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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edge of the seat exciting - another winner for Daniel Silva
I have read all the Gabriel Allon series, and this one must rank as one of the best. In it, our hero, art restorer, Israeli agent and assassin locks horns once again with Ivan Kharkov, the arms-dealing Russian bad guy, from Allon's previous outing, Moscow Rules. Because the story-line follows on from that one, I'd definitely recommend reading that one first, although...
Published on 17 Aug 2009 by joc66

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious and so so predictable
Many years ago Daniel Silva was a very promising new talent and his first half dozen books endorsed that. But since then his recent books are nothing more than the writing equivalent of painting by numbers.

I don't think I have ever come across more predictable plots than those of Mr Silva.

The books tend to start well with interesting settings this...
Published on 14 May 2011 by Nightman


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edge of the seat exciting - another winner for Daniel Silva, 17 Aug 2009
By 
joc66 (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Defector (Hardcover)
I have read all the Gabriel Allon series, and this one must rank as one of the best. In it, our hero, art restorer, Israeli agent and assassin locks horns once again with Ivan Kharkov, the arms-dealing Russian bad guy, from Allon's previous outing, Moscow Rules. Because the story-line follows on from that one, I'd definitely recommend reading that one first, although enough background is given here, if you do decide to jump straight in.
The disappearance of the defector of the title from a London street, triggers concern that Kharkov may be seeking revenge for his downfall in the previous book, and in particular for the safety of Gabriel Allon and his new wife Chiara who have been enjoying their honeymoon in a villa in Umbria. There is good old-fashioned spy-craft here, intricate plotting, much hopping between venues in the US and Europe, and a high body-count so maybe not for the squeamish. However, what makes this series of books stand out for me is the characters, Allon himself and Chiara, Ari Shamron and Gilah, Sarah Bancroft, Adrian Carter, and the rest of them. This is a thoroughly enjoyable series, and I do hope that Daniel Silva manages at least a few more outings for Gabriel and co, before he allows him to put down his gun for good.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silva Strikes Gold -- Again!, 27 Aug 2009
By 
Bobbewig (New Jersey, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
In Daniel Silva's latest thriller featuring art restorer/Israeli spy-assassin, Gabriel Allon, The Defector picks up where Moscow Rules left off (but be advised that while it would be beneficial, it is not critical that you read Moscow Rules first). Without going into detail, the plot involves Allon having to return to Moscow when he learns that the former Russian intelligence officer who saved his life in Moscow has vanished without a trace. In typical Silva fashion, The Defector's plot is one of slow-building but non-stop tension and suspense that will keep your eyes glued to its pages. Further, Silva provides new dimensions into his already multidimensional, interesting cast of characters, as well as some very thought-provoking insights into the New Russia. While some reviewers have criticized The Defector for being too formulaic, thus making it somewhat "same-old, same old," my opinion is that Silva's successful formula, which he's used now in most of his twelve books, is kept fresh and interesting through the topical events and settings on which his books are based -- and this certainly is the case with The Defector. As a matter of fact, Silva's ability to continue to successfully execute his winning formula is at the heart of what makes me consider him to the "gold standard" of thriller writers. For me, there has never been a risk involved in reading a Silva book, with the only unknown being whether the book will be very good or excellent; and The Defector is an excellent read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious and so so predictable, 14 May 2011
By 
Nightman (St Albans UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Defector (Paperback)
Many years ago Daniel Silva was a very promising new talent and his first half dozen books endorsed that. But since then his recent books are nothing more than the writing equivalent of painting by numbers.

I don't think I have ever come across more predictable plots than those of Mr Silva.

The books tend to start well with interesting settings this time it's a very accurate description of Maida Vale, London.
From thereon this is now what happens in all the Gabriel Allon books.

Some nasty event occurs, Gabriel Allon is persuaded to do one last job (yet again). He assembles his usual immortal, boring team who then instigate at least one abduction. All goes well initially until Gabriel gets captured and beaten up before escaping. He then miraculously recovers to kill all the bad guys.

