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Gabriel Allon had a simple but brutal job: he tracked down and eliminated Israel's terrorist enemies. But when his wife and son fell victim to the danger that accompanied him everywhere, Gabriel quit and devoted himself to the work of art restoration, an occupation that had previously been a cover for his secret assignments. Now Ari Shamron, the head of Israeli intelligenc Gabriel Allon had a simple but brutal job: he tracked down and eliminated Israel's terrorist enemies. But when his wife and son fell victim to the danger that accompanied him everywhere, Gabriel quit and devoted himself to the work of art restoration, an occupation that had previously been a cover for his secret assignments. Now Ari Shamron, the head of Israeli intelligence, needs Gabriel's particular kind of experience to thwart a Palestinian plot to destroy the peace negotiations in the Middle East. The architect of this plot, a Palestinian zealot named Tariq, is a lethal part of Gabriel's past, so as the two begin an intercontinental game of hide-and-seek, with life and death as the prizes, the motives are as personal as they are political.The story features a vivid and fascinating supporting cast, including the magus-like Ari Shamron, a beautiful French Jewish model who is seeking retribution for her family's death in the Holocaust, and a marvelously comic down-at-the-heels London art dealer. Set these colorful and varied characters against a brilliant background of political intrigue and vengeance at the highest levels and a manhunt that covers three continents, and the result is a smart and electrically exciting global thriller.


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Gabriel Allon had a simple but brutal job: he tracked down and eliminated Israel's terrorist enemies. But when his wife and son fell victim to the danger that accompanied him everywhere, Gabriel quit and devoted himself to the work of art restoration, an occupation that had previously been a cover for his secret assignments. Now Ari Shamron, the head of Israeli intelligenc Gabriel Allon had a simple but brutal job: he tracked down and eliminated Israel's terrorist enemies. But when his wife and son fell victim to the danger that accompanied him everywhere, Gabriel quit and devoted himself to the work of art restoration, an occupation that had previously been a cover for his secret assignments. Now Ari Shamron, the head of Israeli intelligence, needs Gabriel's particular kind of experience to thwart a Palestinian plot to destroy the peace negotiations in the Middle East. The architect of this plot, a Palestinian zealot named Tariq, is a lethal part of Gabriel's past, so as the two begin an intercontinental game of hide-and-seek, with life and death as the prizes, the motives are as personal as they are political.The story features a vivid and fascinating supporting cast, including the magus-like Ari Shamron, a beautiful French Jewish model who is seeking retribution for her family's death in the Holocaust, and a marvelously comic down-at-the-heels London art dealer. Set these colorful and varied characters against a brilliant background of political intrigue and vengeance at the highest levels and a manhunt that covers three continents, and the result is a smart and electrically exciting global thriller.

30 review for The Kill Artist

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I read the 'Rembrandt Affair' a year ago and really enjoyed Gabriel Allon, the Israeli spy and assassin who just can't quit his job. I expect spies to have a lot of personal baggage - why else would they gravitate to a profession that requires isolation, deception, moral ambiguity and high ideals (whether it's for a country, a religious belief, or personal gain). He had a rich background and I slipped very easily into the story, enjoying every moment. And then I found out it was the eleventh in I read the 'Rembrandt Affair' a year ago and really enjoyed Gabriel Allon, the Israeli spy and assassin who just can't quit his job. I expect spies to have a lot of personal baggage - why else would they gravitate to a profession that requires isolation, deception, moral ambiguity and high ideals (whether it's for a country, a religious belief, or personal gain). He had a rich background and I slipped very easily into the story, enjoying every moment. And then I found out it was the eleventh in the series. It's a mark of a great series when a book stands on its own, acknolwedging that a lot of water is under the bridge but you neither feel left out or beat over the head with recaps from prior books (the Sookie Stackhouse novels are for people who enjoy that kind of pain). I felt compelled to go to the beginning, The Kill Artist, which is the first book in the series and where we first meet Gabriel Allon. And lo and behold, even then you understand that he's already had his share of life, and death. Silva kicks off the series with a fully-formed Allon, a spy who has already lived the enviable James Bond-style life, had a family and great success, but who has lost it all. For anyone who loves heavy doses of exotic locations and political intrigue mixed (sparingly) with pinches of real world leaders, this series is superb. Silva is extraordinarily knowledgable about world affairs and shares insightful commentary (through his characters), due to his journalism background (including CNN) and his stint as a correspondent in the Middle East during the Iran-Iraq war. I will admit that I didn't know of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict origins and (if it's accurately told) now I have a much better understanding - there are truly two sides to that conflict. I'm looking forward to reading books 2-9 and now number 12. I have many, many good hours of reading ahead of me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    I've read more than half of the 14 in this series and decided to go to the beginning and get caught up in all. This first shows an insecure and hesitant Gabriel before his maturation into a confident, and self-assured hero of Isreal and that's the Gabriel I prefer. 5 of 10 stars I've read more than half of the 14 in this series and decided to go to the beginning and get caught up in all. This first shows an insecure and hesitant Gabriel before his maturation into a confident, and self-assured hero of Isreal and that's the Gabriel I prefer. 5 of 10 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    K

