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The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon) by…
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The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon) (edition 2010)

by Daniel Silva

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896None9,813 (3.99)37
Member:alivetopaint
Title:The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon)
Authors:Daniel Silva
Info:Putnam Adult (2010), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 496 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****
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The Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva

Recently added bysivasamyk, pathfindercentral, barriesegall, saucybetty, private library, Hanneri, FredStumme
2010 (7) 2011 (9) Amsterdam (6) Argentina (4) art (10) art theft (14) audio (4) audiobook (7) ebook (9) espionage (21) fiction (69) Gabriel Allon (31) Holocaust (16) Israel (11) Kindle (8) Mossad (7) murder (4) mystery (40) Nazis (6) novel (5) read (8) read in 2010 (7) Rembrandt (9) series (10) spy (15) spy thriller (6) suspense (19) Switzerland (7) thriller (41) to-read (9)
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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Fast-paced action. Backstory covered as needed, reading full series useful but not required. Deserves best-seller status. Enjoyed the characters. ( )
  librisissimo | Dec 30, 2013 |
Big people book

Typical Silva. Good read but I've read it before. ( )
  librarian1204 | Apr 26, 2013 |
[a:Daniel Silva|29085|Daniel Silva|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1240154365p2/29085.jpg] goes deep down the Jewish angst to craft this tale of a covert operation codenamed 'Masterpiece'. It begins as an investigation of a stolen painting by Rembrandt. To find it, Gabriel Allon, a retired Israeli uber-spy, investigates its history on the vague notion that to find the painting one must know where it's been. And uncovers a sordid affair in 1943 of a Nazi officer coercing a Jewish Dutch family to sell the painting in exchange for the life of a daughter. It is just one of many such heinous actions by the same Nazi officer, who then deposits his plunder in a small Swiss bank. The record of his transactions he hides in the painting's backing. Post WWII, after the Nazi officer has gone into hiding in Argentina, the Swiss manager of the bank seizes the Nazi's assets. Years later, the manager's son has become a present day billionaire philanthropist. But his philanthropy is just a front for a far-ranging business that includes the supply of centrifuges to the Iranian nuclear industry. Enter the Israeli spy agency known as the 'Office' and the Masterpiece operation. The rest is pure Silva intrigue and derring-do to halt Iran's bomb development, and to return the lost Rembrandt to its rightful owner, a Dutch woman of Jewish descent who lost all her family to the holocaust. The best part of the book, however, is not about espionage. It is the flashback of a Jewish family, who, Anne Frank-like, tried to hide from the Nazi pogrom in an attic. But they are discovered and sent to Auschwich. Before the family is put on the death train, the father makes a bargain for her daughter's life in exchange for a valued painting by Rembrandt. The author delivers a deeply evocative depiction of this episode that powers the rest of the book.
There is a sense of lashing out, against the Swiss mainly, also the Nazis, and the rest of world who stood idly by or even took advantage of the Jewish misery of WWII. This anger is an undercurrent that alternately motivates and drags the book. In the end, Silva seems to be saying, there is only Israel helping itself in the most dangerous place on earth.
This is my third book in the Allon series. Deliberately I have been reading out of sequence to see various stages of the development of the character. By far this is the best of the three I've read. I do have a nit with the denouement of the Masterpiece operation which seemed much too facile. But maybe Silva just ran out of space or steam or time to put together a better resolution. ( )
  ricaustria | Apr 5, 2013 |
Highly recommended. Best Gabriel Alon book yet. Good historical background of Nazi crimes and the way stolen art was "laundered" by them. ( )
  EctopicBrain | Dec 4, 2012 |
This is the first time I have read a Daniel Silva novel and I was not disappointed. I'm only sorry I picked up on Gabriel Allon's eventful career so late into the novels. Gabriel Allon is a retired Israeli secret agent/assassin, living with his beautiful second wife Chiara, off the coast of Cornwall. But do secret agents ever retire? Not likely. And do art restorers ever manage to hang up their brushes? Also, not likely. For Gabriel is an art restorer as part of his cover. He also happens to be very good at both jobs... Long story short, the death of an art restorer known to Gabriel, as well as the theft of a previously unknown Rembrandt, catapults both Gabriel and Chiara back into the spy scene.

It's not just about art. It's about the theft of a massive fortune under the aegis of Nazi plundering; the atrocities of the Second World War; the meticulous record keeping of the rapacious German High Command (and their strategically placed satellites) that provides fatal clues sixty plus years later, and much much more. A philanthropist billionaire who isn't; a well-known investigative journalist who falls for him; nuclear weapons proliferation in Iran, and the revelation that Switzerland is not just a land of chocolate and cuckoo clocks. Its pristine surface conceals financial atrocities that the Swiss do not want exposed. All the elements add up to a superbly written, roller-coaster thriller. Intrigue, murder, politics, art and the murky depths collectors will stoop to in their blind passion; wartime secrets, greed and money! Especially money! The threat of another nuclear holocaust adds to the nail-biting tension as the book hurtles onward to a possibly apocalyptic conclusion.

I loved Gabriel's character, and Julian Isherwood comes a close second. Some of the book's personalities are necessarily lightweight, but the main players are solid and believable. The author's prose is polished and his timing impeccable. I read the book (a real one!) from cover to cover. I can't wait to start at the beginning of Gabriel's career by reading the previous books. I enjoyed the subtle way art facts (and fictions) are woven into the story, without overwhelming the reader. The author's note at the end does straighten out some intriguing possibilities. An intelligent and entertaining read, with thought-provoking messages, as well as touching upon qualities such as loyalty, friendship, determination, and compassion. Highly recommended. ( )
  FionaRobynIngram | Aug 19, 2012 |
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Epigraph
Behind every great fortune lies a great crime. - Honoré de Balzac
Dedication
For Jeff Zucker, for friendship, support, and personal courage.

And as always, for my wife, Jamie, and my children, Lily and Nicholas.
First words
By coincidence it was Timothy Peel who first learned that the stranger had returned to Cornwall.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
When an art restorer friend is murdered and a Rembrandt painting with a mysterious past is stolen, Gabriel Allon and his wife, Chiara, come out of self-imposed retirement to investigate the crime. Allon, an art restorer himself and a master spy for the Israeli Mossad, is pulled into a race across the globe against powerful men who will do anything to keep the truth hidden. The complex plot twists and turns from one country to the next, from a Holocaust survivor's memories of being a little girl hiding from the Nazis to the present-day world of international high finance.
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Severing his ties with the Office to care for his traumatized wife after a violent showdown with Ivan Kharkov, Gabriel is reluctantly drawn into a case involving a murdered art restorer and discovers unsettling links between the killers and a recently discovered Rembrandt.… (more)

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