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4.4 out of 5 stars37
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on 28 July 2005
This book was a wonderful discovery. A touch of Le Carre, an echo of Ludlum, but a lot of something of its own as well. Silva's fourth book, and his first of several set against the backdrop of the Middle East-Palistinian conflict and the holocaust. Silva introduces a fascinitating character in Gabriel Allon, and weaves a wonderful network of intriguing relationships with equally intriguing characters, most notably Ari Shamron and Tariq. Allon, a "retired" assassin formerly in the employ of Mossad is brought out of retirement when a former arch-rival, in the form of Tariq, is plotting the assassination of a major head of state. The plot is exciting and fast paced, and takes the reader to some fascinating locations. Silva's "art restorer" background for Allon is a gem. This book gets 4 and 1/2 stars from me! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and wholeheartedly recommend it.
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on 10 January 2010
A high degree of research coupled with the thriller writer's ability to keep you reading rapidly. Silva takes you into the world of international espionage and politics but James Bond this is not.

Silva's support cast of characters are as fascinating as the main character, Allon, especially Shamron. You want to know what will happen them. How will they react to situations.

The fault in the book(I will not give away anything) is the Leila/sarah scene. There was no logic to it. Silva, ran down a dead end and forced the scene.

As with all Silva's novels, there are two 'endings'. The second one, usually in the final or second to last chapter is always a let down. Believability drops to zero.

These two criticisms are dwarfed by what is an excellent overall book.
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on 21 February 2001
This the third Daniel Silva book I have read. Each of his books have been well researched and make for compelling reading. The Kill Artist deals with the current situation in the middle east and keeps the reader in suspense from beginning to end. Mr Silva appears to improve with each new novel. I would recommend this book to all your customers. I look forward to his next novel.
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on 25 June 2012
Considered to be a legend among his peers, Gabriel Allon is a former Israeli secret service field agent, who had retired ten years before this novel takes place, after his family was victim of a terrorist bombing.

After several setbacks which compromised Mossad's reputation, Allon's mentor Ari Shamron asks him to return to the field, to lead a hit on Tariq, a Palestinian assassin, whose objective is to abort the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

"The Kill Artist" does a good job on depicting the complexity of a conflict in which both parties claim legitimacy but committed actions beyond any moral standards. There is also a particular focus on how the agents on both sides are backed by a network of civil supporters and how recruiting is done, making this novel very interesting on a broader scope. There are also some thrilling action scenes, and Tariq and Shamron are interesting characters.

However, character and plot wise, there are some faults. Allon isn't an engaging character and seemed to be always one step behind, which is something I would not expect from a legendary agent. Sometimes his instincts are useful, but those years of retirement made him more like a burden than an asset. Also, the ending could have been better explained, as some key decisions made by some characters didn't make much sense to me.

+: Tariq's chapters; the main characters' background is much more interesting than what they're doing on the present time

-: Allon as an agent was disappointing; characters like Isherwood and Peel had too much attention from the author, adding close to nothing to the plot

=: Good enough to convince me reading the next book of the series
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on 8 June 2011
DON'T Be put off by the naff title, the book itself is anything but.

Set against the backdrop of the Middle East peace process, Silva has dispensed with stereotypes and caricatures. Instead he takes us behind the headlines and into the heads of the players in this human tragedy.

Both sides feature ruthless people, killers, but we understand what made them. They are damaged people, products of a cycle of violence none of them made but are trapped into continuing. Whether Palestinian or Israeli, they move in a world that makes them horribly alike. Silva shows the human tragedy of the conflict.
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The spy thriller, "The Kill Artist," by New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva, is a tight, fast-moving, well-grounded mystery/thriller. (Knowledgeable circles consider this American author's work to be accurate on its spy craft, and to be informed on the procedures of Israel's spy agency, Mossad; and America's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).) In it, Gabriel Allon, is once again the Kill Artist. He is Israeli-born, kibbutz-raised; a spy/hit man for his people, while being, at the same time, a talented art restorer. Thus, he both heals and destroys; I think we can all agree, that's a significant combination.

In this book, Allon is called out of retirement by Ari Shamron, former head of the Israeli secret service, or Mossad, to combat a Palestinian terrorist killer, Tariq, before he can bring down an important target. A beautiful French fashion model, Jacqueline, is similarly called back on the same mission. The book is tightly plotted and engrossing; the action moves, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Jerusalem, Washington, Montreal. It is not, of course, always entirely realistic. But it includes a dandy standoff between Tariq and his famous target, and ends on a surprise you might never see coming; Shamron, surprise, has not been completely honest with either Allon or Jacqueline.

There's also a newspaper tycoon who seems to be a combination of Rupert Murdoch, and the famous Robert Maxwell, English newspaper tycoon active a few years ago: Maxwell's mysterious death appears to be echoed in this telling. Furthermore, there are at least a half-dozen nods to John LeCarre, British spymaster extraordinaire, in the first pages.