    Eh. Kind of an ordinary spy thriller, one I might have appreciated more had I read it 15-20 years ago when I was less jaded. Like many of this genre, you have a good (and troubled) guy who works for Israeli intelligence working with his stunningly beautiful and capable heroine with whom he has a complicated (of course) relationship. And of course, you have the bad guys who are always one step ahead of the good guys, but then the good guys catch up, but then the bad guys catch on, etc., etc. This Eh. Kind of an ordinary spy thriller, one I might have appreciated more had I read it 15-20 years ago when I was less jaded. Like many of this genre, you have a good (and troubled) guy who works for Israeli intelligence working with his stunningly beautiful and capable heroine with whom he has a complicated (of course) relationship. And of course, you have the bad guys who are always one step ahead of the good guys, but then the good guys catch up, but then the bad guys catch on, etc., etc. This book was surprisingly hard to get into for a book of its genre. The first section jumped rapidly between characters and settings, and you never really felt like you were getting to know anyone or like anything resembling a story had started. Once the story did start to move, I was a little put off by some of the cliches. I will say, though, that the book tried to take an evenhanded look at the situation in the Middle East and express the victimization claims on both sides. Although there were clear good guys and bad guys among the book's characters, the book did a good job of complicating that distinction when it came to history and politics. So in that sense the book was perhaps a cut above, but overall, nothing special as far as I was concerned. People do seem to like this series, though, so I'm open to the possibility that the books improve over subsequent volumes.

  4. 5 out of 5

    kartik narayanan

    The Kill Artist is an enjoyable book that uses an interesting premise to set up the rest of the series. I was fascinated by the main character and that is one of the reasons I picked this book up. Gabriel Allon is somehow both an Israeli assassin as well as a world renowned art restorer and the book deftly manages to combine his two talents at the same time. The book has good tradecraft and I really liked the ending.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    I enjoyed this book so much I now intend to read the rest of the series. Not really sure how I came across this author but I am so glad I did. The story is exciting, fast paced and informative. The characters are well developed and you can easily picture them in your mind which makes the read easier and more enjoyable. The subject matter is not entirely my genre and not an obvious choice for me but I quickly got into it and read it over two days.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jane Stewart

    Felt like things had been done before. Nothing grabbed me. The story was ok but several minor things bothered me, so I’ll list them below. When I finished this I thought huh, the hero didn’t do anything heroic and he did not solve the bad guy problem. The good action was done by another. Ok, but that kind of let me down - not much hero development here. Throughout the book the good guys were not doing smart things which made it less fun to root for them. In a few scenes the bad guys came out ahead Felt like things had been done before. Nothing grabbed me. The story was ok but several minor things bothered me, so I’ll list them below. When I finished this I thought huh, the hero didn’t do anything heroic and he did not solve the bad guy problem. The good action was done by another. Ok, but that kind of let me down - not much hero development here. Throughout the book the good guys were not doing smart things which made it less fun to root for them. In a few scenes the bad guys came out ahead due to luck. For example: the bad guy dresses as a waiter to get into a meeting of dignitaries. The front door guard let him in even though his name was not on the list - because the bad guy said they told me they needed extra staff. A guard let him into a private room because the bad guy said one of the top aids told me to bring this food. When the bad guy was in the kitchen, the boss of the waiters gave him work to do. The boss should have known who his employees were. He paid them. The boss did not even ask where he came from. This was too easy - using luck. I was disappointed the following was not shown. A woman was being trained as an agent. She was told to figure out who was following her. She reported three people and was wrong. Next time she reported three people and was right. I wanted to see what she saw and why she concluded what she did. Because a woman loved Gabriel she did amazing things for him. I wanted to see him reciprocate some kind of feeling for her, but he showed no feelings. That was a let down. It made him less sympathetic. Something unexpected was revealed at the end. It was quickly told. It was a neat surprise. The details behind that could have been a good story. Not required but I wanted to know more. I did not care for the narrator George Guidall. He made Gabriel the hero sound like a clerk or librarian. It didn’t fit the sexy macho agent. And he made the bad guy sound wimpy. Other parts were ok, but overall his voice was not as good for me as other narrators. DATA: Narrative mode: 3rd person. Unabridged audiobook length: 11 hrs and 34 mins. Swearing language: strong but rarely used. Sexual language: moderate. Number of sex scenes: 9 briefly and vaguely described, not much detail. Setting: around 2000 various places including England, Europe, Mid East, Canada, and U.S. Book copyright: 2000. Genre: spy suspense thriller.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (Harmonybites)

