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BOOK REVIEW: Daniel Silva – The Heist

| 29 August 2014 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Daniel Silva – The Heist
HarperCollins, rrp$29.99
1 August 2014
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

The Heist by Daniel Silva cover

Daniel Silva’s 16th novel sees master spy and assassin Gabriel Allon challenged with a unique problem: steal an old master painting in order to find another, long-missing one, and catch the bad guys framing his friend for murder.

Silva’s style is enigmatic and absorbing: Allon is as human as you or I, a dynamic man of action and a loving husband, part James Bond, part George Smiley and part Jack Ryan. He’s also imbued in Allon normal human imperfections, making the character much more a man as he makes errors, and carries ghosts in his heart.

Allon balances his job with Israeli Intelligence with a strong sense of right, aiding and abetting the Italian Art Police in their pursuit of stolen works, and The Heist is a tale of high stakes in low places as he discovers the trail of the missing Caravaggio, Nativity With St Francis And St Lawrence.

The trail leads through some unsavoury characters, with Silva keeping the tension taught relentlessly, until Allon discovers the ultimate bad guy is the Syrian dictator, who he keeps anonymous for some reason.

The politics of Israel and the Jewish state are never far from Silva’s writing, and in Allon he has created the mouthpiece to articulate the frustrations and complexities of the region, which is ever-more-topical given recent events.

It takes a lot of skill to keep interest building over almost 500 pages, but Silva has a deft touch and does so admirably. Like Ludlam before him, he creates extraordinary though believable plots and has a knack for stringing the suspense along, whilst keeping his hero human the whole time.


Category: Book Reviews

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