to put down.

Fans of spy, espionage, and international intrigue novels will be fascinated by The Kill Artist and the interesting and unique characters. Since it is the first of the Gabriel Allon series, and it introduces Gabriel, et. al, it is a good idea (but not absolutely necessary – each book gives enough background to be stand-alone) to read The Kill Artist first, and then the subsequent novels in the order of publication. Definitely recommended as a must read thriller, The Kill Artist will inspire readers to read the entire series.

This book was purchased with personal funds and no promotion of the book was solicited by the author or publisher.

This book may be purchased at Amazon: The Kill Artist

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