For Gabriel and his wife, Chiara, it was supposed to be the start of a pleasant weekend in London – a visit to a gallery in St. James’s to authenticate a newly discovered painting by Titian, followed by a quiet lunch. But a pair of deadly bombings in Paris and Copenhagen has already marred this autumn day. And while walking toward Covent Garden, Gabriel notices a man he believes is about to carry out a third attack. Before Gabriel can draw his weapon, he is knocked to the pavement and can only watch as the nightmare unfolds.
Haunted by his failure to stop the massacre of innocents, Gabriel returns to his isolated cottage on the cliffs of Cornwall, until a summons brings him to Washington and he is drawn into a confrontation with the new face of global terror. At the center of the threat is an American-born cleric in Yemen to whom Allah has granted “a beautiful and seductive tongue.” A gifted deceiver, who was once a paid CIA asset, the mastermind is plotting a new wave of attacks.
Gabriel and his team devise a daring plan to destroy the network of death from the inside, a gambit fraught with risk, both personal and professional. To succeed, Gabriel must reach into his violent past. A woman waits there—a reclusive heiress and art collector who can traverse the murky divide between Islam and the West. She is the daughter of an old enemy, a woman joined to Gabriel by a trail of blood. . . .
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Espionage
This novel is the eleventh installment in the Gabriel Allon series and Silva once again proves he is the best writer of modern spy fiction.
Set across continents, Portrait of a Spy follows my all-time favourite Israeli secret agent as he fights terrorism, saves lives, countries and democracy.... all while restoring ancient artwork and making the ladies swoon. What more could you ask for in a novel? (or a man?, ahahaha).
Besides the great Gabriel, Silva's novels are also appealing as they are up to date and set in current times. Silva does a great job of using the current international political climate as a backdrop for his stories. Not only is it enjoyable reading a fun and exciting read, but it's great reading something that "could" be happening right now.
There are some things about this novel that I expected. Silva has a formula that he never fails to use in this series. Gabriel doesn't want to be a spy, he just wants to restore paintings. He unwillingly gets drawn back into the Israeli secret service because he can't stand back and watch people get hurt, he just has to help. But this time will be the last time (uhuh).
Gabriel then reassembles his work family and they bond over bloodshed and their desire to bring down the baddies. Soon a lot of stuff goes down and Gabriel ends up being nabbed by the enemy, but he survives. He then saves the day, swears never to work for the service again and returns to his paintings. Til next time.
Despite that formula making these novels predictable, they are still good reads. I just can't get enough!
This novel is not only a must read for all Silva fans, but for anyone who loves international spy thrillers! Pick up a copy of one of Silva's novels. You won't be disappointed.