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The English Assassin Paperback – 29 Jan 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (29 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141038985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141038988
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,163 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.

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Review

"Abundant action."--The Washington Post "A cloak-and-dagger tale [that] moves at a brisk clip, with clean, lucid exposition and characters who are thoughtfully drawn."--The New York Times "The plot is rich, multilayered and compelling with issues as timely as the daily headlines and problems as old as humankind...Silva maintains tension and suspense."--The Denver Post "Enthralling...a thriller that entertains as well as enlightens."--The Orlando Sentinel "Smooth and compelling."--Detroit Free Press "Silva's sophisticated treatment, polished prose, an edgy mood, and convincing research give his plot a crisp, almost urgent quality."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Silva knows how to plot...[he] will draw you in--and you'll learn something at the same time."--Rocky Mountain News "Thrilling...a good, cinematic story."--St. Louis Post-Dispatch "In the style of authors like Frederick Forsyth and Ken Follett, this is a book that opens with a scene that grabs your attention and never lets go...highly imaginative fiction set against a nonfiction background...you will want to read this one straight through once you've started."--New York Law Journal "Cleverly crafted...engrossing...an intelligent thriller of the old school and one that will satisfy Silva's fans and earn him many new ones."--Chattanooga Times/Chattanooga News-Free Press "Silva, who writes with the atmospheric grace and whiplash tension of le Carre, brings something special to the spy thriller: a multifaceted, believable hero whose sideline, spying, is only as intriguing as his regular job, restoring Old Masters....[Allon's] investigation leads to the English assassin, a rogue terrorist whose casual killings (his send-off gift to his lovers is explosives in their luggage) are breathtakingly orchestrated. Silva makes a stunning contribution to the spy thriller."--Booklist (starred review) "The spy novel is ali

About the Author

Daniel Silva is also the author of the bestselling thrillers The Unlikely Spy, The Mark of the Assassin, The Marching Season, The Kill Artist, The Confessor and A Death in Vienna. The Washington Post ranks him as 'among the best of the younger American spy novelists' and he is regularly compared to Graham Green and John Le Carre. He lives in Washington, DC.

The English Assassin is the first novel in a trilogy (with The Confessor and A Death in Vienna) which deals with the various repercussions of the Holocaust. All three novels were New York Times top-five bestsellers.


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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By My Oracle on 13 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
This was the first book of the crime/espionage genre that I have read I have to be honest that I was completely gripped by the story line. It is an easy read and does not need any concentration to enjoy the script. Following Gabriel throughout the western world I became enveloped in the story line and felt a part of the story as if I was travelling with Gabriel throughout the developing story. Being a general whodunit it was obvious as to who was involved in the murder.

Touching on Silva's previous novel in places this is a great addition to the series of Gabriel Allon books. I would recommend this book to anyone however I feel that the more experienced espionage reader may disagree with my comment due to the ease and predictability of the storyline.

I do not feel that the book was rushed at the end and could have been ended with a more dramatic ending, but is not something to complain about as Silva continues the Allon saga in his next novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark O'Neill on 13 Jun. 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I became hooked on Daniel Silva's work after someone loaned me "The Unlikely Spy" (which I have read three times!). "The English Assassin" was my first introduction to Gabriel and I was hooked from beginning to end. Although the ending threw me a little - why did the assassin act the way he did? Silva doesn't quite explain it and we are left wondering. Nevertheless, a great book and highly recommended! I guarantee you won't look at Switzerland the same way again!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terry D TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A long time ago, when I first discovered Daniel Silva, I started by reading the eighth Gabriel Allon thriller `Moscow Rules'. Seven books later I decided it would be an excellent idea to go back to the very beginning, read `The Kill Artist' and find out how it all started. I wasn't disappointed and `The Kill Artist' easily merited those five stars. `The English Assassin' is the second book in the Gabriel Allon saga but, unfortunately, it fails to live up to the promise of the first book.

It starts well and, within a few pages, Gabriel is commissioned to restore an Old Master in Zürich on behalf the client of a London art dealer he's worked with on many occasions. His life quickly become very complicated: the Raphael painting is most definitely there but his erstwhile employer is lying on the floor clearly assassinated.

The story takes Gabriel and Israeli intelligence into the murky world of Swiss banking and the search for paintings looted by the Nazis during World War II - paintings that have either vanished or hidden in the vaults of various Swiss private banks. If Daniel Silva had simply developed this theme, including that secretive cabal of Swiss bankers/industrialists determined to protect the historic status of Swiss banking, I'm sure we have ended up with a first-class thriller.

But, as we finally meet Otto Gessler, the mastermind banker behind that secretive cabal - plus the English assassin of the title - the story loses continuity and deteriorates sharply.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jana L. Perskie on 7 Mar. 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The "English Assassin" was my introduction to author Daniel Silva, and to his protagonist, Gabriel Allon expert art restorer and occasional Israeli spy. This intelligently written, international espionage thriller, filled with intrigue and vengeance, is as good is it gets. Mr. Silva's style is reminiscent, but not derivative, of Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth and John LeCarre. He is definitely in their league and oh, so original, with his 21st century relevant storyline. I have waited for a long time for an author of this caliber to appear and keep me on the edge of my seat, reading through the night. I was unable to put this book down.
Gabriel Allon is a brilliant Israeli art restorer, residing in Cornwall, England. He is a complex, melancholy man - not much humor here. Allon had worked for many years as an Israeli intelligence agent, and assassin, (when necessary), losing his young son and wife to violence as a consequence of his work. Now he just wants to restore paintings and be left alone with his torment and his guilt.
Allon is coerced back to active spy duty when he is asked to go to Zurich to clean the work of an Old Master for a Swiss millionaire banker. He arrives at his clients house only to find the man dead at his feet - murdered, obviously. Allon has too much of a history in Switzerland to call the police, so he attempts to flee the country. He is caught within a half hour, (pretty fast, even for the Swiss), and framed for the murder. Thus begins a chain of events that pairs Allon with the dead banker's beautiful, violin virtuoso daughter, as they seek the killer and the motive.
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By Stanley Crowe TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
This is the first Daniel Silva book I've read, and it'll probably be the last. The attractions of this kind of novel are well-known: a sense is created that powerful and conspiratorial forces control more than we know, and it takes an unusually talented and cold-blooded agent to penetrate beyond the national and local bureaucracies to come face to face with a representative of these forces. This is what Gabriel Allon does here, though Silva works hard to mitigate the cold-bloodedness of Allon and the "English assassin" of the book's title. Unfortunately, neither's character is fleshed out with sufficient specificity to make the mitigation credible, just as, with other characters in the novel, not enough is given to make credible their changes of heart. In fact, an incredible final change of heart is used to precipitate the climax of this novel, and the loose ends are tied up in the final two chapters in an unconvincingly perfunctory way. So where's the real meat of the novel -- the sequence of narrow escapes by the resourceful Gabriel and his friends in Israeli intelligence from the machinations of the almost (but not quite) equally resourceful forces of the conspiracy that rules (in this case) Switzerland.

The historical context is the story of Swiss collaboration with the Nazis, which led to vast amounts of stolen art (mainly from Jewish collections) being stashed away in Switzerland, with its bizarre and secret-preserving banking laws. The Swiss in general don't come out of the story well. The writing is efficient and effective for this kind of story, but there's nothing very involving about it. You need to care more about the characters for something like this to work -- giving Gabriel a traumatic past experience and the exotic job of art-restoration is no substitute for characterization. But if page-turning is what you're after . . .
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