Jul 30

The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon)

Posted by Soliloquy in Books on CD

Determined to sever his ties with the Office, Gabriel Allon has retreated to the windswept cliffs of Cornwall with his beautiful Venetian-born wife, Chiara. But once again his seclusion is interrupted by a visitor from his tangled past: the endearingly eccentric London art dealer Julian Isherwood. As usual, Isherwood has a problem. And it is one only Gabriel can solve.
In the ancient English city of Glastonbury, an art restorer has been brutally murdered and a long-lost portrait by Rembrandt …

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5 Responses

  • Marcus Sakey says:

    Review by Marcus Sakey for The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon)
    Too few of today’s espionage novelists deliver well-drawn characters, rich prose, or depth of philosophical thought. Daniel Silva, like John le Carre or Alan Furst, is an exception to that rule.

    The plot follows the search for a lost Rembrandt portrait, a masterpiece with a legacy of bloodshed. But what makes the book special is that Silva uses this straightforward device as a springboard to explore issues ranging from the value of art–both fiscal and emotional–to international financial scams to global politics, all without ever letting the tension lag. The prose is exceptional, the research impeccable, and the characters compelling.

    If you like your thrillers relentless and smart, this is one for you.

  • Julia M. Walker says:

    Review by Julia M. Walker for The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon)
    Whew. I remember this guy, Daniel Silva. He wrote the most marvelous thrillers — action plus ideology, art, politics, a strong sense of place, memorable minor characters. Then he took a sabbatical that lasted 3 novels. Three novels in which the hero became a self-involved action figure.

    But now he’s back. And Gabriel Allon is back in Cornwall, although not yet out to sea or in the studio. He’s tracking again, but tracking down a missing Rembrandt, a portrait of the artist’s mistress, a never-displayed lost treasure. Julian Isherwood is much in evidence and the watching little boy of the early novels, Peel, is now a young man and back in the picture. The coast is described in general, if not in loving particular, and it looks like Gabriel is taking on an investigation that is personally significant, but not significantly personal.

    While Silva — a former reporter — is always good at investing his plots with current issues, this meditation on the economics of art in a time of financial distress is particularly shrewd. The gap between rich and poor is exacerbated by those private collectors who buy paintings stolen from museums, only to hang them on the walls of their private galleries. So much more than monetary value is the world’s loss to the Museum of the Missing.

    Giving his reader non-stop-thrill-ride-nail-biting-OMG action has never been a problem for Silva. (The only problem has been giving so much of it that there’s no room for anything else.) Here the background and subject matter of the painting itself are gracefully woven into the fabric of the story so that the reader learns and thinks while also being riveted.

    The plot is more like the early books than the last 3: there’s more thinking and less blood. Silva’s research is both impressive and heart-breaking. He introduces a minor character in Paris who is an activist in post-Holocaust politics and with her he introduced me to the term “memory militant.”

    In addition to being an outstanding writer, Silva is himself a dedicated memory militant who honors all aspects of that monumental subject.

  • Patrick J Murin says:

    Review by Patrick J Murin for The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon)
    I am a long-time fan of this series; the quality of Mr. Silva’s writing has reached a very high level, and remains there with The Rembrandt Affair. There’s a little less action than in some of the recent books, but the read is still quick and spell-binding. I fear that the series will be winding down soon, but I hope it continues for at least another ten books, especially if the quality remains as high as exemplified by The Rembrandt Affair.

    Several commenters have given the book a single star rating for issues they have with the pricing of the Kindle edition. I don’t think that is fair, since the quality of the writing is so extraordinary. I think the reading value of this book justifies the price. Incidentally, I bought the hardback edition, but I think the Kindle verison is fairly priced too. I use the ratings a great deal, but I use them to judge the quality of the product; pricing you can always evaluate yourself, but that shouldn’t be a factor in the rating of the product quality.

  • gran-ma says:

    Review by gran-ma for The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon)
    It’s no less than I expected. a thriller. non-stop action. easy to follow story. always a pleasure to read.

  • Arlington, VA says:

    Review by Arlington, VA for The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon)
    Daniels Silva’s books are getting better and better and this one is a good ride. The story is rich, the characters are full and you don’t have to read the previous Gabriel Allon books to understand this one. A good summer read. Buy it and enjoy.

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