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Portrait Of A Spy (Gabriel Allon #11)

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  17,497 Ratings  ·  941 Reviews

Gabriel Allon, secret agent, assassin and master art restorer, returns in a spellbinding novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author

Europe is exploding. And one man must find out why.

For Gabriel Allon and his wife Chiara, it was supposed to be the start of a romantic weekend in London. But nothing is ever that simple when you’re an off-duty spy and assassin.


Kindle Edition, 483 pages
Published (first published 2011)
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Manu I don't think this century will see the end of terrorism because it has taken shape of religious extremism. Religion is giving pseudo solutions for…moreI don't think this century will see the end of terrorism because it has taken shape of religious extremism. Religion is giving pseudo solutions for problems like hunger, poverty and discrimination and people are exploiting these things for their own purposes; political and capitalist. There are nations which are power mongers and hungry for power and control. It's their greed of the past and present which is taking shape of terrorism.(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jay Connor
Aug 10, 2011 Jay Connor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Silva again justifies my claim that he is today's best writer of international intrigue. He is to our world of jihad what Ludlum and Le Carre were to the cold war -- unrivaled. Not only does he write "ahead of the headlines" but imbues this struggle with courage and character in the face of unspeakable evil. Unlike Clancy and Flynn, Daniel Silva writes of a world which is more complex and nuanced than a testosterone tempest.

His lead is Gabriel Allon, an art restorer and at-large agent of Israeli
Is it my imagination or have I read this book before. Actually, I have not, but the plot is nothing to write home about. Its not that I am tired of Silva's ability to write because he still remains a great read, but the plots are a tad tired, and the characters are looking a little frayed around the edges.

I liked the book, but its too similar. Formulaic in the extreme.

Silva may be a master of espionage, but his stories are depressingly the same.
Aug 20, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers, ebooks, fiction
This is the 11th Gabriel Allon novel from Silva, and it is very good. At the same time, when you've done ten previous titles in a series, then it's easy for things to start to seem repetitive and derivative of previous outings, and that's once again the problem here. The last time around, the problem was surmounted by a particularly good plot line, but this one takes a bit of a step back on the plot front, making the more formulaic aspects of things more noticeable. Perhaps some of it is because ...more
Apr 12, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spies, thriller, 2016
I have not read a Silva thriller for quite a while and I remembered reading his first seven novels when I discovered his writing.

I decided to read him simply because I saw this documentary "The Gatekeepers" in which a series of directors of the Israeli Shin Bet opened their mouths about some of the issues and affairs that had plagued Israel during their reign. A quiet candid and raw story in which one of the former directors remarked that after he left the job his views became somewhat more to t
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Yesssssss! Another Gabriel Allon book.
I wonder how Silva will top himself this time. The last two were the best in the series. Untoppable?
*Rating* 4
*Genre* Thriller


Gabriel Allon is known around the world as the angel of vengeance, and an international operative who has worked for the Israeli Intelligence machine called the Office, since 1972. He is a man who will stop at nothing to see justice done even if it puts his own life at risk.

After the events that occurred during The Rembrandt Affair, Allon has finally decided to retire from the Office. He is living the quiet life in Cornwall, England as an art restorer along wit
Another reliable entry in the multi book story of Gabriel Allon, spy and assassin, originally recruited by the Israeli agency known as "the Office" to help with retaliation after the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. He was recruited out of art school and this is a field to which he returns after each assignment, having developed skills as an art restorer over many years.

As this new episode begins, Gabriel has left that spy's life behind and once again retired to Cornwall to paint
Kenneth P.
Not exactly a page-turner. There is action in the beginning and end. In between you have endless dialogue, interior monologue, chapters that plod along until you're ready to scream. Characters are paper-thin. I mean that literally since they are little more than names on a page.

It's clear from the outset that American intelligence agencies are inept and naive. Thankfully the Israelis come to the rescue and take over a huge CIA anti-terrorist effort. Hero Gabriel Allon, an Israeli agent, gets a
Lewis Weinstein
Another good Silva thriller. So far, he seems able to keep adding new wrinkles to his set of characters and issues. Silva has a unique way of building tension even when you suspect what is about to happen. This one had some plot surprises. Silva's descriptions of places and great art is also as excellent as always.
Shawn Davis
Gabriel Allon, Mossad Officer extraordinaire, has decided to retire from the espionage business. He and his wife, Chiara, nestle into a faintly reclusive life in a small British community. Allon, however, cannot get away from his past. No matter how many paintings he restores, restoring normalcy in his own life escapes him and he finds himself again at the center of terrorism's storm.

