Daniel Silva

The Rembrandt Affair

"Here is the same appeal as James Bond exerts - terrible deeds are allowed in the name of justice. "


Gabriel Allon, master art restorer and master spy, has retired with his wife Chiara to the quiet shores of Cornwall to nurse his wounds and recover from the horrific consequences of his final job for the Office, otherwise known as the Israeli Secret Service. He is just beginning to find seclusion a trifle boring when art dealer Julian Isherwood, a contact from Allon's past, arrives to make a suggestion which will use Gabriel's many skills without involving his former masters in King Saul Boulevard.

A long lost portrait by Rembrandt is being restored when it is stolen and the restorer brutally murdered. To save Isherwood's skin and fortune Allon agrees to search out the painting. The search takes him from Amsterdam to Buenos Aires, from Marseilles to Paris, and finally to Geneva. Inevitable he is drawn back into the world of espionage and his old friends in Israel, the United States and Britain. The corruption of money overpowers ethical considerations and a Swiss billionaire who has a reputation as a great philanthropist proves to have a very guilty secret linked to Nazi plunder...

Review: I love the moment when I have a new unread story of Gabriel Allon to open. I know I will have an exciting, fast moving and utterly gripping escape to turn to. It is always slightly tinged with a sense of guilt because Allon carries out the most clinical and efficient murders whenever it becomes necessary. However, all are justified by the need to remove terrible threats to the safety of the world and all the victims are particularly unpleasant characters. Here is the same appeal as James Bond exerts - terrible deeds are allowed in the name of justice.

Allon is particularly clever and dextrous in carrying out his plans, and with all this he is an attractive man with a beautiful wife, a past full of tragedy and the amazing skills and knowledge of an art restorer.

The plot is, as always, modern and up to date and even seems to predict the news. This time the possibility of hidden Iranian nuclear plants prepared to provide fuel for nuclear weapons is introduced as the means by which unscrupulous men make huge fortunes. Another aspect that I enjoy is the feeling that we have insider information on the workings of the spy networks of the world. Daniel Silva is well researched and appears to have contacts with this world. It may not be true, but it is an exciting thought.

An excellent book which I wholeheartedly recommend.

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