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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine wine
Having read all Daniel Silva's novels I'm never disappointed. It's like drinking a fine wine. You sit back and know you are going to enjoy. With the same main characters, what would we do without them? It's like belonging to a family which is I think what makes a great writer. New villains abound, but you know Gabriel Allon will find a way to destroy them. The themes of...
Published on 24 Aug. 2010 by Grace

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately it's disjointed and vaguely confusing
In many ways `The Rembrandt Affair' is not one thriller but two thrillers. For much of the book the links between the two stories are blurred; in Story One we have a Rembrandt masterpiece that's been missing for many years and, in Story Two, we have an impossibly wealthy philanthropist who has only once been interviewed.

During a heist things go badly wrong...
Published 12 months ago by Terry D


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine wine, 24 Aug. 2010
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This review is from: The Rembrandt Affair (Hardcover)
Having read all Daniel Silva's novels I'm never disappointed. It's like drinking a fine wine. You sit back and know you are going to enjoy. With the same main characters, what would we do without them? It's like belonging to a family which is I think what makes a great writer. New villains abound, but you know Gabriel Allon will find a way to destroy them. The themes of America, Israel, Russia etc make for exciting reading. I'm just a wee bit disappointed with the final chapters. It would seem that the villains although thwarted got away with complete skins. Not usually the Allon way. Perhaps he is getting a little old!!!! I hope not as I just want more.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars--Another Engrossing, Well-Researched, Well-Written Thriller By Silva!, 25 Sept. 2010
By 
bobbewig (New Jersey, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rembrandt Affair (Hardcover)
In Daniel Silva's latest thriller featuring art restorer/supposedly retired Israeli spy-assassin, Gabriel Allon, The Rembrandt Affair is a tale of greed, passion, and murder spanning more than half a century, centered on an object of haunting beauty (i.e., a missing Rembrandt painting). The Rembrandt Affair's plot involves retired Gabriel Allon being persuaded to use his unique skills to search for the painting and those responsible for the crime. In typical Silva fashion, his latest book is one of slow-building but non-stop tension and suspense that will keep your eyes glued to its pages. While, on a comparative basis, The Rembrandt Affair does not match some of his other books in providing intense action, it is very successful in providing new dimensions into his already multidimensional, interesting cast of characters, as well as some very thought-provoking insights into Iran's efforts to be a major player in the field of nuclear weaponry. While some reviewers have criticized The Rembrandt Affair 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 thirteen 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 Rembrandt Affair. 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.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good return of the series characters., 24 July 2010
By 
Jill Meyer (United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rembrandt Affair (Hardcover)
I've read all of Daniel Silva's novels except the two most recent ones that were set in Russia. Just wasn't interested in the subject. I came back to his work when I read the synopsis of his new book, "The Rembrandt Affair".
Silva has returned to the western European/Israeli current affairs with a flashback to events during the Holocaust. Gabriel Allon, art restorer and Israeli agent, has retired after his previous contretemps in Russia to a seaside area in England. His "retirement" is interrupted by a request from a long-time friend from both the art world and the spy world to help him find a missing Rembrandt that had just popped up again after many years being hidden away. The painting, used as a bargaining chip by a Dutch Jew to save his daughter from transport - and death - with the rest of the family to Auschwitz.

Well, this story being a Silva-special, Israeli, British, and American security services get involved with current day Swiss banking and industrial secrets. Silva is a masterful writer of these stories, and though the cast changes slightly from book to book, Allon and his wife, Chiara, are the major characters, along with wily - and long-lived - former Israeli security chief, Ari Shamron. The villains also change nationality from book to book, but Silva always holds the reader's interest.

This is a good addition to Silva's stable of Gabriel Allon stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable But Silva is Coasting, 9 Sept. 2011
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon Book 10) (Kindle Edition)
Existing fans of Daniel Silva's long running Gabriel Allon series will find 'The Rembrandt Affair' to be another entertaining entry. It displays Silva's usual smooth, intelligent prose and precision plotting. It holds your attention and at times has the power to both move the reader and raise their pulse. One passage in particular, when a survivor of the round-up of Dutch Jews under the Nazis describes the events that lead to her survival is incredibly powerful and despite being fictional brings home forcefully the horror of that period. Its a clear indication of precisely how good an author Silva has become.

