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The Confessor by Daniel Silva
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The Confessor (2003)

by Daniel Silva

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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
This was the third book I have read in the Gabriel Allon series and it was easily my favorite. The story was a page-turner and kept me wanting to find out what was coming next. This particular story involves the Catholic Church and its relationship with Germany during the Holocaust period in WWII. Rather than just portray the Church as full of bad guys, Silva did a good job of creating characters both good and bad throughout the novel.

I am now hooked on this series and look forward to future books. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
Sooner or later most of the thriller series that are not domiciled in a single location or country end up with a Vatican/secret society installment. Silva's series had always been a prime candidate for that - and that is exactly what this third novel is.

Meet Mario Delvecchio, a 51 years old restorer in Venice, working on a Bellini altarpiece and being his usual lonely self, even when the team that is restoring the rest of the church. Until he gets some news from Munich arrive that is - a friend of his is killed and it seems like the book he had been writing is missing.

The Italian restorer is actually Gabriel Allon, an assassin for the Israeli secret services. Ari Shamron, his ex-boss, knows how to pull the right strings and before long the art is (temporarily) abandoned and Gabriel is racing across Europe. And the pursuit takes him from Rome to London and from France to Germany. Somewhere along the line, he ends up with half of the police force of Europe trying to get him (for various reasons), discovers a secret Catholic society that had been instrumental in some of the decision made by the Popes and meets a Pope - who turns out to be an interesting character. Of course there is a lot more - a beautiful woman, an assassin and an old secret from the early days of WWII.

When I read a book from this series for the first time, I was not sure if I really want to read a series about an assassin. But it somehow works - Allon is not perfect but he does not pretend to be; he kills because it is his job - and he pays the price for it. This book is not an exception (including almost managing to die) and the story is as compelling as the previous two in the series. The plot should not have worked - it is so overused that I was not sure I can read one more book on the topic without being bored. And yet it works - partially because the Jewish and Catholic faith had been the historical counterparts in a long war; partially because Silva can write. Including managing to pull a surprise ending when you do not expect it - one that is not necessarily needed but without it, the book will be incomplete - even if I would not have thought so if it was not there at all.

I can see the end of this book changing some things in the fictional world of Gabriel Allon. I will be interested to see how Silva handles that going forward. And I wonder if we will meat the Pope again - the pair of a Jewish assassin and a Catholic Pope sounds like someone's dream (or nightmare for some people) but the two men are very similar in a lot of ways.

Overall another great book by Daniel Silva. ( )
  AnnieMod | Jan 10, 2018 |
The author's note at the end gives some historical background. At one point I was unhappy about what seemed to be an unnecessary coincidence, but it turned out to be the catalyst for the entire story. In other words, everything comes to a satisfying conclusion. Gabriel Allon is a very good assassin. I am reminded of the police in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, who don't kill people needlessly and happily, but rather kill people needlessly and then agonize about it. Gabriel does try to minimize the deaths of the less guilty, but he does put himself and others in situations that lead to trouble while trying to locate evildoers. ( )
  raizel | Aug 22, 2016 |
What is not to like with a Gabriel Allon book. This is one of my favourite series, and in each one I have read Daniel Silva tells a great, and believable, story. This book has some history, a mixture of intrigue, politics and religion. This one revolves around the Catholic Church, the Second World War and the death of an academic in Germany. This leads to an adventure that takes place right across Europe. It grabs you from the first page and never lets you go. I strongly recommend this book and the series. ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Jun 20, 2016 |
A good escape mystery that I read on my NYC vacation ( )
  TallReads | Jan 21, 2016 |
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Epigraph
"roma locuta est: causa finita est."
Rome has spoken; the case is closed.
-- ST. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO
Dedication
For David Bull, il restauratore,
and as always,
for my wife Jamie and
my children Lily and Nicolas
First words
The apartment house at Adalbertstrasse 68 was one of the few in the fashionable district of Schwabing yet to be overrun by Munich's noisy and growing professional elite.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451211480, Mass Market Paperback)

Product Description
In Munich, a Jewish scholar is assassinated. In Venice, Mossad agent and art restorer Gabriel Allon receives the news, puts down his brushes, and leaves immediately. And at the Vatican, the new pope vows to uncover the truth about the church's response to the Holocaust-while a powerful cardinal plots his next move. Now, as Allon follows a trail of secrets and unthinkable deeds, the lives of millions are changed forever-and the life of one man becomes expendable...