Along the way we have to put up with full bios of the repetitive inane characters who appear in every book even though they have all been described several times before.

Just to add more ridicule to the now ludicrous books that Mr Silva writes all or some of The POPE, The President of the USA and the UK Prime Minister either help out or meet our super hero.

Getting back to this book having run out of ideas on Middle East Terroism Mr Silva has tried to do at least one thing differently and changed the nationality of the bad guys who are now Russians instead of Arabs for the 2nd book running.

This character has well and truly run out of steam and it's a shame Mr Silva doesn't have the courage or is it talent to write a non Gabriel Allon novel.

In hindsight his first 3 books are probably his best and from memory none featured the ludicrous Allon and his immortal mentor who despite retiring years ago still effectively runs Israeli intelligence at the tender age of 80+.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action packed, 29 July 2009
By 
Michael Watson "skirrow22" (Halifax, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Defector (Hardcover)
I was on the point of buying 'Moscow Rules' to acquaint myself with Gabriel Allon, Israeli superagent when I received a copy of this book. The reason for the now uncompleted purchase was because I was informed this was the first book to feature him. Duff info for sure, as this is, in fact, the ninth. However, 'The Defector' does follow on with characters revealed in the earlier book and the author does spend time detailing them to bring the reader up to speed.

The action and storyline move from Umbria, Allon's chosen place of sanctuary to London, to Switzerland to the Russian forests as he goes after the murderous Russian oligarch, Ivan Kharkov, believed responsible for the disappearence of Grigori Bulganov, Allon's life-saver from 'Moscow Rules'.

The book is beautifully crafted, with twists and tuens a-plenty as this story of vengeance - and love - unfolds with breathtaking speed.

In a way, I'm glad I didn't start at book one (The Kill Artist) or even with 'Moscow Rules' as the wait to read this one would have been too long.

Gratifylingly, the book does seem to stand alone, so anyone new - like me - to Daniel Silva and his ageing antihero, Gabriel Allon - can go ahead and enjoy this book. There do seem to be a few loose ends so maybe we can expect book number ten. Meantime, it seems I've now some more reading to catch up on - another eight novels in the series to be exact.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "[Kharkov sold] weapons to both sides of a conflict, moderating the flow of arms to prolong the killing and maximize profits.", 27 July 2009
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
(3.5 stars) Gabriel Allon, working on behalf of Israeli security, stopped a shipment of sophisticated Russian weapons destined for Al-Qaeda during Daniel Silva's previous novel, Moscow Rules. Now, six months later, Allon is enjoying some much needed time to himself. Recently married to his long-time love Chiara and doing the work he loves best, restoring fine artworks for the Vatican, he is living happily incognito in rural Italy, forever grateful to Col. Grigori Bulganov of Russia's FSB counterintelligence division for having saved his life, not once, but twice, during that previous traumatic adventure.

When Grigori Bulganov defects and then suddenly disappears from England amidst rumors that he was a double agent who has returned to Russia, Gabriel becomes alarmed. He believes that Bulganov has been kidnapped by arms dealer Ivan Kharkov, who wants revenge against everyone involved in the previous events, which culminated in Kharkov's humiliating loss of his wife and children. When Kharkov, in a brilliantly sick move, ratchets up the danger with a plan that will wreak the ultimate vengeance on Allon, Allon enters a new and even more sinister world of violence.

A trained assassin who executed six of the terrorists who killed Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich, Allon is certainly no stranger to killing, but the body count in this novel is higher than I can ever remember in this series, with many of the assassinations being done by Gabriel Allon himself. Over thirty violent deaths occur during the novel as Allon tries to save his own world from disaster. One scene of torture involving Allon ("fire-boarding") is so stomach-turning--and, frankly, so sadistic--that it has permanently affected my view of Allon as a "hero." Silva does a terrific job of depicting the inner torments that drive Allon to such extremes, but while some may justify this torture scene in terms of the ends justifying the means, I found it so over-the-top that I could no longer excuse Allon's brutal responses, even considering his extreme stress.