Reading the Rembrandt affair however, I couldn't get past the feeling that this is Silva coasting along on autopilot. Whilst the plotting is clever, leading as it does from the investigation of a the theft of a painting to the legacy of the Holocaust to corruption in high places, ultimately this is once again a story of Gabriel and his team taking on a wealthy but crooked man in the name of justice. Its a story that Silva has retold several times in recent novels, including Moscow Rules and The Defector. He even repeats the plot device of recruiting an outsider to act as an agent that he used in The Messenger.

As a result and although enjoyable and written to a high standard 'The Rembrandt Affairs' feels somewhat inconsequential. Even the personal stakes for Gabriel feel lower than usual. At one point it appears that Silva can't even be bothered to write an action sequence and resorts to the old 'three thugs escort victim into a room to beat him up, sound of breaking crockery, only the intended victim emerges' cliche. Its amusing but smacks of Silva taking short-cuts.

So not a bad book, but Silva can definitely do better. I would also not recommend that readers new to the Gabriel Allon series start here. There's too much reference to the backstory built up over multiple previous novels and there are also better places to start. Try going back to The Kill Artist and starting from there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Premise, Fast Start, but Loses Some Steam Toward the End, 6 Aug. 2010
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rembrandt Affair (Hardcover)
"Take counsel, execute judgment;
Make your shadow like the night in the middle of the day;
Hide the outcasts,
Do not betray him who escapes." -- Isaiah 16:3

In The Rembrandt Affair, Gabriel Allon and his wife Chiara have retired from the spy trade, seeking to recover from the deadly peril and awful consequences of the events in The Defector for them. How long will they stay on the proverbial beach? Not long in this intriguing saga.

The book's premise is one of the best part of the book so I'm not going to talk about it. Read and enjoy instead. Let me say that Mr. Silva has done a great job of weaving together many potential themes into one fascinating mystery as the book opens. Like those nesting Russian dolls, there keep being more surprises inside. There's some tremendous writing in the opening about life under the Nazis.

A little casual investigation soon blows up into something much more serious. Those who enjoy thrillers that have dangerous potential consequences for today's world will enjoy that part as well. The only real problem with that section of the book is that it was very predictable based on some of the earlier plots in the series. I won't mention which ones, lest I spoil something for you in case you haven't read those particular books.

The second half of the book felt like stretching and the delightful premise faded too far into the background to suit my taste. A story doesn't have to always be about gigantic global consequences to be interesting. It just has to be good. I must admit that the parts near the end didn't grip me with excitement or fear . . . so the thriller aspect wasn't quite there. It was more of case of continuing suspense as new surprises opened up.

I definitely recommend the book. You may well enjoy it a lot more than I did. I don't know of another spy "thriller" that's out recently that's any better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return for Gabriel Allon, 2 Aug. 2010
By 
EllyBlue (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rembrandt Affair (Hardcover)
This is the 10th book in the Gabriel Allon series and a welcome return for the Israeli spy/agent/art restorer. After the previous two books which have seen him deal with corrupt Russians, Allon is living quietly with wife Chiara on the Cornish coast when the murder of a fellow art restorer and the disappearance of a long-lost Rembrandt painting sees him drawn away from his seclusion. Allon believes that to find the painting, it is necessary to find out about its past, and he soon uncovers the story of an atrocity from earlier in Europe's history. It becomes clear that someone connected with the painting's past is also keen to find it for more than its artistic merit, and the story weaves its page-turning magic from Europe, in the mid 20th century via South America to Iran in 21st century.
There are lots of familiar characters from previous Allon books, so to get the most out of this, you would probably be best to start with one of the earlier books. Having said that, the story here is gripping enough to draw you in even if you aren't familiar with the earlier books and I would recommend this book as I would the rest of the series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately it's disjointed and vaguely confusing, 3 May 2014
By 
Terry D "tdawson735" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon Book 10) (Kindle Edition)
In many ways `The Rembrandt Affair' is not one thriller but two thrillers. For much of the book the links between the two stories are blurred; in Story One we have a Rembrandt masterpiece that's been missing for many years and, in Story Two, we have an impossibly wealthy philanthropist who has only once been interviewed.

During a heist things go badly wrong. The restorer working on the Rembrant is killed and the painting, now complete with a bullet hole and some blood, is stolen. In Paris a skilled forger is hired to repair the bullet hole and discovers, hidden between the painting and backing, a three-page list of names and numbers. The list has obviously been there for many years.

