THE HEIST by Daniel Silva

THE HEIST

KIRKUS REVIEW

Stalwart Israeli agent Gabriel Allon goes in pursuit of stolen art and uncovers billions of dollars purloined by the Butcher of Damascus in this latest by master spycrafter Silva (The English Girl, 2013, etc.).

Allon—part-time art restorer, full-time agent for "the Office," Israel's supersecret spy shop—is working on a Venice restoration project and awaiting the birth of twins with his wife, Chiara. Silva’s setup won’t confuse new readers. As a bonus, he incorporates a precis on classic art, particularly Caravaggio. Soon appears Gen. Ferrari, a policeman tracking art thefts. Ferrari’s a solidly Silva character, not above extorting Allon. A former English diplomat named Bradshaw has been murdered at his Lake Como villa. Ferrari threatens to pin the killing on Allon’s friend Isherwood, the art dealer who discovered the body, unless Allon finds the real killer. Rumor has it that Bradshaw, actually a cashiered spy, may have been in possession of Caravaggio’s priceless "Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence," missing for decades. Sketching complicated logistics and technical details about nefarious art dealings, Silva finagles the left-turn plot twist that makes him a best-seller: Allon discovers stolen art is being used to hide money for Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian dictator. Allon steals Van Gogh’s "Sunflowers" to lure the Butcher’s buyer. Next, Allon heads home to Israel, where Office teammates join the fray, complicated by a few "internecine battles." There’s growing resentment over Allon being slotted as the next Office chief. With stolen art spotted and the source of the buying spree laid to the Alawite rulers, art geeks take a back seat to computer nerds as the team descends on a private bank in Linz, Austria, to pry loose the Butcher’s billions. In erudition, action and temperament, Silva has made Allon the modern-day covert warrior extraordinaire.

With "a fallen British spy, a one-eyed Italian policeman, a master art thief, [and] a professional assassin from the island of Corsica," Allon’s 14th caper is a fun read.

Pub Date: July 15th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-06-232005-6
Page count: 464pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2014




9 BOOKS EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT:

NonfictionTHE BIRTH OF KOREAN COOL by Euny Hong
by Euny Hong
Sci-FiTHE MAGICIAN'S LAND by Lev Grossman
by Lev Grossman
FictionTHE INVENTION OF EXILE by Vanessa Manko
by Vanessa Manko
NonfictionTRAVELS WITH CASEY by Benoit Denizet-Lewis
by Benoit Denizet-Lewis

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for EVERY DAY
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for MODERN ROMANCE
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for FINDING AUDREY
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for HITLER'S LAST DAYS
VERDICT:
SKIP IT

MORE BY DANIEL SILVA

FictionTHE ENGLISH SPY by Daniel Silva
by Daniel Silva
FictionTHE ENGLISH GIRL by Daniel Silva
by Daniel Silva
FictionTHE FALLEN ANGEL by Daniel Silva
by Daniel Silva

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionCLAWBACK by Mike Cooper
by Mike Cooper
FictionSHAKE OFF by Mischa Hiller
by Mischa Hiller
FictionTHE ASSASSINATION OPTION by W.E.B. Griffin
by W.E.B. Griffin
FictionTHE WHITEHALL MANDARIN by Edward Wilson
by Edward Wilson