    I think what may have killed this book for me was I read this just after reading John Le Carre's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold--and after having recently read Alan Furst and Eric Ambler while working through a recommendation list that included Silva among this number. I got spoiled and after reading the best in the espionage genre this struck me as nothing more than a generic pulp thriller with all the writing skill, complexity of characterization and plotting of a blow'm up rat-tat-tat of a I think what may have killed this book for me was I read this just after reading John Le Carre's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold--and after having recently read Alan Furst and Eric Ambler while working through a recommendation list that included Silva among this number. I got spoiled and after reading the best in the espionage genre this struck me as nothing more than a generic pulp thriller with all the writing skill, complexity of characterization and plotting of a blow'm up rat-tat-tat of a popcorn chomping action adventure flick. It doesn't help that in the first hundred or so pages Silva rotates the points of views so quickly. I didn't get invested enough in any character early on to really get hooked. This is supposedly the first in a series of novels about Gabriel Allon, an Israeli agent fighting terrorists. We're introduced to him only as "the restorer" and then as "the stranger" and it's quite a while before he's linked to Gabriel Allon who seems less a starring player as just one in an ensemble cast. His opponent "Tariq" is the usual cut-out cardboard Muslim terrorist--as quick to execute a lover or someone on his own side as the enemy and without remorse. The style is decent enough, but nothing in the novel raised this to anything memorable among the many "dicklit" thrillers that spend some time in the bestseller list.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    This was my first Daniel Silva book. II am a fan of Homeland (on Showtime) and this has that vibe. I like the characterization, which is adept, apt and engaging. Gabriel Allon is a good protaginist, and I like being able to see espionage and terrorism through the eyes of an Israeli operative. The villain is also well developed and rounded. I was able to understand how Tariq became who he is without actually ever sympathizing with him- empathizing maybe, sympathizing never. Jacqueline is a good, s This was my first Daniel Silva book. II am a fan of Homeland (on Showtime) and this has that vibe. I like the characterization, which is adept, apt and engaging. Gabriel Allon is a good protaginist, and I like being able to see espionage and terrorism through the eyes of an Israeli operative. The villain is also well developed and rounded. I was able to understand how Tariq became who he is without actually ever sympathizing with him- empathizing maybe, sympathizing never. Jacqueline is a good, strong female character who adds a well developed view of Gabriel and Israeli intelligence operations. If the rest of the series is as good as this boo, I am in it for the long haul. Scenes are taut and the suspense is nicely built to engage without overdoing. I would give this book a 4.5 rating if it allowed me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Number 1 in the Gabriel Allon series. I really enjoyed this book. A good spy thriller in the mould of Robert Ludlum. Books such as The Osterman Weekend and others. Gabriel Allon, a once Israeli agent come spy has retired from that occupation and now lives as an art restorer in a quiet village in Cornwall England. The last thing on his mind is a return to his former life. His, one time boss, gets in touch and tells him that the man who was responsible for the death of his wife and child is out of Number 1 in the Gabriel Allon series. I really enjoyed this book. A good spy thriller in the mould of Robert Ludlum. Books such as The Osterman Weekend and others. Gabriel Allon, a once Israeli agent come spy has retired from that occupation and now lives as an art restorer in a quiet village in Cornwall England. The last thing on his mind is a return to his former life. His, one time boss, gets in touch and tells him that the man who was responsible for the death of his wife and child is out of hiding and planning a massive attack on the Israeli / Palestine piece accord. An opportunity to get the man who is responsible for killing his family and at the same time help the piece accord to survive, it’s just too tempting for Gabriel to pass up. This is a whirlwind adventure that will take you all over Europe and the Middle East before ending up in the USA. There are a lot of dead end roads here. So many in fact you will be hard pressed to guess just who are the hunters and who are the hunted. It will keep you on your toes. Whilst the Palestinians are portrayed as the terrorists the reasons why they have taken up the gun is well explored. There are no angels here. An enjoyable read. Fast paced with a tight plot. I give it a 4 star recommendation.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Karl Marberger