I love Silva's novels. They were my introduction into the thriller genre, and I look forward to them so eagerly t
J.F. Penn
Apr 12, 2012 J.F. Penn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
I am a Gabriel Allon fan and love to read these books. As ever, Silva doesn't disappoint as the book opens to bombings across Europe with the threat of violence moving towards the US. A new wave of terrorists has emerged and Israeli assassin/ art restorer Gabriel Allon must step in with his team to find the people responsible. Recruiting billionaire business woman Nadia al-Bakari means Gabriel must confront his past and try to protect Nadia from discovery.
I particularly enjoyed the detailed expo
Eric Wright
One of the most interesting and informative spy stories I have read in a long time. The main character, Gabriel Allon is unique: an art restorer extraordinaire and a retired international operative from Israel's spy agency. Gabriel and his wife Chiara are in London as an outing from their isolated cottage in Cornwall where he has retired. Suddenly he spies a man whom he is sure is a suicide bomber. What to do? Kill him? But what if he is mistaken?

He follows the bomber into a crowded place in Lon
Caroline Anna Bock
I read through this in one day -- a mini vacation! Another captivating, intelligent thriller by Daniel Silva. What I love about his work is that it feels so current, so real and provocative about extremism and the men and women who fight it. (I don't want to give away any spoilers, but Saudi Arabia is prominent in this novel). His main character, Gabriel Allon, remains emotionally deep and thoughtful (almost too much, but then he's sharing exposition with us in the least cumbersome way possible) ...more
Aug 04, 2015 Sharyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was listening to this one, but by the end I had to get the book and finish!! I don't drive very much and just couldn't wait for the ending!! These books are just terrific, but scary too in the real world sense. I hope the Israeli's really do a lot of the things that happen in these books! I am now about to start "Fallen Angel" Fortunately my library has all the audio books, but I will read the most recent when I get there, as my brother got me a signed copy when Silva was in Houston. I came to S ...more
Aug 14, 2011 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy, daniel-siva
Another fast paced, "don't want to put down" Silva thriller! I honestly thought about giving this book a 4 star rating instead of a 5 star because, at this point, all of the Gabriel Allon books are a bit similar. Then I realized why should I penalize Silva for that? His well developed characters, Allon, Isherwood, Shamron..., are wildly entertaining. The action is nonstop. The story flows while incorporating fact into it. If Silva changed the formula, I'm sure we'd all be disappointed. Recommend ...more
The story opens with terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen. Reading this was like reading something out of today's headlines because only a few days before I started the book there had been horrific coordinated attacks in Paris. Meanwhile Gabriel Allon has retired and is living in Cornwall with his beautiful wife Chiara. On a visit to London Gabriel spots a man showing traits common to suicide bombers. He starts to follow him and to try and prevent him from carrying out his suicide mission. ...more
Maria Stancheva
Не знам дали се наситих на стила на Силва или тази книга наистина не беше особено впечатляваща, но нямаше нито един момент, в който книгата да ми беше интересна.
Ако трябва да изтъкна хубавите моменти, ще спомена сюжетната линия с търговете, информацията за Дубай и проследяването на паричните потоци.
Издразни ме тази непрекъсната измъченост на Габриел, която в първата книга, която прочетох за него беше ексцентрична и гъделичкаща любопитството, но след третата, вече ти идва да кажеш "ох, до гуша
Feb 12, 2016 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spy and Silva fans
The eleventh in the Gabriel Allon series is good but not great. I was still entranced with the story and the characters, many of whom have appeared in previous Silva novels. It is pretty much a "spy procedural" and as such loses some of the inventiveness of previous books in the series.

In this volume, Allon has left the Israeli intelligence service and is restoring paintings in a small cottage in the Cornwall area of England. He and his wife, Chiara, are spending a relaxing weekend in London whe
Oct 05, 2012 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've read all of the Gabriel Allon books, and spending time with the familiar character is always enjoyable. That said, this book was a disappointment.

First of all, the plot is SO familiar that I had to read the first several chapters before I was certain that I hadn't already read this book.

Secondly, one of the best things about the Allon character is that his worldview is not black and white. While he carries out missions to support "his side", he is conflicted about what he does and he doesn
John Carter McKnight
Daniel Silva is a man of strong opinions: he clearly believes that the West is locked in an existential struggle with Islam, that Arab culture is violent and backward generally and that its treatment of women is absolutely intolerable, and is no fan of those in the West (including a nameless US President who ran on a campaign of "Hope") who practice appeasement. So, if that perspective's intolerable, don't even try.

If you can run with Silva's ideology, you'll find a taut, well-crafted thriller o
Aug 09, 2011 Darcy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, mystery, spies
What I like about these books is that there are things I can count on when picking it up. I know Gabriel will be very reluctantly pulled back into a job for moral reasons, not because he missed the work. That Gabriel will pull together his team, who are really like a very quirky family that fights all the time, but still gets the job done. The job will end up with cooperation between Israel, Great Britain, and the US, with those very famous heads of the spy industry forced to work together. Beca ...more
Aug 07, 2011 Phloe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What's not to love in this 400+ page hardcover with yet another crazy yarn about an Israeli assassin who moonlights as an Italian renaissance art restorer. He keeps trying to retire to his cottage in Cornwall with his gorgeous wife (also a retired Israeli agent) who happens to be young enough to be his daughter. But can't! Too many crazy multi-national mishaps...soooo much fun to read while doing laundry.

