Sunday, August 1, 2010

Page 29: The Rembrandt Affair

Daniel Silva has done it again in The Rembrandt Affair just released July 20th.  Gabriel Allon is back with his wife Chiara and a cast of supporting characters including the wonderful Julian Isherwood.  This time Gabriel is not after a terrorist or assassin, but a painting.

I listened to the audio version of this book and found it to be a very unique experience.  The reader was very good at accents and made the characters come alive.  I don't get this when I read a print book, although reading a print version is still my number one choice for a book.

The book opens in Cornwall where Gabriel is trying to retire while Chiara heals from her horrible experiences in the previous novel at the hands of a Russian oligarch.  Of course, Gabriel is unable to stay retired and agrees to find a lost portrait by Rembrandt that is stolen from an art restorer in Glastonbury, England.  The restorer is murdered during the theft.  Since Gabriel is one of the best art restorers in the world, known only to a very few, as well as an agent of Israeli intelligence, he is convinced by Chiara to find the portrait for Julian.

Gabriel starts searching for the painting by investigating its past.  What he finds is a trail of greed and evil that includes the sole Holocaust survivor of a Jewish family that once owned the painting, an SS Officer who stole the painting and was taken on the underground escape route out of Europe that was run by the Catholic Church, an art thief in Paris and a very wealthy Swiss businessman.

Daniel Silva does not disappoint in this book.  It is well written, has great characters, and moves at race car speed to its conclusion.  For me, each book in the Gabriel Allon series is like becoming reacquainted with an old friend.

Here are some reviews of the book.

"Of those writing spy novels today, Daniel Silva is quite simply the best."
-The Kansas City Star

"The perfect book for fans of well-crafted thrillers ... the kind of page-turner that captures the reader from the opening chapter and doesn't let go."
-The Associated Press

"Filled with remarkable twists and turn of plot, and told with seductive prose, The Rembrandt Affair is more than just summer entertainment of the highest order.  It is a timely reminder that there are men in the world who will do anything for money."

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