    I’ve heard good things about this series, and I was not disappointed. Very enjoyable. Lots of action and twists. I’m glad I starts this series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    “The Kill Artist” is the first book out of 17 (as of today) that follows the exploits of Israeli agent Gabriel Allon. I had previously read the 16th book in the series, “The Black Widow”, and enjoyed it very much. So much so that I went back to the beginning of the series. I am glad that I did not begin at the beginning. This novel is okay, not great. Unlike my previous experience while reading a book of Mr. Silva’s I found I could easily put it down. That is not to say that I did not enjoy readi “The Kill Artist” is the first book out of 17 (as of today) that follows the exploits of Israeli agent Gabriel Allon. I had previously read the 16th book in the series, “The Black Widow”, and enjoyed it very much. So much so that I went back to the beginning of the series. I am glad that I did not begin at the beginning. This novel is okay, not great. Unlike my previous experience while reading a book of Mr. Silva’s I found I could easily put it down. That is not to say that I did not enjoy reading it, I did. Just that the experience was nothing spectacular. Mr. Silva is adept at not being needlessly one sided in this novel. There are clear good and bad guys, but he does give voice to the grievances that the Palestinian terrorists make. This was an interesting choice, as it does force the reader to realize that although one side may be a bit more moral than the other, there are still legitimate grievances on both sides of the issue. “The Kill Artist” suffered from some “too cute” plot devices and some too easily wrapped up plot points, and from a ridiculous scene with Yasir Arafat and the main bad guy in the text, a terrorist named Tariq. But overall it is an okay novel. I will read the second book in the series in the hopes that the texts get better each time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tim The Enchanter

    An Average Read Until the End This marks the first book I have read by Daniel Silva. The Kill Artist, the first in the Gabriel Allon Series was first published in 2000 and it is starting to feel its age. The story resolves around Israeli and Palestinian conflict. There is a cast of a "villain" and an "anti-hero" and retaliation is the word of the day. The plot feels tired. Granted, had I read it first in 2000, I may have not felt this way. As in many books that are the first in a series, the sto An Average Read Until the End This marks the first book I have read by Daniel Silva. The Kill Artist, the first in the Gabriel Allon Series was first published in 2000 and it is starting to feel its age. The story resolves around Israeli and Palestinian conflict. There is a cast of a "villain" and an "anti-hero" and retaliation is the word of the day. The plot feels tired. Granted, had I read it first in 2000, I may have not felt this way. As in many books that are the first in a series, the story starts of slowly as we are introduced to the characters. Despite my issues with a tired plotline, the characters are interesting. Our "hero" is a former Israeli intelligence officer who has retired and is working as a reclusive, world class art restorer. He finds himself (surprise, surprise) drawn back into action for the protection of Israel. He is an interesting and nuanced character. His sidekick / love interest/ former love interest / partner is an aging (ok. she is 33 but she says that she is old for her job) world class fashion model. She has also worked an Israeli agent using her "assets" to get information or put foreign diplomats in compromising positions. I was rather bored of the book by the halfway point. I only continued to read because the author has been highly recommended by multiple sources. The action picks up halfway through and zips on to a high finish leading a final 3.5 star rating. I plan on reading the next in the series.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elisha Condie