Back in England Gabriel Allon, well acquainted with the now deceased restorer, is asked to locate the painting. The trail leads him from Amsterdam to Buenos Aires, to the story of a fortune stolen from the Jews during World War II and, for many years, hidden in a Swiss bank. A fortune that, thanks to Swiss banking laws - without, of course, the necessary account names and numbers - simply doesn't exist.

At this stage the Swiss philanthropist makes an appearance. Then, as Gabriel Allon and the Israeli intelligence service (plus MI5, the CIA and a very pretty internationally recognised financial reporter) get deeply involved, the two storylines slowly merge. At this point Daniel Silva deftly throws in a delivery of German manufactured centrifuges that, via China and Dubai, are about to be shipped to Iran to help in the development of their nuclear capability...

As other reviewers have suggested it's probably time Gabriel Allon said a final goodbye to Israeli intelligence and settled for nothing more demanding than the restoring old masterpieces - particularly old masterpieces with a less complex provenance.

But, according to the website, I've got three more Gabriel Allon thrillers to read...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another in a great series, 10 Mar. 2014
By 
Cletus (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon Book 10) (Kindle Edition)
I have read a fair amount of the thriller genre and I think Daniel Silva is a fine exponent of it. The characters he creates really come off the page and I love the way one gets to know all the characters over the series of books. I think I have read most of them.

I also love Daniel Silva's research and authenticity. On the art restoration one really believes that Gabriel is a restorer and the funny world of the art galleries is brilliantly done. I love the Julian Isherwood character. Also as a UK citizen I am very impressed with the language he gets his British characters to use and how he describes their quirks. I don't think I have seen that done better by a non-Brit.

I also cannot claim to have a deep understanding of the realities of the Middle Eastern tensions. I haven't been there and most of the media we get tends to be either biased or glosses over certain aspects. Having read most of these books I really feel that I have a better handle on a few realities - and I have far more respect for the seriousness of the issues.

My only problem with the books is that there is a lot of 'tell don't show' - there is a tendency to tell us how mean, tough, kind etc the characters are rather than just show it. I think a lesser writer could not get away with this at all, and when Daniel Silva does show us things, he really is good.

To end this review on that note would be wrong as I think these really are excellent books. On one level they are thrilling thrillers with cool characters and nearly perfect pacing - you never get bored reading them. On another level these books are also highly informative - the research and work that has gone into them is really top drawer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Endlass Action, 25 Jun. 2011
Book 10, in the Gabriel Allon series

For those who are thriller addicts, Mr. Silva has to be one of the main suppliers; he is at the top of his game when it comes to satisfying the needs of avid readers and their quest for endless action and suspense. "The Rembrandt Affair" is a fascinating fiction, a blend of international espionage, art theft and murder that is well-written, fast-paced and populated with a remarkable cast of characters. Gabriel Allon, the protagonist, is an accomplished art restorer and a skilled Israeli spy when called upon, a hero for all seasons with a stellar success rate.

The plot opens with Gabriel and his wife Chiara enjoying a little down time in the scenic coastal town of Glastonbury. They are recovering from the traumatic aftereffects of their heroic rescue from the murderous hands of a Russian oligarch (the previous novel "The Defector"). When Gabriel learns an art restorer has been found murdered and a priceless painting by Rembrandt is missing, he is unable to stand by and do nothing. He soon finds himself back into the tick of thing and in full investigative mode with the help of his trusted cohorts. This latest caper, tense at times, unravels at a fast and suspenseful pace with many twists and turns right through to the climactic ending.

The storyline is sad, very emotional and heart wrenching at times but this meaty novel is very smartly written and engaging. The sub-plots are also very interesting on their own; they mirror some of the information that sufficed about the role Swiss banks and the Catholic Church played during WW11 and the looting of art by the Nazi elite.

I was so into this novel I burned the midnight oil to the last page.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Same old formula, 9 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon Book 10) (Kindle Edition)
I discovered Daniel Silva a couple of years ago by accident. Great stories that are always page turners. so it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to reading The Rembrndt Affair. After the first few pages I began to wonder if I had read the book before as the plot had a sort of familiar feel about it. I carried on and in fairness enjoyed the book but I realised that Mr Silva must now be writing in automatic mode.The characters are very predictable, the plot is just a shade different from his previous books,a variation on a theme that I found I could guess with reasonable accuracy what would happen next and I realised that this piece of Silva is gradually losing its sparkle. Come on Daniel lets have a bit more originality in your future writing.
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