The author's characters are individuated and well-drawn, and his writing is resonant. He's witty and terse, as well. . He has been called his generation's finest writer of international intrigue and one of the greatest American spy novelists ever. Compelling, passionate, haunting, brilliant: these are some of the words that have been used to describe his work.

Silva burst onto the scene in 1997 with his electrifying bestselling debut, The Unlikely Spy, a novel of love and deception set around the Allied invasion of France in World War II. His second and third novels, The Mark Of The Assassin and The Marching Season, were also instant New York Times bestsellers that starred two of Silva's most memorable characters: CIA officer Michael Osbourne and international hit man Jean-Paul Delaroche. But it was this one, Silva's fourth novel, THE KILL ARTIST that would alter the course of his career. The novel featured a character described as one of the most memorable and compelling in contemporary fiction, the art restorer and sometime Israeli secret agent Gabriel Allon, and though Silva did not realize it at the time, Gabriel's adventures had only just begun. Gabriel Allon appears in Silva's next nine novels, each one more successful than the last.

Silva knew from a very early age that he wanted to become a writer, but his first profession would be journalism. Born in Michigan, raised and educated in California, he was pursuing a master's degree in international relations when he received a temporary job offer from United Press International to help cover the 1984 San Francisco Democratic National Convention . Later that year Silva abandoned his studies and joined UPI fulltime, working first in San Francisco, then on the foreign desk in Washington, and finally as Middle East correspondent in Cairo and the Persian Gulf. In 1987, while covering the Iran-Iraq war, he met NBC Today National Correspondent Jamie Gangel. They were married later that year. Silva returned to Washington, went to work for CNN, became executive producer of its talk show unit including shows like Crossfire, Capital Gang and Reliable Sources.

In 1995 the writer confessed to his wife Jamie that his true ambition was to be a novelist. With her support and encouragement he secretly began work on the manuscript that would eventually become the instant bestseller THE UNLIKELY SPY. He left CNN in 1997 after the book's successful publication,. began writing full time. Since then all of Silva's books have been New York Times and international bestsellers. His books have been translated in to more than 30 languages and are published around the world. Conclusion: people know the real thing when they see it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 October 2015
This is where it all began: the first instalment in the Gabriel Allon series which is up to 15 books now and still going strong. When we meet Gabriel Allon he is in his late 40s and living a solitary life in Cornwall. Allon works as a freelance and very successful art restorer and is trying to forget his previous life as an Israeli operative who helped to track down the Black September assassins - and the family he lost when his wife and child were targeted in retaliation.

Allon is approached by his former boss, asking him to come out of retirement to help track down a Palestinian terrorist named Tariq. Reluctantly, he agrees, and it is the ensuing game of cat and mouse between Allon and Tariq that forms the storyline for this book.

This is a very accomplished thriller that develops at a steady pace, incorporating some real life events and individuals to give it a sense of realism. The characters are interesting and rounded (including our flawed hero), although there are occasional clunky moments where the author clearly struggled with how to integrate their background stories into the narrative. It's a tense read which is reminiscent of Frederick Forsyth's early books.

If this whets your appetite to read on in the series, the next book is The English Assassin.
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VINE VOICEon 5 January 2010
This is the second book I've read from this author; regrettably, in a way, the first was the latest in the Gabriel Allon series, 'The Defector' but such was the enjoyment of that book, I decided to go through the whole series once I'd collected all of them. I am glad I have, since this book starts out on a great footing. Full of action, quite a lot of background, so that readers can learn pretty much where the main players are coming from but none of this detracts from a fast-moving story bang up to date - even now, 8 years on - with issues we all know only too well.

The author successfully moves the action around the world with Allon tracking his nemesis, Tariq, a fanatical killer intent on one last act before he is finished off by a tumour. That Arafat is the subject of his intent serves only to provide the reader with an interesting take on the serious troubles of parts of the Middle East. That an Israeli hit squad deals with this problem only helps to confound the uninitiated in global politics - me for one, anyway.

I move on to the 'The English Assassin' with some excitement.
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on 17 February 2001
this is the first time i have read one of silvas books and what a great read it was.the story is very fast paced and somewhat in the gerald seymour style of writing so i say buy the book, lock your self away and enjoy.
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on 9 April 2016
The Kill Artist is an enjoyable page-turning spy novel. It is very much of the “best-seller” type of novel but it is well written. There really isn’t a dull moment in the story, and despite the story having everything from spies, assassins, fashion models, art dealers and newspaper magnates, etc. in it, it somehow manages to maintain a certain level of plausibility and credibility. I felt that toward the end of the book, when the action picked up, the quality of the writing deteriorated slightly and the story became a bit far-fetched. However, overall this is recommended as an entertaining spy novel.
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