    I’m always surprised when a premise of a book sounds so good – a perfect swish, and then the book itself is like a big old airball. Meet Gabriel Allon: super spy, art restorerer, tortured soul, handsome, ruthless, boring. Daniel Silva’s book sounds great! A spy who restores masterpieces, who is out for revenge for his murdered family but doesn’t really like to kill people. He’s recruited from retirement by a ruthless Israeli agent who wants to stop an equally ruthless Palestinian terrorist. Ru I’m always surprised when a premise of a book sounds so good – a perfect swish, and then the book itself is like a big old airball. Meet Gabriel Allon: super spy, art restorerer, tortured soul, handsome, ruthless, boring. Daniel Silva’s book sounds great! A spy who restores masterpieces, who is out for revenge for his murdered family but doesn’t really like to kill people. He’s recruited from retirement by a ruthless Israeli agent who wants to stop an equally ruthless Palestinian terrorist. Ruthless is the key word here – everyone is ruthless. It’s like a drinking game. The characters are flat, and there isn’t anyone you can really feel emotionally invested in. And I’ve said this before, but give me a villain I want to defeat soundly. The terrorists and agents in this story just depressed me. I didn’t get the sense anyone was better off, or anything was much accomplished here – all the work and killing people just adds fuel to the fire of this conflict. I can’t get behind that. And knowing Gabriel is just going to get pulled out of retirement again to fight some more of the same old baddies was just anti-climactic. This book was a page turner, for sure. But Gabriel Allon has no style. Dear Agent Allon, please see some James Bond movies and get back to me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alex Cantone

    He had the strange sensation of walking through the rooms of his childhood – everything was familiar but slightly different, a bit smaller than he remembered, a bit shabbier perhaps. As always he was struck by the similarities between the craft of restoration and the craft of killing… As always with a Gabriel Allon thriller, I am struck by author Daniel Silva's penmanship, a style that is more European than American, the slickness of the plot, with a twist in the tail. It is easy to engage with t He had the strange sensation of walking through the rooms of his childhood – everything was familiar but slightly different, a bit smaller than he remembered, a bit shabbier perhaps. As always he was struck by the similarities between the craft of restoration and the craft of killing… As always with a Gabriel Allon thriller, I am struck by author Daniel Silva's penmanship, a style that is more European than American, the slickness of the plot, with a twist in the tail. It is easy to engage with the characters, even those less endearing, due to a strong sense of justice. The Kill Artist, the 1st in the series, introduces former Mossad operative turned art restorer Allon, still grieving for his son killed and wife maimed by a car bomb planted by Tariq in Vienna years earlier as a reprisal. Then there’s shifty Israeli spymaster Ari Shamron, ambitious katsa Uzi Navot, and the endearingly hopeless London art dealer, Julian Isherwood. A car bombing in Paris, killing the Israel Ambassador and his wife, bears Tariq’s “hallmarks” of detailed planning, execution and escape. Not everyone in the PLO agrees with Yasir Arafat brokering a peace deal with the Israelis, and Shamron is pessimistic that the peace deal will hold when so many elements on both sides wants it to fail. With politics in Israel taking an ugly turn, Shamron flies to England to coax Gabriel out of retirement to seek revenge on Tariq. He is to set up his own organisation in London, separate from Israeli intelligence, and blindsiding both MI5 and Langley, which is closely monitoring the peace deal. Somewhat reluctantly, he recruits French Jew and model, Jacqueline, whom he worked with before, as a “honeypot” to infiltrate Tariq’s organisation. This is a stylish spy thriller with the ‘cold' war of the twentieth century superseded by the ‘secret’ war in the middle-east and its international support network. There are harrowing descriptions of atrocities committed against Palestinians held in refugee camps of Beirut - which Israel chose to ignore - and a killer haunted by the deaths he committed in the service of his country. Verdict: Very readable, though I preferred some of the later works in the series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alex is The Romance Fox

    This is the 1st book in the Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva. Gabriel Allon, former Israeli super spy/agent is now a restorer of old art masterpieces, living an isolated life in a remote English seaside village. Persuaded out of retirement by his former boss, Ari Shamron to track down the deadly Palestinian assassin, threatening to derail the peace talks between the Israeli Prime Minister and Arafat after assassinating the Israeli Ambassador in Paris, and who is also responsible for his wife This is the 1st book in the Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva. Gabriel Allon, former Israeli super spy/agent is now a restorer of old art masterpieces, living an isolated life in a remote English seaside village. Persuaded out of retirement by his former boss, Ari Shamron to track down the deadly Palestinian assassin, threatening to derail the peace talks between the Israeli Prime Minister and Arafat after assassinating the Israeli Ambassador in Paris, and who is also responsible for his wife and son’s death. A complex, dizzying, gripping, intriguing, compelling and well-paced story, using the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a backdrop. Great character development, filled with some fascinating characters (some real) that I look forward to seeing in the next books.

