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The English Assassin Paperback – 25 June 2010
About the Author
- ASIN : 0141038985
- Publisher : Michael Joseph; 1st edition (25 June 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 408 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780141038988
- ISBN-13 : 978-0141038988
- Reading age : Baby and up
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 41,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
It starts well and, within a few pages, Gabriel is commissioned to restore an Old Master in Zürich on behalf the client of a London art dealer he's worked with on many occasions. His life quickly become very complicated: the Raphael painting is most definitely there but his erstwhile employer is lying on the floor clearly assassinated.
The story takes Gabriel and Israeli intelligence into the murky world of Swiss banking and the search for paintings looted by the Nazis during World War II - paintings that have either vanished or hidden in the vaults of various Swiss private banks. If Daniel Silva had simply developed this theme, including that secretive cabal of Swiss bankers/industrialists determined to protect the historic status of Swiss banking, I'm sure we have ended up with a first-class thriller.
But, as we finally meet Otto Gessler, the mastermind banker behind that secretive cabal - plus the English assassin of the title - the story loses continuity and deteriorates sharply. Otto Gessler is completely unbelievable whilst the shadowy English assassin, who plays a major and extremely creditable role in several later Gabriel Allon thrillers, is equally unbelievable and contributes little to the story.
`The English Assassin' merits just two stars - plus the hope that ` The Confessor ', the third book of the Gabriel Allon saga, will live up to the earlier promise of `The Kill Artist' - and several of Daniel Silva's later thrillers.
Given the book title, I was surprised by how the Englishman thread turned out to end. It was as surprising as disappointing, because in the end if we took the Englishman chapters off the plot wouldn't suffer a bit. It would be enough to know a hit had been ordered on Gabriel and Anna, and we'd be spared to a superstitious near-mystic assassin figure that turns out to have a strange moral conscience.
I also found unsatisfying the way Mr. Silva solved the difficult situation Gabriel was put on near the end. It had happened before in "The Kill Artist" and it happened again here, as the most difficult knots were untied by unlikely actions made by his opponents.
Anyway it was a pleasant book to read. The immoral business relations Switzerland had during WWII is a quite interesting theme and the pace keeps us wanting to read the following chapter.
+: pace and subject
-: the english assassin character is as odd as inconsequent to the plot; incoherent actions have huge implications on how the story ends
=: nice thriller story that made me want to read the series' next books