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The Confessor Hardcover – February 24, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 765 customer reviews
Book 3 of 15 in the Gabriel Allon Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gabriel Allon, Daniel Silva's protagonist in an interesting series about a Mossad spy who doubles as an art restorer, returns in a fascinating tale of Vatican complicity in the Holocaust. Author Silva, a political journalist turned espionage writer, has done his homework on some recently unearthed documents and written a fast-paced novel that will reawaken the discussion regarding whether the Catholic Church turned a blind eye to Nazi atrocities against Jews in occupied countries during World War II, and if so, why. Allon remains an enigmatic figure whose desire for revenge against the Leopard, the assassin who killed his wife and child, compels him to put down his paints and brushes and take arms against Israel's past and present enemies. The Confessor is a solidly plotted, well-crafted story that will appeal to fans of Allen Furst, John le Carré, and other standouts in the international espionage genre. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

"If you think Italians have a long memory, you should spend some time in the Middle East. We're the ones who invented the vendetta, not the Sicilians." So maintains Gabriel Allon, art restorer and Mossad hit man, star of Silva's second thriller series (The Mark of the Assassin, etc.). Gabriel is once again reluctantly dragged from his day job (he's working on a Bellini in Venice) by Israeli spymaster Ari Shamron, who heads a team of sleeper Mossad agents scattered all over the world. This time, it's a revenge mission: one of Shamron's agents (an academic working on an expos‚ about the Vatican's collaboration with the Nazis) has been assassinated. The gunman was working for a secret Vatican society known as Crux Vera. Composed of Roman Curia members and shady rich thugs, this shadow group intends to kill the latest pope to keep him from exposing the Vatican's secret archives. In order to find the gunman (known as "the Leopard," a reclusive European of independent means who hires out his deadly skills to the highest bidder), Gabriel must take up his slain colleague's research, something the Italian and German governments assuredly do not want him to do. Gabriel is hounded all across Europe as he tries to find out the truth about the Nazi collaborators, save the pope and get the Leopard. Silva draws on bizarre WWII secrets uncovered by historians like Susan Zuccotti (whom Silva credits) for his premise. Though the plot sticks close to Silva's well-honed formula, the provocative historical revelations will keep readers enthralled.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (February 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399149724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399149726
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (765 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Each year I look forward to Daniel Silva's new thriller. The Confessor was worth the wait. After starting off slowly, the novel quickly picks up steam.
As is usual with a suspense novel, there are a few plots to keep track of, three in The Confessor. Though it is hard to remember the various characters at first, they quickly become integral parts of the novel. Silva develops his characters wonderfully. None are faultless, but all are a joy to read about.
Readers of The Kill Artist and The English Assassin will be familiar with The Confessor's protagonist, Gabreil Allon. This book takes place a few years after the events of The English Assassin. Gabriel is restoring a fresco in a Venetian church when Ari Shamron, his sometimes spymaster, comes to him with a job. Gabriel's friend and fellow spy, Benjamin Stern, had been killed. Shamron wants Gabriel to investigate the death. Gabriel reluctantly accepts and goes off to Munich. It is there that the book really begins.
Gabriel uncovers evidence that Stern had gone to Italy while in the process of researching a book that he (Stern) was writing. As the novel progresses, Gabriel investigates and unearths a conspiracy in the Catholic Church. Like all other Silva novels, The Confessor has a healthy dose of breathless chase scenes, exotic European locales, and multiple assumed identities. The Confessor will be enjoyed by all fans of Silva's earlier work, and those with an interest in international intrigue.
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Format: Hardcover
Realistic and thought-provoking, THE CONFESSOR is actually speculative historical fiction about the role of the Catholic Church during WW II. Since the Vatican has chosen not to open the Secret Archives, the public (and gifted authors)can only speculate about the role of the Catholic Church and particularly Pope Pius XII as Hitler was devastating Europe and carrying out his Final Solution.
Daniel Silva uses the center of power of the Roman Catholic Church, a newly chosen Pope and the powerful men of the Vatican, as key elements of the plot in this realistic thriller. As familiar protagonist Gabriel Allon is restoring a painting of the Virgin by Bellini, he is summoned by the enigmatic Israeli, Ari Shamron, to investigate the murder of Gabriel's writer friend Benjamin Stern who had been gathering information about the role of the Church during WWII and the effects on the Jewish people.
Naturally, Gabriel answers the call. During his investigation, he meets several intriguing and mysterious characters, encounters many close calls requiring his skills of deception, and undergoes formidable personal challenges on his journey to uncover the truth. Therein lies the power of Silva's writing. He is able to involve the reader in the characters and their development throughout a complex, absorbing plot while maintaining realism and emotional depth. He uses the continuity of the characters' past, especially Gabriel Allon, by referring to events which occurred in his previous novels. This adds color and intensity to the characters, making their behavior more realistic and the plot more believable.
THE CONFESSOR is another bold, well-written thriller by an author who has maintained a high standard of thought-provoking, realistic novels since he burst on the spy-fiction suspense scene with AN UNLIKELY SPY. This latest addition to his highly regarded body of work should interest, entertain, and challenge you; it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Daniel Silva brings back his enigmatic hero, Gabriel Allon, in "The Confessor," to investigate the mysterious murder of a dear friend, the unpopular aspirations of a newly elected Pope, a secret society in the Vatican, and long hidden secrets from World War II. Allon, is a brilliant Israeli art restorer and a complex, melancholy man. He had worked for many years as an Israeli intelligence agent, and assassin, (when necessary), losing his young son and wife to violence as a consequence of his work. Now he just wants to restore paintings and be left alone with his grief and his guilt.
Allon's boyhood friend and associate, Benjamin Stern, is murdered in his Munich apartment while writing a secret expose on Pope Pius XII and the Church's involvement in the Holocaust. Ari Shamron, Gabriel's old mentor, former head of Israeli intelligence, and the father of Ben Stern, finds Allon in Venice, restoring a Bellini altarpiece. He has little difficulty persuading Allon to accept this assignment to find Stern's killer, even though it means leaving the Bellini, at least temporarily.
Although Allon runs into a stone wall with his investigation in Munich, he begins to discover clues to the secrets of his friend's manuscript. Apparently Stern had been writing about material from top secret Vatican archives that proves Pope Pius XII, and the Church, were directly involved with the Nazis in the implementation of the Holocaust. Evidence also points to a deadly secret Vatican society, the Crux Vera.
Pope Paul VII, known by his Vatican detractors as "Pope Accidental," has recently been elected to the Papal Throne.
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Format: Hardcover
Daniel Silva's "The Confessor" is tightly written with an intricate plot and subplots...a thinking man's international espionage thriller. Full of subtle touches that invigorate the plot...it is a sophisticated novel.
Protagonist Gabriel Allon, an art restorer/sleeper Mossad agent is chosen to investigate the murder of an author (and former Israeli agent) whose research unearths the Vatican's dirty secret. The Vatican's silence during WWII shows complicity between the Vatican and the Nazis that furthered the Holocaust.
While searching for the murderer Gabriel is hunted by both the assassin and a shadow organization within the Vatican. That organization (Vera Crux) will stop at nothing to keep the secret hidden.
Connecting the dots, Mossad uncovers a plot to assassinate the current Pope who desires to make the Vatican's covert files public.
The intrigue is intense with a multitude of richly drawn characters. The characters are introduced gradually and are well developed, eliminating the confusion often found in complicated plots. Gabriel's recapping his progress to various contacts is a skillful device that keeps the reader on track with the protagonist.
The author's notes at the conclusion, where facts take over from fiction, make the story all the more chilling.
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