  16. 4 out of 5

    ChopinFC

    Strong introduction to the series, specially setting up the background of Gabriel Allon. As the book progressed, however, I found the set up with Allon as 'surveillance' detail, felt sluggish and bored me. I was expecting a Mitch Rapp or Jason Bourne, but instead got neither. There are still over 10 Gabriel Allon books, I'll give Mr Silva another chance simply for his unique and engaging writing style. 3stars. Strong introduction to the series, specially setting up the background of Gabriel Allon. As the book progressed, however, I found the set up with Allon as 'surveillance' detail, felt sluggish and bored me. I was expecting a Mitch Rapp or Jason Bourne, but instead got neither. There are still over 10 Gabriel Allon books, I'll give Mr Silva another chance simply for his unique and engaging writing style. 3stars.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    3.0 stars. A good, solid international thriller centering on Israeli operative/art restorer Gabriel Allon attempting to track down a Palestinian terrorist. This is the first of the Gabriel Allon books and I thought he was an interesting character and will certainly read the next book in the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ingrid

    3,5 stars It was a nice read, good start of a series, but there's room for improvement. 3,5 stars It was a nice read, good start of a series, but there's room for improvement.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Blaine DeSantis

    My first ever read of a Daniel Silva book and I want some more. I found this a very good action/adventure book dealing with terrorists, counter-terrorists and the protagonist is an art restoration expert. The book is a bit dated since it was written a while back but the saga is quite engaging and moves us around the world quite deftly as a Palestinian terrorist tries to complete a mission and Israeli counter-terrorist Gabriel Allon tries to prevent it from happening. The books plot is driven by My first ever read of a Daniel Silva book and I want some more. I found this a very good action/adventure book dealing with terrorists, counter-terrorists and the protagonist is an art restoration expert. The book is a bit dated since it was written a while back but the saga is quite engaging and moves us around the world quite deftly as a Palestinian terrorist tries to complete a mission and Israeli counter-terrorist Gabriel Allon tries to prevent it from happening. The books plot is driven by dialogue and we also get some background into this never ending cycle of hatred in the Middle East. Fast paced and action packed, the author reminds me of Steve Berry, James Rollins and Clive Cussler style of writing. Glad I finally took a gander at Silva, I have a feeling that quite a few more will pop up on my shelves in 2018!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    Having read Daniel Silva's The Order ( #20 in the Gabriel Allon spy thriller series) I was duly impressed enough to come here, to the beginning of the series. In The Kill Artist we meet Gabriel Allon, renowned art restorer and Israeli spy/assassin who is pulled out of retirement to track down the dangerous Palestian agent known as Tariq. It is a nicely paced thriller as a thriller should be, I was fully engaged, it was well researched and well written for the most part. It had a nice twist at the Having read Daniel Silva's The Order ( #20 in the Gabriel Allon spy thriller series) I was duly impressed enough to come here, to the beginning of the series. In The Kill Artist we meet Gabriel Allon, renowned art restorer and Israeli spy/assassin who is pulled out of retirement to track down the dangerous Palestian agent known as Tariq. It is a nicely paced thriller as a thriller should be, I was fully engaged, it was well researched and well written for the most part. It had a nice twist at the end I never saw coming and a satisfying ending. Silva likes to weave fact with fiction, so here we have actual historical events referred to such as the 1948 massacre at Deir Yassin in Palestine and the appearance in the novel of Yasser Arafat. A few scenes with him seemed unlikely and I may have actually winced a little at the meeting between him and the baddie Tariq. But I think Silva has done a good job in this genre with a pretty cool protagonist in Gabriel Allon and I'm going to continue the series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Scott Rhee

