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The Secret Servant (Gabriel Allon Novels) by…

The Secret Servant (Gabriel Allon Novels) (edition 2008)

by Daniel Silva

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1,318225,903 (3.96)43
Title:The Secret Servant (Gabriel Allon Novels)
Authors:Daniel Silva
Info:Signet (2008), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:novel, fiction, thriller, US, Europe, Islam, Israel

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The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva



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Well crafted thriller. Israeli James Bond works on recovery of UK AMEMB's daughter. The book has an undertone of Muslim encroachment into Europe...seems like there's a Muslim behind every corner. Exciting read with some amount of literary formula. ( )
  buffalogr | Apr 27, 2016 |
Gabriel Allon is an art restorer who also works for Israeli Special Ops from time to time. When one of the department’s agents in Amsterdam is killed by a Muslim fanatic, Gabriel is sent to look through his files and make sure nothing that leads back to Special Ops is in there. In the process of doing that, he gets involved in a trying to stop a plot to kidnap Elizabeth Halton, an American diplomat’s daughter, followed by a string of terrorist attacks around the world. Gabriel almost stops the kidnapping but then becomes embroiled in efforts to get Elizabeth back. The case will lead him all over Europe and into the heart of fanaticism.

This novel proves that Silva is among the best in the business at crafting thrillers. The Gabriel Allon series has at its core the persecution of Israel and the Jews, and while Silva leaves little doubt where he stands on the complex questions of the Middle East, his books are no less thrilling merely because they are about current events.

The Secret Servant a page-turner in the classic sense and Daniel Silva gets better with each book. His research and attention to detail makes this series one of the best spy thrillers out there. It's filled with fast paced, exciting entertainment. I've read the entire series and have been listening to them this time around. The narrator, Phil Gigante, did an okay job but not as great as some of the earlier ones done by George Guidall or John Lee. However, he's narrating the next few so I'm sure it will take just a little while to hear a new “voice” as Gabriel.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
After reading this novel, it brings to mind some of the same thoughts and feelings that I had after reading Nelson DeMille's "Night Fall." I went to look at my own book review for "Night Fall" and discovered that it began with these words: "This novel has been on my bookshelf to read for a long time. I’m not sure why it took me so long to begin reading it." I could say the same for this title.

But however long it has been on my bookshelf to read, it is a novel not only riveting and engrossing at the time of the 'read' but will remain thought-provoking particularly as the world stage continues to evolve. I would encourage everyone to read this novel 'sooner than later.' I would also encourage the reading of the Author's Note and Acknowledgments for further background and understanding of the depth of Daniel Silva's work.

It is also humbling to pause particularly on the July 4th holiday weekend and think not only of the military and law enforcement who have served and/or are in service to their country to protect our freedom and democracy, seeking justice, for the simple pleasure of attending a fireworks display last evening in peace and with ease of personal safety for myself and my family, but for all of those in service - whose names we do not know who have given their lives or are continuing to serve at home and abroad to keep us free. We should also never forget that particularly for those that go above and beyond more than we could conceptualize are not American citizens. I am thankful for all they give and all they and their loved ones endure as part of their daily lives. ( )
  Corduroy7 | Jul 5, 2015 |
Following right in the footsteps of the previous Silva entry, this one ratchets up the tension somewhat as Allon seems to be more emotionally involved in the kidnapping of a diplomat's daughter. This pursuit leads to the discovery of a massive terror plot, and the culimination of these events near the end of the book make for a fast, exciting read. Silva is really in stride with the character of Gabriel Allon and what his limitations and capabilities are. ( )
  utbw42 | Dec 10, 2014 |
Quite a guilty pleasure, these Gabrielle Allon books. Israeli James Bond with a conscience, no frivolous sex and always ready to sacrifice himself. You can guess who the bad guys are.
Anyway, after four books, I've figured Silva out. For this book, I skipped the setup chapters, much of which is a recounting of previous books or re-introduction of characters anyway, and went straight to where the action gets going. And when I've had as much as I can take, I quit before the wrap-up ... until the next Allon book on my reading list. ( )
  ricaustria | Apr 5, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0399154221, Hardcover)

Product Description
A terrorist plot in London leads Israeli spy Gabriel Allon on a desperate search for a kidnapped woman, in a race against time that will compromise Allon’s own conscience—and life...

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 18:20:57 -0400)

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Gabriel Allon investigates clues pertaining to an Amsterdam-based terrorism analyst who was murdered by a Muslim immigrant, in a case with ties to a terrorist organization and the abduction of an ambassador's daughter.

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