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A Death in Vienna (Silva, Daniel) Hardcover – February 23, 2004


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Bones Never Lie
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Product Details

  • Series: Silva, Daniel
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (February 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399151435
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399151439
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (322 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gabriel Allon hasn't been back to Vienna since his wife and child died there in a terrorist bombing. But when his mentor in the Israeli intelligence agency dispatches him to the Austrian capitol to investigate a murderous explosion at the Wartime Claims and Inquiry Office, his presence alerts the attention of police officials who have reasons to stand in the way of his investigation. When a concentration camp survivor is killed who could link the father of Austria's next chancellor to Nazi atrocities and an ongoing coverup by the Catholic Church, Allon discovers another connection to the conspiracy, this one closer to his own past than he could ever have imagined. This is the third of Silva's thrillers featuring Allon, the art restorer who's also a spy (The Confessor and The English Assassin are the first two). In an endnote, the author calls them a "completed cycle dealing with the unfinished business of the Holocaust." Allon is such a compelling hero that one hopes Silva, a skilled craftsman and a terrific story-teller, will bring him back in another series. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Silva completes his cycle of three interconnected novels (The English Assassin; The Confessor) dealing with "the unfinished business of the Holocaust" with this superbly crafted narrative of espionage and foreign intrigue. During the later stages of WWII, Sturmbannführer Erich Radek's job was to erase all evidence of the Holocaust. Radek, now known as Ludwig Vogel, is chairman of the Danube Valley Trade and Investment Corporation and lives quietly in Vienna. A bombing at the Austrian Wartime Claims and Inquiries office leaves chief investigator Eli Lavon near death. Undercover Mossad agent Gabriel Allon, protagonist of the two previous novels, is ordered by Israeli spymaster Ari Shamron to ferret out the perpetrator. Allon is reluctant-he's working as an art restorer on one of Bellini's great altarpieces in Venice-but Eli is an old friend from the secret service, and duty calls. The case becomes personal when Allon, reading his mother's account of her time in the camps "I will not tell all the things I saw. I cannot. I owe this much to the dead" discovers that not only was Radek a sadistic monster, his mother was very nearly murdered by him. The chase is long and complex as agents from a number of international spy groups circle and harass Allon as he hunts down the infamous and still deadly Radek. Those seeking cheap thrills should look elsewhere. Action and suspense abound, but this is serious fiction with a serious purpose. Silva keeps the pressure on the reader as well as his characters as there are important lessons to be learned and vital history to be remembered.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

He has been called his generation's finest writer of international intrigue and one of the greatest American spy novelists ever. Compelling, passionate, haunting, brilliant: these are the words that have been used to describe the work of #1 New York Times-bestselling author Daniel Silva.

Silva burst onto the scene in 1997 with his electrifying bestselling debut, The Unlikely Spy, a novel of love and deception set around the Allied invasion of France in World War II. His second and third novels, The Mark of the Assassin and The Marching Season, were also instant New York Times bestsellers and starred two of Silva's most memorable characters: CIA officer Michael Osbourne and international hit man Jean-Paul Delaroche. But it was Silva's fourth novel, The Kill Artist, which would alter the course of his career. The novel featured a character described as one of the most memorable and compelling in contemporary fiction, the art restorer and sometime Israeli secret agent Gabriel Allon, and though Silva did not realize it at the time, Gabriel's adventures had only just begun. Gabriel Allon appears in Silva's next nine novels, each one more successful than the last: The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, and Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules, and The Defector. Silva's forthcoming novel, The Rembrandt Affair, will be published on July 20, 2010.

Silva knew from a very early age that he wanted to become a writer, but his first profession would be journalism. Born in Michigan, raised and educated in California, he was pursuing a master's degree in international relations when he received a temporary job offer from United Press International to help cover the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. Later that year Silva abandoned his studies and joined UPI fulltime, working first in San Francisco, then on the foreign desk in Washington, and finally as Middle East correspondent in Cairo and the Persian Gulf. In 1987, while covering the Iran-Iraq war, he met NBC Today National Correspondent Jamie Gangel and they were married later that year. Silva returned to Washington and went to work for CNN and became Executive Producer of its talk show unit including shows like Crossfire, Capital Gang and Reliable Sources.

In 1995 he confessed to Jamie that his true ambition was to be a novelist. With her support and encouragement he secretly began work on the manuscript that would eventually become the instant bestseller The Unlikely Spy. He left CNN in 1997 after the book's successful publication and began writing full time. Since then all of Silva's books have been New York Times and international bestsellers. His books have been translated in to more than 25 languages and are published around the world. Silva continues to reside in Washington with his wife and teenage twins Lily and Nicholas. When not writing he can usually be found roaming the stacks of the Georgetown University library, where he does much of the research for his books. He is currently at work on a new Gabriel Allon novel and warmly thanks all those friends and loyal readers who have helped to make the series such an amazing success.