Virtually all the characters in this novel were developed in the preceding novel, Moscow Rules, and Silva takes care to review important information about these characters during the first hundred pages of this novel. Readers new to Silva will probably be able to follow the action, but The Defector feels more like a sequel than a stand-alone novel. Silva succeeds in keeping the excitement high as he brings the novel to a conclusion, and, as he often does, he sets the scene for a future novel with Gabriel Allon. Two different directions are suggested--one involving the threats to Israel coming from Iran and one involving the continuing genocide in the Congo. How much they involve Allon is a question which only author Daniel Silva can answer. Personally, I think Allon could use a rest. n Mary Whipple

Moscow Rules
The Secret Servant
The Messenger
The Confessor
A Death in Vienna
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I'd expected, 1 May 2014
By 
T. D. Dawson "tdawson735" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Defector (Kindle Edition)
The twelfth commandment of the Israeli intelligence community is extremely simple: `We don't wave our guns around like gangsters and make idle threats. We draw our weapons in the field for one reason and one reason only...' And, in `The Defector', this results in a lot of bodies, generally Russian or their cronies, generally with an extremely neat hole drilled in their heads.

Although `The Defector' is a self-contained thriller it's effectively a sequel to Moscow Rules with the same good guys and the same bad guys. Basically it's Gabriel Allon against the Russian gun-running thug (turned oligarch) Ivan Kharkov. And this time, Kharkov's wife plus her children, the defector himself and Chiara Zolli - Allon's beautiful Italian-born wife - are all heavily involved.

To me the book is a less than effective sequel to `Moscow Rules'; the storyline is weak in places whilst the level of violence - even accepting that Ivan Kharkov and his cohorts are extremely unpleasant and extremely vicious - frequently veers towards the gratuitous. The political element brings into play the highest levels of the American, British and Russian authorities but, unfortunately, is less than credible.

Fortunately the final section, involving a high degree of last-minute co-operation between Israeli intelligence and an elite group of Russian Alpha forces, helped restore my slightly dented faith in Daniel Silva.

And, before you start on `The Defector', it's a good idea to read `Moscow Rules'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exellent read, 7 April 2014
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This review is from: The Defector (Kindle Edition)
Couldn't put it down. Daniel Silva always delivers a well constructed and totally believable plot,at least whilst engrossed in the reading of it. Although with hindsight it's a good job it' (hopefully) fictitious.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Had to stop and start Moscow Rules .... Started .... Enjoyed., 20 Nov 2013
By 
This review is from: The Defector (Paperback)
Cover 4.0 Given these two books ( Moscow Rules and The Defector ) to read by a retired policemen who has a true story to tell. Make a start on writing I say. Clearly Daniel Silva has although I wonder whether he will turn out like Lee Child for me churning out later books worse than the old ones... will I get back to this as I need to start Moscow Rules first ... time alone will tell.

Started 30th November as all my other reading a bit hard work at present. Have read 40 or so pages and the plot is running well especially having finished Moscow Rules. I read on ...

Finished 5th December. Found the book a more satisfactory read than Moscow Rules as the fires kept burning to push me to turn the pages all through. Some well crafted scenes. All seemed to go a bit too well for credibility but I will give it 4 stars for the time being.

Alexander of Allwriters' and Ywnwab!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Defector. Daniel Sylva, 31 Oct 2013
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Got a keen liking for this writer and his way of delivering the story. Special the once with Gabriel Allon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced, 31 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Defector (Kindle Edition)
Daniel Silva mixes just the right amount of politics into the book. Very well researched. Another Gabriel Allon and team winner. Highly recommended.
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The Defector by Daniel Silva (Paperback - Jun 2010)
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