English art gallery owner Julie Isherwood obtains a
commission for Mario Delvecchio to go to Zurich to restore
a painting. Mario has no idea who the client is or what
painting he is to clean, but the money is too good to
ignore. In Zurich, Mario finds his host is not at his
villa and learns from Julie that there is a change of
plans. Julie provides Mario with the security codes to
enter the villa. Inside Mario learns he is to restore
Raphael's Portrait of a Young Man from the early sixteenth
century until he finds the murdered body of his client.
Relying on his stealth as a former Israeli operative, Mario
sneaks away, but is caught by the police as he tries to
Mario's former boss Ari Shamron obtains his freedom. Ari
had arranged for Mario, who is actually Gabriel Allon, to
do the restoration job. He wants Gabriel to meet with Anna
Rolfe, daughter of the deceased, to see what she knows.
Reluctantly, Gabriel becomes involved once again in the
deadly world of professional assassinations even as art
crimes from the time of the Nazis threaten his life.
The first half of THE ENGLISH ASSASSIN is as good as
any thriller readers will find as Daniel Silva sets up his
plot with historical references and moral predicaments.
However, the latter part of the novel is loaded with
action, but turns into a more typical "shoot-em-up"
espionage chiller. Overall, fans will enjoy this story,
but will feel a bit shortchanged because the second half
fails to attain the incredible levels of the first part of
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted February 10, 2002