The Heist

The Heist

A Novel

Book - 2014
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Gabriel Allon, art restorer and occasional spy, searches for a stolen masterpiece by Caravaggio. Sometimes the best way to find a stolen masterpiece is to steal another one.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Harper,, [2014]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780062320056
Characteristics: 475 pages ; 24 cm


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Apr 28, 2019

4 1/2 star read. Daniel Silva is by far one of the very best spy/thriller writers around these days. His Gabriel Allon series books are never formulaic and all are interesting reads. This time, Allon is in Venice restoring a painting for a church when he gets a call about his friend, art dealer Julian Isherwood. Seems Julian has stumbled on a murder scene and is now Suspect #1 by the Italian police. But when Gabriel begins to investigate, he realizes that there is more to this murder than meets the eye. The murdered man was a forger and evidence at the scene leads Gabriel to the conclusion that he was also dealing in stolen artwork. Further investigation leads Gabriel and his team to the person behind a lot of the art thefts and a dangerous man involved in keeping the secrets. A very twisty read and very much up to the high standards set by Silva.

Apr 14, 2019


Sep 10, 2018

Maybe a bit too technical in the art area and seems to be a preparation for our hero to head for the desk job. Silva will have to really stretch to get Gabriel out of Tel Aviv once he is chief as best I know the chief is never allowed out of the country except as part of an official delegation. So this may have been the swan song, too bad I wanted to meet the twins. The Vatican will have to get another restorer.

Jan 03, 2018

Most of the story is less a spy novel and more an art theft escapade. But it is not quite why the title is 'The Heist' as it has a double entendre. It is not Silva's best but it is still highly entertaining and a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Aug 29, 2015

The Heist --- by --- Daniel Silva.
Refreshingly, Silva does not write with the chest-thumping bravado style one has come to expect of most of those who write today’s espionage novels. Not that this is entirely an espionage novel: not in the common sense. Rather Silva has crafted an elegant, intelligently written dealing with the world of art theft. The protagonist, one Gabriel Allon, Israeli intelligence agent and master restorer of oils, is drawn into the recovery of a recently stolen Carravaggio. The novel crafted thoughtfully; Silva’s characters are refreshingly self-deprecating and thoughtfully understating. Some even exhibit a sense of humour, however droll. The thing is, however, that this isn't the main story. What it's really about is a Syrian dictator and the money he and his family have sequestered in various parts of the world. And the Israeli secret service has audacious plans to make that money disappear. Their scheme is outrageously devious to say the least. In the best tradition of Mission Impossible, this novel certainly deserves to be read.

Aug 27, 2015

Somewhat in the style of Frederick Forsyth, Silva navigates the often violent world of international espionage, terrorism and the criminal underworld. Like Forsyth, Silva puts a lot of work into research of his subject matter (in this case the world of art and the people who buy it, steal it and fake it) along with the political realities of the Middle East and particularly the desperate struggle between Islamist forces and the secular "strong men" they strive to overthrow. He also enriches his narrative with plentiful local details about the several settings of his story -- Venice, Linz, London etc.
A few quibbles: I find the character of his main protagonist rather far fetched (an extremely skilled restorer of Old Masters paintings, able to create an entirely convincing fake Van Gogh, whose day job is that of a top level Israeli spymaster and experienced killer; now that's a stretch!)
I also found the story hard to get engaged with at first; there was little emotional involvement until we meet Jihan and begin to realize the extreme danger Gabriel and his team are prepared to subject her to. Then at the other extreme, the trade-off Gabriel is willing to make to save her doesn't seem to jive with his initially callous use of her as a pawn in his game.
So, on the scale of believability Silva doesn't measure up to writers such as LeCarré or Forsyth, but his work makes for good diversionary reading. I may try one more of his, perhaps "The English Girl".

Aug 22, 2015

Not bad, entertaining, but definitely not one of Silva's best

It is nice to get some historical background on he Syrian war through a well researched novel that is both entertaining and makes some attempt to identify its bias. Well done Daniel, as always.

Feb 19, 2015

It took the author to reach p. 260 out of 467 pages to get the plot going. The author uses some of those pages to show off what he has learnt about the Italian artist, Caravaggio, and the Syrian civil war. I found it difficult to get into the main character in this story who was portrayed as an expert art restorer being groomed for a high level leadership job in Israel's spy agency. I must admit though that I couldn't predict how Silva was going to solve the kidnapping of the female Syrian bank accountant. Too many political asides/stances, and improbable action for me, not to mention his flowery descriptions, to give this book more than 2 stars.

Feb 14, 2015

My first Daniel Silva novel and I am hooked. I am now going to put all my other pleasure readings aside and focus solely on his earlier works.

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Jul 28, 2014

..., that a simple problem sometimes had a simple solution.

Jul 28, 2014

One hand washes the other, and both hands wash the face,

Jul 28, 2014

The best way to win at a game of chance is to remove chance from the equation.

Jul 28, 2014

Italy had been blessed with two things in abundance: art and professional criminals.

Jul 28, 2014

We all choose the life we lead.

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