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Portrait of a Spy (Gabriel Allon 11) Paperback – 21 Jun 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (21 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000743331X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007433315
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniel Silva is the bestselling author of The Unlikely Spy, The Mark of the Assassin, The Marching Season, The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Price of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant and Moscow Rules. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, NBC News Today correspondent Jamie Gangel, and their two children, Lily and Nicholas.

Product Description

Review

‘‘Allon is the 21st century Bond - elegantly paced, subtle and well-informed. If you haven’t read Silva before, try Portrait of a Spy - and then go back and read the series.’ Daily Mail

'Sexily brooding Allon… must be the most famous superspy not played by Daniel Craig' Daily Telegraph

'In true Bauer fashion, shoot-outs, kidnappings and international terror plots follow Gabriel Allon wherever he goes' USA Today

‘Silva builds tension with breathtaking double and triple turns of the plot’ People

About the Author

Daniel Silva is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Unlikely Spy, The Mark of the Assassin, The Marching Season, The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules, The Defector, and The Rembrandt Affair. He is married to NBC News Today correspondent Jamie Gangel and they have two children. In 2009 Silva was appointed to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council. He lives in Washington, D.C.


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brett H TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 July 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Gabriel Allon has apparently been around for a while as this is the 11th book he has starred in. However, it is the first that I have read. Whereas this would be a huge disadvantage with some authors and some books, there were not the constant references to his previous exploits, which would have made this difficult to read on a standalone basis.

Gabriel is a former member of the Israeli Security Service who has retired to live in Cornwall. However, events conspire to bring him back into the fold and he becomes involved in an interesting plot which also involves the CIA and the pursuit of some particularly threatening and determined jihadists. The plot is bang up to date and is post both the Arab Spring and the death of Bin Laden so it has a very contemporary feel about it.

In many ways this book does all the right things for a spy thriller. The plot is pacey, but in a measured sort of way so the action does not become ridiculously frenetic. Fiction is woven into fact which gives the whole story credibility. Gabriel Allon is an interesting character, quite complex and definitely independently minded who it is quite easy to identify with. The book is not short, but does not suffer from padding with little relevance to the plot, which some authors feel obliged to add in, so that this story remains focused throughout.

This is a book which I read through very quickly. I did find it to be the archetypal page turner. The chapters are relatively short which keeps the reader engaged. Certainly after reading this one I do plan to get hold of Daniel Silva's other Gabriel Allon books as it was a very enjoyable read and one I would unreservedly recommend.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
Okay, here's the thing from a reviewer's viewpoint. You would probably not be reading the reviews of Daniel Silva's newest book in his Gabriel Allon spy series if you weren't already familiar with his writing. Silva's written 13 or so novels in the series and I think I've read most of them. And this one, "Portrait of a Spy" is a very good Daniel Silva/Gabriel Allon book. But it is similar to all the others I've read. And for me, a reviewer, it's a difficult book to review for that reason.

Daniel Silva is deeply concerned with the Middle East and the problems with radical Islamism that have risen from there in the last 60 years or so. Silva uses his books - characters and plots - to speak intelligently about those problems and the repercussions - terrorist bombings in both the Middle East countries and in Europe. Silva seems to publish a new book in the series every July. Now, this year and this book, 2011 and "Portrait of a Spy", pose a fairly tricky problem for Daniel Silva. How much of the "Arab Spring" - which actually began in mid-December, 2010 - does he include in his story? And does he include the assassination of Bin Ladin, which occurred fairly close to the time of publication? I could tell that he makes reference to Bin Ladin's death in a line towards the end where the text could still be changed in final proofs. The "Arab Spring" is mentioned towards the end. That's the problem he may have faced with the plot. But it's with the characters he's facing the most problems.

Gabriel Allon has not changed much in the 15 or so years he's been the subject of Daniel Silva's pen. And Chiara, his younger Italian wife is still gorgeous. They are still trying to retire to the English countryside and really go back to art restoration.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. Green TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Dec. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It brings me no pleasure to ask the question, but having finished Daniel Silva's latest novel 'Portrait Of A Spy' I have to seriously wonder whether its time to finally retire Israeli agent-cum-art restorer Gabriel Allon?

Its not that there is anything particularly wrong with Portrait Of A Spy. Its up to Silva's usual high standard when it comes to prose, characterisation, precision plotting and ripped-from-the-headlines subject matter. Its exciting, dramatic, thrilling and emotional in all the right places. The problem, and this is the reason that I've only awarded it three stars, is that it really nothing more than a rehash of several of Silva's previous Gabriel Allon novels. Yes the settings may change and along with them some incidental details, but the basic plot of recruiting an innocent outsider to infiltrate a terrorist organisation is one that Silva has used on at least two previous occasions. How that plot plays out also closely matches how those previous stories unfolded. The result is a book that is reassuringly familiar but also very predictable. At times I felt as if I was rereading either The Messenger or The Rembrandt Affair.

At the heart of the problem is the character of Gabriel Allon himself. In his earlier adventures part of the pleasure was seeing him grow as a character and allow himself to become more human. For the past few books however, he has remained frozen in aspic, his behaviour, personal attitudes and relationships unchanging. He has, in effect, become a rather dull and predictable and at the same time so have the books.
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