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The Kill Artist Paperback – June 20, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ); paperback / softback edition (June 20, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752847856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752847856
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (428 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fans of Daniel Silva's well-received earlier novels, especially The Marching Season, will welcome his newest novel of espionage, revenge, and Middle Eastern politics. Gabriel Allon is an art restorer who's persuaded out of retirement by Ari Shamron, the crafty Israeli spymaster bent on a deadly mission: killing a Palestinian agent named Tariq before he can carry out his plan to assassinate an old comrade-in-arms, the treacherous peacemaker Yasir Arafat.

Tariq's role in the murder of Gabriel's wife and son draws both Gabriel and Sarah Halevy, the beautiful French model whose affair with Gabriel led to the assassination of his family. Still in love with Gabriel, Sarah allows herself to be set up with a cover and infiltrated into Tariq's inner circle. But before Gabriel can rescue her and fulfill his mission, Tariq turns the tables to get his old adversary as well as Arafat in his own sights. A particularly resonant scene in which Tariq and Arafat confront each other and discuss their former friendship, as well as the change in tactics that has brought Tariq to the ultimate betrayal, reveals Silva's deep comprehension of Palestinian rivalries. He puts a clever little fillip on the ending that adds to the brio of this strongly paced thriller. Silva creates complex, fascinating characters in Gabe, Ari, and Tariq, and more than fulfills the promise of his earlier books. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The tragedy of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and despair of its resolution provide the backdrop for Silva's (The Unlikely Spy) heart-stopping, complex yarn of international terrorism and intrigue. Israeli master spy Ari Shamron sets an intricate plot in motion to lure deadly Palestinian assassin Tariq al-Hourani into his net. Art restorer Gabriel Allon, a former Israeli agent whose family was killed by Tariq, is lured back into the fray by Shamron and teamed with Jacqueline Delacroix, a French supermodel/Israeli secret agent whose grandparents died in the Holocaust. Gabriel sets up in London to monitor Yusef, Tariq's fellow terrorist and confidant. Jacqueline is assigned to seduce him in hopes of intercepting Tariq, who is devising a plan to kill Israel's prime minister during peace talks with Arafat in New YorkDand he has similar plans for Gabriel. The tortuous plot leading the various parties to the showdown in Manhattan is a thrilling roller-coaster ride, keeping readers guessing until the mind-bending conclusion. Sensitive to both sides of the conflict, the narrative manages to walk a political tightrope while examining the motivations of Palestinians and Israelis alike. The duplicity and secret financial juggling to keep government hands clean is personified in publishing mogul Benjamin Stone, who backs the Israeli efforts. He is just one of many larger-than-life characters (both real and invented) thrown into the mixDArafat himself has a tense encounter with Tariq that underscores the volatility of terrorist loyalty. An array of global locales adds to the complexity and authenticity of the dizzying, cinematic plot. (Dec.) Forecast: The popular success of Silva's first two novels and the timeliness of this one suggest escalating sales. Random is backing the title with major ad/promo, including a six-city author tour.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

202 of 207 people found the following review helpful By Ima Reader on July 6, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is chronologically the first in the Gabriel Allon series.

Chronological Order:
1. The Kill Artist
2. The English Assassin
3. The Confessor
4. Death in Venice
5. Prince of Fire
6. The Messenger

In this book, Gabriel, a former assassin for Israel's foreign intelligence service, the Mossad (which translates into English as "The Institution") retired after the murders of his wife and son to lead a quiet life as an art restorer, one who fixes the wounded past. Gabriel's ex-boss, Ari Shamron, an Israeli spymaster a la George Smiley but more treacherous, convinces Gabriel to leave his sheltered hermitage to hunt down Tariq, the assassin who killed Gabriel's family, before he can kill again. In an exquisitely wrought plot of treachery and counter-treachery, Silva explores the Palestinian-Israeli conflict from many, many angles.

I don't read spy fiction as a genre. I don't read anything as a genre. I read great writers, pretty much no matter what they write. I've read a lot of John Le Carre, and one of the few criticisms that I have of his work is that his spies play a gentleman's game. However, Le Carre's spies are deeply human and British.

