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The English Assassin [Paperback]

Daniel Silva
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Book Description

29 Jan 2009

Art restorer and sometime spy Gabriel Allon is asked to visit Zurich, to clean the work of an Old Master for a millionaire banker. But when he gets there he finds the corpse of his client in a pool of blood beneath the masterpiece, and discovers that a secret collection of priceless paintings – stolen by Nazis in the war – is missing.

With the Swiss authorities trying to pin the murder on Allon and a powerful cabal determined to make sure this wartime secret remains buried, the art restorer must use all his former spy skills to find out the truth. And with an assassin that he helped to train also on the loose, Allon will need all his wits just to stay alive …

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The English Assassin + The Kill Artist + The Confessor
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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: 2.5 x 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,153 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


"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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A GREAT BOOK! 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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Daniel Silver great writer use of language good clever incites of the spying game. Using The principle character as art cleaner and his wife.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Number Five! 18 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This being number five in the series was a superb read. Have read some later novels but still quite a bit of catching up to do. If novels 2, 3 and 4 are anywhere as good as numbers 1 and 5, I am in for some extremely good reading. Well done!
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4.0 out of 5 stars No2 and starting to grow on me 24 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a fast paced novel which I found to be interesting and fun ( In a thriller spy type way ).
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2.0 out of 5 stars disappointingly perfunctory 4 Aug 2013
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Daniel Silva does it again
I have become a big fan of his books after discovering him on holiday (someone had left one of his books in the apartment we stayed in) . Read more
Published 12 months ago by yorkie kim
5.0 out of 5 stars The English Assassin by Daniel Silva
This book is excellent - it is one of those that cannot be put down until it has been read completely. Read more
Published 19 months ago by jcb
3.0 out of 5 stars The English who?
In the second book of the series, art-restorer and former Israeli secret agent Gabriel Allon is hired by a swiss banker to work on an old painting. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Pedro
4.0 out of 5 stars Legacy of the Holocaust
I've read a couple of Silva's later Gabriel Allon books but have to admit I prefer this one. Where the later ones get very anti-Islam (in general) and pro-America in black and... Read more
Published on 31 Aug 2011 by Roman Clodia
5.0 out of 5 stars An unputtable-down spy thriller
With this volume in his Gabriel Allon spy series, writer Daniel Silva once again amazes with his skill in both enthralling the reader, and the amount of background research he puts... Read more
Published on 14 April 2011 by Allan Watford
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Thriiler fiction from siva once again
Silvea has written a great new thriller starring gabriel Allon . It explores the otrageous pat Swtizerland had in hiding Nazi loot eg paintings stolen from Europes Jews . Read more
Published on 13 Mar 2011 by Ms. Diane P. Walsh
4.0 out of 5 stars a good follow on
Having moved from 'The Kill Artist' to this novel, the similarities in the formula are very apparent. Read more
Published on 6 Jan 2010 by Michael Watson
4.0 out of 5 stars Move over 007
This series pulls no punches - either in the action described or the politics commented upon.
Daniel Silva challenges his readers to review their own personal prejudices and... Read more
Published on 22 July 2009 by Robert M. Hughes
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