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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 27 July 2014
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 December 2015
This is a sophisticated and intelligent thriller with a contemporary resonance with current events in Syria - but if you've read other books in the series it starts to feel a bit formulaic.

In the first half, Israeli superspy, Gabriel Allon, sets up a complicated art heist; and in the second he runs an operation designed to seriously upset the Syrian ruling regime. All the usual culprits are brought into play, including Christopher Keller (first met in The English Assassin), but they feel a bit more subdued than usual and I missed the raucous ebullience of Ari Shamron, now old and ill.

Silva is always reliable as an author but if you haven't read him before I'd start with the earlier books.
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on 28 August 2016
Great book quick delivery
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on 26 April 2017
Plot really grabs you. Enjoyed it.
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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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on 19 June 2016
A real page turner...so many twists in the story. Whilst fiction does fit well with the background of the Syrian conflict.
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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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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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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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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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