The English Assassin

The English Assassin

by Daniel Silva

Overview: An Israeli spy by trade and art restorer by preference, Gabriel Allon arrives in Zurich to restore the work of an Old Master for a millionaire bankeróand finds himself standing in blood and framed for the manís murder.

Gail Reid (01/05/16): This is the second in Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon series, featuring an Israeli secret agent who works as an art restorer. Gabriel discovers the murder of an elderly Swiss banker, rumored to have a treasure of art stolen by the Nazis. Under threat is the banker's daughter, a world-renown violinist living in a Portuguese villa and recovering from an injury that threatens her career. This globe-trotting international thriller dashes through Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Portugal, England, Corsica, Italy and Israel. While the Israeli secret service plays a subtle but prominent role, so does a network of killers for hire.

This book is particularly interesting as it weaves in information about Switzerland's role in art looted by the Nazis. The pacing is terrific as Gabriel and the violinist stay a step ahead of assassins who are taking down people with too much knowledge of the past. Also Silva's treatment of the assassins and the "ethics" by which they live makes this a thriller of a different kind.
Rating: ****

Dale Israel (02/13/14): After reading books about Nazi Germany and slavery, it was time for a change. Something mindless and "light weight." The English Assassin by Daniel Silva fit the bill nicely. Gabriel Allon is an Israeli spy and restorer of fine art. Called to Zurich to restore a Raphael, he finds the owner murdered and he's framed for the crime. This "whodunit" had lots of twists and turns. It was interesting to learn about Switzerland's role in hiding artwork stolen from Jews during the holocaust since they were supposed to be a neutral country. A pleasant read on a snowy Georgia day.
Rating: ****

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