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Der Engländer by Daniel Silva

Der Engländer (edition 2007)

by Daniel Silva

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1,683266,275 (3.82)62
Title:Der Engländer
Authors:Daniel Silva
Info:Piper Verlag GmbH (2007), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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The English Assassin by Daniel Silva



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Gabriel Allon’s second outing finds him headed to Switzerland to restore a painting. When he arrives, he discovers his prospective employer dead in his study. Allon is swept up in a web of art theft and conspiracy that stretches back decades, revealing the dark side of Switzerland’s banking industry.

I enjoy mysteries and thrillers about art and music and set in exotic locations. This book has plenty of all three. The author seemed to write himself into a corner a couple of times, though. The hero’s life was spared twice because two different villains had a pang of conscience and passed up opportunities to kill him. ( )
  cbl_tn | Dec 14, 2018 |
Israeli art restorer/assasin Gabriel Allon is back, traveling to Switzerland to meet a man who needs a valuable painting restored. But the man is dead when Gabriel arrives, and the local police suspect he had something to do with it. And just like that we're off and running, from Switzerland to Portugal to Italy in a quest to find the truth behind the priceless art stolen from Jews during the Holocaust and hidden, perhaps, in secretive Swiss banks. Everywhere Gabriel goes for answers, he find another professional killer has been there before him, erasing the evidence he needs to uncover the truth. Like the first entry in this series, the plot hums right along and Gabriel, despite his lamentable side hustle, is an appealing and sympathetic figure. ( )
  rosalita | Aug 26, 2018 |
An exciting, fast-paced novel of intrigue, spies, killers and victims in the fight between good and evil.

Enjoyable and well done but I've read many similar type books.
  Bookish59 | Jun 12, 2018 |
This was my second Daniel Silva novel about the Israeli spy/art restorer Gabriel Allon. I enjoyed the book, but certainly don't think it was amazing. I find the characters Silva creates to be interesting, and the historical background of the Swiss involvement in the looting of both art and money of Jews during World War II. The plot itself seemed to be more like the background than the history, so it didn't necessarily make for the page-turner you would expect in a spy novel like this. I will continue reading this series and would recommend it. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
More reviews at TheBibliophage.com.

Once again, Daniel Silva kept me on the edge of my seat with The English Assassin. Gabriel Allon leads a double life of art restorer and spy / intelligence officer / badass. He’s always getting caught up in righting the world’s wrongs. And, at fifty years old, he carries a lot of baggage. That’s a feeling I can relate to, although my baggage is certainly more benign.

I’m determined to write reviews of this series without spoilers, but it’s not easy. Gabriel goes to Zurich to meet with a Swiss banker who’s contacted the Israeli government. But to outward appearances, he’s going to see a man about a restoration job. Of course it’s never that simple, and he ends up being accused of the man’s murder. That’s all in the blurb, and you can imagine why Allon would want to be involved in bringing the true murderer to justice.

Silva takes us into the story through multiple perspectives, including Swiss bankers, the victim’s estranged daughter, and the titular assassin. He weaves everything together expertly, tying every loose end, just as Gabriel would want to do on a case. Along the way, I learned new things about the Swiss, the art world, and mid-twentieth century history. But Silva never puts the history or politics first. He always gives the characters the stage, while providing a detailed backdrop for them to work within.

This time I read the book rather than listened to audio. The writing is focused and intense, lending itself easily to either format. Parts of this book are brutally violent, while others are a lesson in history and culture. Silva effortlessly blends the two diverse aspects, which makes for fascinating reading. Despite other bibliophage plans, I’m now debating about whether or not to read the next book immediately. This series is well worth the time! ( )
  TheBibliophage | Mar 20, 2018 |
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To Phyllis Grann, finally,

and as always, for my wife, Jamie,

and my children, Lily and Nicholas.
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Marguerite Rolfe was digging in her garden because of the secrets she'd found hidden in her husband's study.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451208188, Mass Market Paperback)

Product Description
A master writer of espionage" (Cincinnati Enquirer), Daniel Silva makes his Signet debut with his most acclaimed novel to date... Framed for the murder of a millionaire banker, Israeli spy by trade and art restorer by preference, Gabriel Allon, will have to fight for his life-against an assassin he himself helped train.

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 18:06:46 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Sent to Zurich, Switzerland, to restore a painting owned by a reclusive millionaire banker, art expert and sometime Israeli agent Gabriel Allon discovers his would-be employer murdered and finds himself back in the espionage game.

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