Amazon Exclusive Essay: Daniel Silva on Gabriel Allon and the "Accidental Series"

Writers tend to be solitary creatures. We toil alone for months on end, then, once a year, we emerge from our dens to publish a book. It can be a daunting experience, especially for someone like me, who is not gregarious and outgoing by nature. But there is one aspect of promotion I truly love: meeting my readers and answering their questions. During each stop on my book tour, I reserve the bulk of my time for a lively conversation with the audience. I learn much from these encounters-indeed, some of the comments are so insightful they take my breath away. There is one question I am asked each night without fail, and it remains my favorite: "How in the world did you ever think of Gabriel Allon?" The answer is complicated. In one sense, he was the result of a long, character-construction process. In another, he was a bolt from the blue. I'll try to explain.

In 1999, after publishing The Marching Season, the second book in the Michael Osbourne series, I decided it was time for a change. We were nearing the end of the Clinton administration, and the president was about to embark on a last-ditch effort to bring peace to the Middle East. I had the broad outlines of a story in mind: a retired Israeli assassin is summoned from retirement to track down a Palestinian terrorist bent on destroying the Oslo peace process. I thought long and hard before giving the Israeli a name. I wanted it to be biblical, like my own, and to be heavy with symbolism. I finally decided to name him after the archangel Gabriel. As for his family name, I chose something short and simple: Allon, which means "oak tree" in Hebrew. I liked the image it conveyed. Gabriel Allon: God's angel of vengeance, solid as an oak.

Gabriel's professional résumé-the operations he had carried out-came quickly. But what about his other side? What did he like to do in his spare time? What was his cover? I knew I wanted something distinct. Something memorable. Something that would, in many respects, be the dominant attribute of his character. I spent many frustrating days mulling over and rejecting possibilities. Then, while walking along one of Georgetown's famous redbrick sidewalks, my wife, Jamie, reminded me that we had a dinner date that evening at the home of David Bull, a man regarded as one of the finest art restorers in the world. I stopped dead in my tracks and raised my hands toward the heavens. Gabriel Allon was complete. He was going to be an art restorer, and a very good one at that.

Over my objections, the book was entitled The Kill Artist and it would go on to become a New York Times bestseller. It was not, however, supposed to be the first book in a long-running series. But once again, fate intervened. In 2000, after moving to G.P. Putnam & Sons, my new publishers asked me what I was working on. When I mumbled something about having whittled it down to two or three options, they offered their first piece of advice. They really didn't care what it was about, they just wanted one thing: Gabriel Allon.

I then spent the next several minutes listing all the reasons why Gabriel, now regarded as one of the most compelling and successful continuing characters in the mystery-thriller genre, should never appear in a second book. I had conceived him as a "one off" character, meaning he would be featured in one story and then ride into the sunset. I also thought he was too melancholy and withdrawn to build a series around, and, at nearly fifty years of age, perhaps a bit too old as well. My biggest concern, however, had to do with his nationality and religion. I thought there was far too much opposition to Israel in the world-and far too much raw anti-Semitism-for an Israeli continuing character ever to be successful in the long term.

My new publishers thought otherwise, and told me so. Because Gabriel lived in Europe and could pass as German or Italian, they believed he came across as more "international" than Israeli. But what they really liked was Gabriel's other job: art restoration. They found the two opposing sides of his character-destroyer and healer-fascinating. What's more, they believed he would stand alone on the literary landscape. There were lots of CIA officers running around saving the world, they argued, but no former Israeli assassins who spent their spare time restoring Bellini altarpieces.

The more they talked, the more I could see their point. I told them I had an idea for a story involving Nazi art looting during the Second World War and the scandalous activities of Swiss banks. "Write it with Gabriel Allon," they said, "and we promise it will be your biggest-selling book yet." Eventually, the book would be called The English Assassin, and, just as Putnam predicted, it sold twice as many copies as its predecessor. Oddly enough, when it came time to write the next book, I still wasn't convinced it should be another Gabriel novel. Though it seems difficult to imagine now, I actually conceived the plot of The Confessor without him in mind. Fortunately, my editor, Neil Nyren, saved me from myself. The book landed at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list and received some of the warmest reviews of my career. After that, a series was truly born.

I am often asked whether it is necessary to read the novels in sequence. The answer is no, but it probably doesn't hurt, either. For the record, the order of publication is The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, and Moscow Rules, my first #1 New York Times bestseller. The Defector pits Gabriel in a final, dramatic confrontation with the Russian oligarch and arms dealer Ivan Kharkov, and I have been told it far surpasses anything that has come before it in the series. And to think that, if I'd had my way, only one Gabriel Allon book would have been written. I remain convinced, however, that had I set out in the beginning to create him as a continuing character, I would surely have failed. I have always believed in the power of serendipity. Art, like life, rarely goes according to plan. Gabriel Allon is proof of that.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:57 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In the wake of a Munich writer's assassination, Mossad agent Gabriel Allon and Vatican priest Pietro embark on dangerous journeys that reveal long-buried secrets affecting the fates of millions of people.

» see all 6 descriptions

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