Portrait of a Spy
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Art restorer. Assassin. Spy.
Gabriel Allon has been hailed as the most compelling creation since "Ian Fleming put down his martini and invented James Bond" (Rocky Mountain News). A man with a deep appreciation for all that is beautiful, Gabriel is also an angel of vengeance, an international operative who will stop at nothing to see justice done. Sometimes he must journey far in search of evil. And sometimes evil comes to him.
In a dangerous world, one extraordinary woman can mean the difference between life and death. . . .
For Gabriel and his wife, Chiara, it was supposed to be the start of a pleasant weekend in London—a visit to a gallery in St. James's to authenticate a newly discovered painting by Titian, followed by a quiet lunch. But a pair of deadly bombings in Paris and Copenhagen has already marred this autumn day. And while walking toward Covent Garden, Gabriel notices a man he believes is about to carry out a third attack. Before Gabriel can draw his weapon, he is knocked to the pavement and can only watch as the nightmare unfolds.
Haunted by his failure to stop the massacre of innocents, Gabriel returns to his isolated cottage on the cliffs of Cornwall, until a summons brings him to Washington and he is drawn into a confrontation with the new face of global terror. At the center of the threat is an American-born cleric in Yemen to whom Allah has granted "a beautiful and seductive tongue." A gifted deceiver, who was once a paid CIA asset, the mastermind is plotting a new wave of attacks.
Gabriel and his team devise a daring plan to destroy the network of death from the inside, a gambit fraught with risk, both personal and professional. To succeed, Gabriel must reach into his violent past. A woman waits there—a reclusive heiress and art collector who can traverse the murky divide between Islam and the West. She is the daughter of an old enemy, a woman joined to Gabriel by a trail of blood. . . .
Set against the disparate worlds of art and intelligence, Portrait of a Spy moves swiftly from the corridors of power in Washington to the glamorous auction houses of New York and London to the unforgiving landscape of the Saudi desert. Featuring a climax that will leave readers haunted long after they turn the final page, this deeply entertaining story is also a breathtaking portrait of courage in the face of unspeakable evil—and Daniel Silva's most extraordinary novel to date.
Another grand slam for Daniel Silver.
Sadly, Gabriel Allon is getting old and Shamron is being portrayed as old and sickly. Can King Saul Boulevard survive without these two fantastic characters. Uzi Navot will never be a replacement for Shamron and who will ever take the place of Gabriel Allon. I don't think I could handle one more plot where the Office recruits a beautiful woman, puts her in harm's way and Allon once again turns himself over to the terrorists to try to save her. As wonderful as the series is and the books are, it's time for a new lot line.
Speaking of new, with Gabriel aging beyond the period of believable superhero status, please don't replace him with Sara Bancroft. As wonderful as her character has been, and as she Chiara are the only two exiting enough characters to even remotely qualify as potential protagonists, a female terrorist fighter in Islam is just too far out to succeed.
Silva needs a new Gabriel Allon to replace the current one. The series cannot end, but again, Gabriel cannot go on forever and remain believable. Maybe Allon becomes Shamron and the new protege become the new hero?? Just please keep the series going.
Portrait of a Spy
This is my favorite author and I wait all year for his new book. I don't feel that Gabriel is getting too old. Since I am 74 it's a matter of perspective. I like the fact that I know all the characters and feel like I am greeting old friends.
Getting a little tired
Gabriel may not be getting too old, but I think Daniel Silva is getting a little tired of writing about him. To me, this book did not have the excitement of some of the previous books, especially the two dealing with the Russian arms dealer. Technically the work was still outstanding, but the book did not have the "I can not put it down" quality of previous ones.