    “The Kill Artist” is the first novel in the popular Daniel Silva series to feature his Israeli spy/art restorer extraordinaire, Gabriel Allon. In this novel, readers are given a glimpse at the tragic backstory of Allon---his son was killed in a car bomb explosion meant for him, while his wife survived only to live in a vegetative coma-like state---and introduced to Allon’s arch-nemesis, a Palestinian terrorist named Tariq. Among the other important characters are: ***Jacqueline Delacroix, a beaut “The Kill Artist” is the first novel in the popular Daniel Silva series to feature his Israeli spy/art restorer extraordinaire, Gabriel Allon. In this novel, readers are given a glimpse at the tragic backstory of Allon---his son was killed in a car bomb explosion meant for him, while his wife survived only to live in a vegetative coma-like state---and introduced to Allon’s arch-nemesis, a Palestinian terrorist named Tariq. Among the other important characters are: ***Jacqueline Delacroix, a beautiful French supermodel who is also an Israeli spy. She uses her seductive charms and feminine wiles to help lure suspected or known terrorists into compromising positions for intel-gathering. During her last mission with Gabriel, the two became more intimate than their cover-identities required. Shortly after, Tariq’s car-bomb killed Allon’s son and left his wife a vegetable. She is conflicted: while she has tremendous guilt about what happened during the last mission, she can’t help but still be in love with Allon. ***Julian Isherwood, a British art dealer who has no illusions about the fact that he is getting older and the business is not as lucrative as it once was when he was younger. Allon is his most sought-after restorer, but he also knows that Allon’s other life as a spy may drag him away from his studio work and thus ruin Isherwood. ***Ari Shamron, a Mossad spymaster, recruited and trained Allon, his best agent. Allon is also his most troubled agent, for reasons that go beyond the fateful day involving Allon’s wife and son. Shamron and Allon are as different as night and day: Allon loathes violence, while Shamron revels in it; Allon does not believe that everything that the Israeli government has done is for the best, while Shamron can not believe otherwise; Allon believes that revenge leads to spiritual death, while Shamron believes that revenge is a biblical necessity. Strangely, though, they make a superior team. The plot: When the Israeli ambassador to France is killed during a terrorist attack, Shamron clearly sees the calling card of the terrorist known as Tariq. He coaxes Allon back into the field with the promise of closure. Then, Shamron recruits Jacqueline to work with Allon. Sparks fly. Some of them are romantic ones. There is, as is to be expected from Silva, suspense and action galore in “The Kill Artist”, but along with all of that is an even stronger thread of human drama. Silva creates believable, likable characters, and even his villains are sympathetic to an extent. They may do monstrous things, but they never come across as completely monstrous. They are simply broken people with irrational feelings of hatred and revenge.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Henry

    Outstanding spy thriller. The writing is terrific and the character development as well as the intricate plot (that makes sense rather than being contrived) make this book a top notch novel.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Eric_W

    The methodology of the art restoration expert is the same as that of the professional assassin: “study the target, become like him, do the job, slip away without a trace.” Just as retired Israeli agent Gabriel Allon must study the artist Vecellio in order to resurrect and restore The Adoration of the Shepherd, to make the painting just like the original so he must study again the work of his old nemesis Tariq, agent of the PLO wing that is angry and upset with Arafat’s peace initiatives. Tariq i The methodology of the art restoration expert is the same as that of the professional assassin: “study the target, become like him, do the job, slip away without a trace.” Just as retired Israeli agent Gabriel Allon must study the artist Vecellio in order to resurrect and restore The Adoration of the Shepherd, to make the painting just like the original so he must study again the work of his old nemesis Tariq, agent of the PLO wing that is angry and upset with Arafat’s peace initiatives. Tariq is also responsible for the death of Gabriel's wife and child, so Ari Shamron tries to induce Gabriel out of retirement to track down and kill Tariq after Tariq’s organization has assassinated the Israeli ambassador in Paris. In these days after the end of the Cold War, writers of spy thrillers have been left with few international conflicts and adversaries with which to ground their novels. Silva has become one of the more successful, and this one is a real pageturner. Tariq learns from an inside source that Gabriel is after him, so it becomes a cat-andmouse game to see who can find and eliminate the other first.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Judith E

    An entertaining audible listen with fairly complex characters and a tricky spy plot. It held our attention through the Pennsylvania and Ohio turnpikes. 3.5 stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

    This one did now work for me, though I’m already in possession of some other titles in the series and motivated to try again. I found the characters flat and strangely un-compelling. While I liked the idea of this book, and the blurb and preponderance of reviews, I found the plot a little mixed up and thinner than I would expect for a popular and well-reviewed series. But this is the beginning of a long-running set of thrillers, so I’m going to sample further along and see how it goes.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)