Silva's spies are not gentlemen, and this is no gentlemen's game. This is hard and dirty intelligence work by one of the hardest and dirtiest intelligence services on the planet. The Mossad is charged with keeping tiny Israel's formidable opponents at bay, and you don't do that by playing fair. Gabriel's Mossad plays entirely unfairly, as it must, as it does in real life. In this book, Jacqueline/Sarah is used as a "honey trap," and Silva lightly explores what it does to a woman to prostitute oneself for a good cause.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By C. Cunningham on May 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Gabriel Allon is "the Kill Artist"; a former assassin who worked clandestinely for the Israeli government. When we first meet him he is living in a remote English seaside village and working as an art restorer, a cover he used frequently during his covert operations. He is soon called out of retirement by his former boss, Ari Shamron, head of Israeli intelligence, and a calculating man with his own agenda...one that may cost Gabriel his life. Ari needs Gabriel's talents to track down Tariq, an Palestinian assassin whose killing rampage is threatening the Middle East peace negotiations. Tariq and Gabriel have met before when Gabriel killed Tariq's brother in a very brutal manner, and Tariq avenged that death with a killing of his own...Gabriel's wife and son, making this a story of international intrigue and personal revenge. The stage is now set for a major showdown, but they must first cover three continents and weave through an array of cultures and characters to find each other. Gabriel is assisted by his former intelligence co-worker, a beautiful French girl named Jacqueline, whose family was killed in the Holocaust. Jacqueline is hesitant to join Gabriel on this assignment, but in the end it is love that prevails, and she plunges head first into Tariq's lair, a deadly trap that Gabriel may not be able to get her out of in time to save her life.
What I love about Daniel Silva is his smooth and uncomplicated style. He has a "rhythm" to his writing that hooks you somewhere in the beginning and stays with you long after you finish the book. It took me a little longer to warm up to these characters, probably because there isn't a lot happening in the way of relationships as there is in his other book _The Mark Of The Assassin_.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By "male_pattern_b" on January 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is truly a rollercoaster!! The plot similar to the popular amusent park thrill ride because it keeps you on the edge of your seat through an array of dips and turns. Unfortunately, the writing style is also rollercoaster-esque. When Silva is on his game, the writing is brilliant: smooth, hilarious, and affecting. When he isn't (which seems all too often during the middle chapters), the writing is choppy and predictable. I'm a humongous Silva fan though, believe me! His plots have always been easy to follow and The Kill Artist is no different (Definitely a plus!). Hopefully, Silva will keep producing easy-to-follow thriller novels but will keep the rollercoasting to simply the plot, not the writing style as well!!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Trimble VINE VOICE on May 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is the first book in the Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva. Allon is the reluctant part time spy working for Israeli Intelligence whose covert skills are the stuff of legend within the small community of "secret agents". His cover skills are those of professional art restoration, primarily "old masters" paintings and sculpture, for which his talents in that field are world renown.

While this may be the first book (as of this review there are 5) in the series, it is not necessary to read this book first, since the book takes place at a time in the life of Gabriel Allon when he has already forsaken his work as a spy. We learn about Allon's past and his initiation into the world of spying through flashback and his past is not necessarily central to the story. Other books in the series take the reader into Gabriel's past just as effectively and therefore you don't really have to start with this book to understand what Gabriel is all about.

Daniel Silva has a true gift for captivating plot and character development. The characters in his books are self reflecting and you really begin to understand the emotional turmoil that goes with the work of tracking down punishing international terrorists. This book is an exciting weekend read! Silva has Gabriel on the trail of Tariq the Palestinian terrorist bent on derailing the peace process. Tariq and Gabriel are not strangers to one another, as Gabriel is the man who mercilessly killed Tariq's older brother and as revenge Tariq exploded a car that contained Gabriel's wife and only son. The "bad blood" between these two enemies plays out across Europe and North America in a fast paced thriller that both memorable and very enjoyable. The surprises and betrayals extend beyond the exciting climatic confrontation between Gabriel and Tariq, and are just part of what makes this book so entertaining.
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