The Kill Artist

By Daniel Silva,

Book cover of The Kill Artist

Book description

Wily old Israeli intelligence chief recalls former agents in order to eliminate top Palestinian terrorist. One agent is now an art restorer, the other a fashion model. Ten years before on a mission to destroy the Arab Black September group they were briefly lovers. Now their pasts and their enemies…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked The Kill Artist as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Silva’s novels about Gabriel Allon—a reluctant Israeli secret agent posing as an Italian art restorer—are my current favorite read and a serious contender for the best spy thrillers by a contemporary writer.

Each of the novels in the series works as a separate episode; in this case, Allon is lured into action to track down a Palestinian assassin.

But Allon is brought to life by recurring themes across the series, including the fact that his traumatized wife is permanently assigned to a psychiatric hospital by the car bomb that killed their son.

Silva’s meticulous writing and ingenious mixing of historical…

I consider Daniel Silva hands-down the best spy thriller author. I’ve enjoyed Brad Thor, Jack Higgins, and the others, but Silva’s Gabriel Allon novels are so engrossing I have to keep turning pages to see what happens. There’s an even balance of believable suspense and action, no overuse of complicated weaponry or armaments, and a protagonist who’s human, suffering defeats personal and professional in his exploits. They can be read out of order but for a complete understanding of the important backstory, I recommend starting with The Kill Artist.

From Bill's list on kick off a great series.

I love this author for several reasons. He paints a picture of fascinating worlds of which most people have little experience—usually the Vatican and obscure corners of Italy. His research and knowledge of such places are meticulous. He knows how to keep the tension and pace of a thriller without it becoming a superficial action story. His hero, Gabriel Allon, is an intriguing character with his own history and personal problems. He is not only a lethal spy catcher, but also a brilliant restorer of old masters, which is why he has such unusual access to the Vatican and all…

An art restorer who spies on the side? What is not to love? After an assassin kills his son and gravely injures him and his wife, he steps away from the spy world to concentrate on the art. But, of course, he is drawn back in with the chance for revenge. Silva creates a world where the reader can sympathize with a killer along with the cause that drives him to act. I found myself on the edge of my seat with every turning page. I have since read the rest of the series and hope others do as well.…

This novel kicked off one of the most successful espionage franchises since James Bond. Gabriel Allon, along with the rest of Silva’s cast of characters, is so unique, so meticulous, that the reader feels as if you know him personally. Rich in research and detail, Silva’s book moves at a torrid pace. Once you read The Kill Artist, you’ll burn through the entire series.

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