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4.6 out of 5 stars97
4.6 out of 5 stars
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I've read most of the Gabriel Allon thrillers and, at the time I reviewed `Rembrandt Affair', I found myself suspecting - like several other reviewers - it was time Gabriel Allon said goodbye to Israeli intelligence and settled for nothing more demanding than the restoring of old masterpieces.

Fortunately `The English Girl' completely restored my faith in Daniel Silva and I was genuinely looking forward to the publication of `The Heist', the 14th book in the Gabriel Allon saga.

Although the underlying theme is inevitably similar to the earlier books, it won't matter if this is your first contact with Gabriel Allon. Daniel Silva skilfully sketches out the background to Gabriel's abilities as a restorer of old masterpieces and to his role in various Israeli intelligence operations.

As with a number of recent Gabriel Allon thrillers `The Heist' is set in today's world. This time, instead of facing up to Iran's determination to develop a nuclear weapons capability, we're taken into the dark world of Syrian intelligence and the ruthless elimination of opponents to the ruling regime. Plus - absolute power corrupts absolutely - the systematic plundering of the country's economy and the transfer, out of the country, of vast sums of money.

Several priceless masterpieces - some stolen several years ago - plus the security services of the UK, France, Germany and Austria play their part. `The Heist', quite genuinely, held my attention from page one to the very end.

Read and, most definitely, enjoy.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2014
CAUTION: Once you begin this book you will be half way through before you take a breath. Then, you will take a breath and continue until you are at the end because you just can't stop. It is sad that you have waited a year for #14 in the Gabriel Allon series to come out and then can't put it down and it is finished in one sitting, all 472 pages, including the Author's Note.
That's just how it is with Gabriel.

CAUTION: If this is your first Gabriel Allon book be warned that you are not going to be able to stop with just this one. So be prepared that you are going to want to go back to book #1 and read them all. You just can't help yourself.
That's just how it is with Gabriel.

It is not unusual that an author with a recurring character, or in this case many recurring characters, will start to get stale by book #14 - this I assure you is not so with Daniel Silva. This book is as timely and fresh and relatable as if Gabriel Allon had just appeared on the scene.

Mr. Silva has a very smart way of weaving in the back-story of each recurring character for the benefit of any reader new to the series. Even having read this series from book #1, I appreciate it since I read many books during the year and am glad for the little nudge to remind me of who is who and what their relationships are to each other.

If you are craving a page-turning thriller/ suspense/ clever/ intriguing well written story about an art restorer /spy you have just found it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I look forward each summer for the next Gabriel Allon adventure and this latest instalment did not disappoint. The familiar ingredients are here for those who have read the previous books. Chiara is now pregnant with twins, and the story begins with the couple living quietly in Venice although we already know that the tranquillity cannot last because soon,Gabriel will have to return to Israel to take charge at King Saul Boulevard, home of Israel's secret service. The combination of art with espionage might seem unlikely but works really well. Allon is drawn into the darker side of the art world - stolen masterpieces as a form of investments for those who may find their more traditional assets frozen. In this case, stolen art leads Allon to the money at the heart of the Syrian regime, and of course The Office has to construct an elaborate plan to strike at an enemy of Israel. The plot didn't feel to me like it had quite the complexity of some of Silva's earlier books and there are quite a lot of characters and events from previous outings referenced here so this may not be the place to start if you are unfamiliar with this series. Having said that, this is a good addition to an excellent series and I'm already looking forward to finding out how Allon's career develops in the next book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2014
The Heist is a joy to read. Elegant story telling, great characters and a suspenseful and believable plot that is very much up to date. I found myself checking various references and learning a lot about Syria, Caravaggio and the secret world of private banking. Gabriel Allon and his team almost seem like old friends we're getting to know better every year and I'm curious about their future endeavours. Reading Daniel Silva's latest novel has become a very pleasant summer routine. I'm already looking forward to next year's outing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2015
Magic has been exhausted. This was utterly formulaic and improbable. Silva's strength to date has been to open up and lead us on well plotted stories through a world of intelligence, international geo-politics, power, and money trails with a likeable assassin and his band of merry men and women. Silva's ideas and characters have been fresh even though he has poached and borrowed from the best books on Isreali intelligence (such as Gideon's spies), he has executed his early books brilliantly. His early books were infused by magic and written with care and love - in contrast to being churned out to meet a publisher's annual spring deadline. Like Lee Child who penned his 20th Jack Reacher novel and also fell back on formula and fell short, this is sadly one too many in the Allon series. So much so that Silva relies on fortune tellers, and some contrived, contorted tale about another assassin and poorly thinly written threads of IRA politics.
If you are new to Silva - return to his earlier books. If not - leave this and keep your memories of reading his books as being experiences of being enchanted and captivated.
Regrettably the last Silva I will bother with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2014
I've read all of Daniel Silva's novel and he hasn't as yet disappointed in any. The intrigue seems almost impossible in each novel. With Gabriel Allon getting older and it would seem wiser. With Amri ready to hand over. Chiara expecting twins. The Heist is a clever plot. I'm sorry I don't go into the full story review although I do enjoy reading the others and take note. I just know that whatever Silva writes will suit me fine. When you pick up the book you know you are in comfortable territory and will find it hard to put down. Can't wait for the next one although he doesn't churn them out like other authors. It will be worth the wait as there is more to tell in this man's life and love.
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on 7 December 2014
Book 14, in the Gabriel Allon series