Customer Reviews

I really enjoy this series - great historical background, great characters and very interesting story.
H. Angle
Many of his books have the same characters but he makes it very easy to understand how they all fit together-in the past and in the time of the book.
K. M. Wolfe
I have been reading all of the Gabriel Allon series in sequence and then will go on to read Daniel Silva's other books.
Barbara B. Hayes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The death camps of the Reich provide the underpinnings of this intense and fast-paced novel in which the author draws new attention to the collusion of governments and institutions in protecting Nazi war criminals into the present day. Gabriel Allon, the main character, is working peacefully as a fine art restorer in Venice when he is suddenly summoned by his mentor in the Israeli secret service to investigate the bombing of the Vienna Office of Wartime Claims and Inquiries. Although the Austrian government has declared the bombing to be the work of an Islamist terrorist group, Allon believes it is more likely the result of current anti-Semitism within Austria. An extremely conservative candidate for Chancellor is given a high likelihood of winning the coming election and, the author points out, bringing the philosophy of the Reich into the twenty-first century.

As Allon searches for the perpetrators, the action careens from Vienna to Israel, Italy, Argentina, the US, and back to Vienna, and involves complex political, financial, and national security issues affecting a number of countries. Always, the present is tied to the history of the Reich. Erich Radek, a former Nazi, is still alive and active in Vienna, his war-time obliteration of the graves and bodies at Polish death camps so total that a new generation of Austrians is now asking, "Where is the evidence that the Holocaust ever happened?" Konrad Becker, a Zurich banker, has a mysterious client with over two billion dollars in assets; a Catholic bishop who helped war criminals escape is still connected to governments and police; successive governments in Argentina have provided aid to war criminals since the time of Peron; and American CIA agents have protected some war criminals during the Cold War.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"A Death in Vienna" is Daniel Silva's third novel about how the horrors of the Holocaust reach into the present. Gabriel Allon is a former Israeli spy who now works as an art restoration expert in Venice. His old boss from the Israeli Intelligence Service, Ari Shamron, appears one day with devastating news about an explosion in Vienna. Gabriel is not anxious to go back to the city where his wife and son had been victims of a car bomb in 1991. However, Shamron persuades him to return to this "forbidden city" to investigate the bombing of the Wartime Claims and Inquiries Office, which left two young women dead and an old friend, Eli Lavon, in a coma.
Gabriel soon learns that a man named Max Klein had set the events in motion that may have led to the bombing. Klein had once been a violinist in the Auschwitz camp orchestra and he had a particularly vivid memory of a Nazi named Erich Radek. In front of Klein, Radek once killed fifteen concentration camp prisoners in cold blood when they could not correctly identify a musical piece by Brahms. Many years later, Klein spots this same war criminal placidly having coffee in a Viennese café, and he reports what he has seen to Eli Lavon, who then begins to make the inquiries that almost cost him his life. Gabriel's investigation leads him to make some horrifying discoveries, the most painful one being the heart-rending story of his mother's two years of hell as an inmate of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Silva writes with great feeling about the harrowing events of the Holocaust and the culpability of those who helped the Nazis escape punishment after the war ended.
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41 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm truly sorry that I can't join in with crowd that has given this book high praise. "A Death in Vienna" left me strangely disappointed. Mr. Silva claims the book completes a trilogy on the unfinished business of the Holocaust. I finished the book feeling that Mr. Silva left the book itself unfinished - well, if not unfinished, then certainly unpolished [sic].
I have nothing against authors using their novels to bring home a point or issue important to them. But when the point/issue becomes bigger than the book itself, the book suffers. That is what happened in this novel.
Mr. Silva is certainly entitled to remind his readers that the Holocaust should never be forgotten, nor ever allowed to happen again (to any people). However, in his desire to bring that point home, the book lost the rich quality of his other works. I would have been much happier had Mr. Silva written an op-ed piece on the occasion of this book's publishing. Unlike Mr. Silva's previous works, I never got the feeling in "A Death in Vienna" that it was the characters who were tormented. Instead, it seemed all too clear that Mr. Silva was the tormented one. Not good, not even acceptable, for a novelist of Mr. Silva's caliber and capabilities.
Having served in Vienna, the book was somewhat of a trip down Nostalgia Lane for me. However, in painting the right-wing political party of Austria (Freedom Party) as two-dimensional bad guys reduces this book to nothing more than a paperback Western in the tradition of "Shootout At the OK Corral" (et al). "A Death in Vienna" is really nothing more (stylistically and structurally) than a revenge tale (seen "Open Range," anyone?).
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