    Eh. Not my thing. The twist at the end was somewhat diverting, but, otherwise... (view spoiler)[ One of my major issues with books like this is the fact that to have a new girl every book, it requires finding ways to get rid of the girls without the hero looking like a bad guy. In this case, she's like, don't feel bad, I got almost everything I wanted and someone else was like, Gabriel, you saved her. Which can't be met literally because she saved herself and then also saved him, he never saves h Eh. Not my thing. The twist at the end was somewhat diverting, but, otherwise... (view spoiler)[ One of my major issues with books like this is the fact that to have a new girl every book, it requires finding ways to get rid of the girls without the hero looking like a bad guy. In this case, she's like, don't feel bad, I got almost everything I wanted and someone else was like, Gabriel, you saved her. Which can't be met literally because she saved herself and then also saved him, he never saves her. And if it's meant in the spiritual sense. HOW???? Everything she went through because he didn't listen to her when she was like, no, this is a bad idea. Everything she went through really suggests a lifetime of therapy afterward. Her life is F'ed, she has no career, she's gonna have sexual PTSD and good old regular PTSD, and through all that he ignored her the entire time, and somehow the author twists that into HER being grateful to him in the end. Convenient for justifying a new girl in every book, but really teeth-gnashingly annoying when it comes to psychological likelihood. (hide spoiler)]

  27. 5 out of 5

    Luffy

    After completing The Kill Artist I felt lifeless, and drained. Which is quite unusual for me. Another uncanny thing about this book is that it established a blistering 5/5 average rating right from the start. In this book it is 90% clear who we are supposed to side with. More unusual aspects of this unusual book is that the seemingly condemned character doesn't die. Also the hero doesn't perform much in the vicinity of heroics. I felt sad after reading The Kill Artist. I should not. The book wa After completing The Kill Artist I felt lifeless, and drained. Which is quite unusual for me. Another uncanny thing about this book is that it established a blistering 5/5 average rating right from the start. In this book it is 90% clear who we are supposed to side with. More unusual aspects of this unusual book is that the seemingly condemned character doesn't die. Also the hero doesn't perform much in the vicinity of heroics. I felt sad after reading The Kill Artist. I should not. The book wasn't geared for that. It's a freaking thriller. But below the exciting surface, there's the stirrings of unhappiness, sad endings, forsaken dreams, and moral meanderings.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mellie Antoinette

    A cross-country, cross-cultural intrigue of political strategy that sets up beloved Israeli Intelligence Operative Gabriel Allon on a quest to save Yasser Arafat and establish peace in the Middle East. No pressure....

  29. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    This is the second book I've read by this author. He writes Spy Thrillers. I liked the pace of the story line. It often moved at a fair clip. I also liked the characters. My only complaint with this one was the dialogue when it came to the main female character. It was awkward and it lacked a natural feel. She felt more like a tool than a live character. But I still enjoyed the story line. So 3 stars. This is the second book I've read by this author. He writes Spy Thrillers. I liked the pace of the story line. It often moved at a fair clip. I also liked the characters. My only complaint with this one was the dialogue when it came to the main female character. It was awkward and it lacked a natural feel. She felt more like a tool than a live character. But I still enjoyed the story line. So 3 stars.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    As the first book in the series, this effort does not measure up to later stories. This is understandable because Silva had to cover a lot of ground in order to set the series on its way. The later books in the series keep getting better and better. Gabriel Allon, the protagonist, is an art restorer, who at one time worked for a secret Israeli intelligence agency. He, in fact, was one of the assassins, Golda Meir dispatched to take revenge for the Munich Olympics massacre of Israeli athletes. All As the first book in the series, this effort does not measure up to later stories. This is understandable because Silva had to cover a lot of ground in order to set the series on its way. The later books in the series keep getting better and better. Gabriel Allon, the protagonist, is an art restorer, who at one time worked for a secret Israeli intelligence agency. He, in fact, was one of the assassins, Golda Meir dispatched to take revenge for the Munich Olympics massacre of Israeli athletes. Allon still has nightmares and regrets for what he did and has escaped into his art restoring career. Ari Shamron, his ex-boss and an obsessive protector of everything Israeli lures him back into the game by assigning him to stop a Palestinian zealot, Tariq, who is on one last mission. Allon cannot refuse because Tariq is responsible for killing his son and injuring his wife beyond repair. He is teamed with Jacqueline Delacroix a French fashion model who is also Jewish and has a history with Allon. The plot continues from there. In order to keep the plot moving, the characters are not as full as they become in later books. Silva, though, does a good job of presenting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a basis for understanding Tariq's motivation. The plot has many twists in it to hold the reader's attention. There are times when it is not at all clear who is pursuing whom. Morality becomes a casualty, especially, when Shamron is involved, to say nothing of Tariq. I'm glad I had read subsequent books so that the faults of this first effort has not and will not keep me from reading every book in the series.

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