This series has managed to stay fresh time after time and after fourteen stories not only it is getting better and better as it moves along it has also kept up with the high expectation we demand as fans. Daniel Silva is definitely a master spy crafter that anticipates what we want, knows how to provide every bit of excitement from the get-go and never fails to entertain his readers. I agree with everyone saying this latest has to be one of the best if not the best so far.

This 14th caper is not only a fun read it also has all the elements I love in a thriller: a great plot, unique characters and a range of emotions within the words. Gabriel is on his last commission before becoming the head of the Israeli Intelligence Agency. In the first part of the book Gabriel spends some time with his wife doing what he loves best restoring a painting. But soon this serene time is disturbed by the death of a man suspected to be a purveyor of stolen art. Who else can be the perfect investigator but our debonair Mr. Allon….. In the second half of the book Gabriel masterminds a scheme to seize monies stolen by the Syrian government. As in many other novels Gabriel has always time to visit his first wife and the scenes with her have always been heart wrenching and this latest follow the same pattern.

“The Heist” is more than a spy thriller it also dabs into history, gives us a sample of art restoration and provides some insights into illicit activities, here we have looting and selling of stolen art for the enrichment of dictators.

This thriller is a page turner and very hard to put down. Enjoy.
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on 14 October 2015
My third Daniel Silva this year - can't get enough of him! Gabriel Allon is the best action hero since Modesty Blaise.

Called in to investigate the savage murder of a rogue art dealer in Switzerland, the Israeli super-spy thinks he could be on the trail of a Caravaggio masterpiece that disappeared (it really did) from a Sicilian church in 1969. But his enquiries soon uncover something bigger than the fate of one painting: the acquisition of a stash of stolen treasures by minions of a murderous Syrian dictator who has looted billions from his war-weary people. The Syrian dictator is not named in the text, but he has a back story that most readers will be familiar with.

The adventure starts as almost a "caper" like TOPKAPI or one of Peter O'Donnell's literary comic-book Modesty tales, but quickly morphs into a high-octane conspiracy thriller. The surprise ending - alas, without the dictator brought to his knees (we can only watch and hope) - is subtle and richly ironic.

Audacity is Daniel Silva's middle name, and THE HEIST finds him, once again, at the very top of his game.

[Reviewer is the author of SHAIKH-DOWN]
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on 23 August 2014
Another clever, well written and plot driven book by Daniel Silva featuring Gabriel Allon. Gabriel is happily settled in Venice along with his beloved Chiara awaiting the birth of their twins when he is persuaded by the Italian Police to help track down the most famous missing painting in the world, a Caravaggio. A former British spy has been dealing in stolen artwork and has been murdered with Gabriel's friend, art dealer Julian Isherwood, being treated as a suspect. Gabriel and his team come up with the idea of stealing another famous painting to flush out the missing Caravaggio and the heist of the painting and the twists and turns of the book is Daniel Silva at his best. I cannot wait for the next book in the series!
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on 1 January 2015
Excellent book, Silva at his best.
But, dear Mr. Silva, I am not sure that Syria's president is such an archvillain. Two years before the Arab "Awakening" we traveled in Syria, an old french couple in a battered SUV, guided by Google Earth tracks in our gps. In remote parts of the country, women wore a scarf and not a veil. And THE GIRLS WENT TO SCHOOL! In Hama the restaurant by the river was full, and boys noisily diving from the famous wheels.
The french newspaper "Le Monde" wrote at the time of Hama rising (1982-feb-13 ): "lutte menée par les intégristes islamiques et leurs alliés contre le président Assad"... and if i had to be ruled by Assad or ISIS, i sure would choose the former!
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