Like, if you're gonna read some espionage thriller shit, you might as well go for the gold.
Lance Charnes
Jul 27, 2015 Lance Charnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of John LeCarre and intelligent spy fiction
In many ways, Daniel Silva has taken up the mantle of John LeCarre in the "realistic espionage" genre. He's often praised by intel professionals for "getting it right", both in his depiction of tradecraft and his emphasis on the primacy of analysis and information. Though marketed as thrillers, his novels are dominated by scenes of two to four people sitting in a room or car, talking; what action there is comes in short, highly contained bursts and occupies a tiny fraction of each book's pages.

Jul 02, 2013 Dana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
The 11th in the Gabriel Allon series, retired Israeli assassin and super-spy, who just can't seem to stay retired. (Can we stop pretending at the beginning of each book that he is retired?)

This time Gabriel is pulled out of retirement by the CIA when he almost stops a suicide bomber in Covent Garden, the third in a series of coordinated attacks sweeping Europe by a mastermind new Islamic terrorist cell. Why does he almost stop it? Because the bumbling British police tackle him just as he is abou
Oct 31, 2011 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
The latest episode of the Gabriel Allon series, which does not materially differ from the earlier episodes. Allon thinks he’s “out of the game” only to be pulled back in to fight the terrorists again. This time he is assisting the CIA to track down a rouge asset (Rashid) the CIA had cultivated, but who has now defected and is issuing the rally call to jihadists from his secret hiding place in Yemen. Rashid is based loosely on Anwar al-Awlaki (now deceased by U.S. Gov’t drone attacks on Sept. 30, ...more
Nov 27, 2013 Catarina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mais uma vez Daniel Silva consegue surpreender!

A forma como escreve, deixando a ficção misturar-se com factos reais, é maravilhosa. Quando chegamos ao final e vemos o que é ou não verdade, fica sempre aquela sensação de que aprendemos mais alguma coisa enquanto líamos um livro sobre espiões!

Seguir uma história com Gabriel Allon como protagonista nunca cansa! E desta vez, seguir também o percurso de Nadia, enquanto mulher saudita que luta em silêncio por uma vida melhor para todas as mulheres ár
Aug 12, 2011 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-kindle
I've anxiously awaited each Gabriel Allon book since I discovered them three books into the series. This is the first with which I wasn't completely enthralled. It was still a great read, but seemed more formulaic (Cataclysmic World Event draws Our Hero back in, Our Hero meticulously plans The Mission and enlists the Amazing Woman, The Mission goes Horribly Wrong, Our Hero improvises and Saves The World) than previous entries. That is not my biggest complaint as it's a formula that works for me. ...more
Oct 28, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espionage
I've always really enjoyed the Gabriel Allon series some I started with "Death In Vienna" in Vienna. So I was somewhat surprised when I opened up this one to find that I had missed two, but I have now corrected that failing and I had already got the next one. I'll ration myself to one every six weeks or so.
I found the last two I read "The Secret Servant" and "Moscow Rules" rather less satisfying than their predecessors, with a "caper" element that was enjoyable but less thought-provoking; so I w
Aug 24, 2014 Sheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: friends and family
Recommended to Sheila by: myself
Portrait Of A Spy is brilliantly written. Daniel Silva again justifies my claim that he is today's best writer of international spy novels.

Gabriel Allon, an art restorer and at-large agent of Israeli Intelligence. The setting is on terrorism which has haunted the world for last few years and it still exists at present day. By setting his stories against the disparate worlds of art and intelligence, the writer constantly reminds us of the humanity at the core of any effort worth fighting for.


Aug 06, 2011 BJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time I had to force myself to keep reading a Gabriel Allon story. At 70% (no page numbers on Kindle), I was considering giving up, but I'm glad I finished it. The last quarter of the book was excellent, more like what I expect when I buy one of Silva's books. That last 25 percent was a five-star read, but the first 75 percent was very disappointing. I was uncomfortable with the fictionalizing of current political issues (both US and Arab) that are not yet complete. Only when it ...more
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The Portrait of a Spy Series 5 50 Dec 23, 2011 02:52PM  
  • The Secret Soldier  (John Wells, #5)
  • Foreign Influence (Scot Harvath, #9)
  • Pursuit of Honor (Mitch Rapp, #12)
  • Warlord (Alexander Hawke, #6)
  • The Last Refuge (Dewey Andreas, #3)
  • The Assassin (Ryan Kealey, #2)
  • The Lion (John Corey, #5)
  • Silent Enemy (Michael Parson & Sophia Gold #2)
Daniel Silva was born in Michigan in 1960 and raised in California where he received his BA from Fresno State. Silva began his writing career as a journalist for United Press International (UPI), traveling in the Middle East and covering the Iran-Iraq war, terrorism and political conflicts. From UPI he moved to CNN, where he eventually became executive producer of its Washington-based public polic ...more
More about Daniel Silva...

Other Books in the Series

Gabriel Allon (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1)
  • The English Assassin (Gabriel Allon, #2)
  • The Confessor (Gabriel Allon, #3)
  • A Death in Vienna (Gabriel Allon, #4)
  • Prince of Fire (Gabriel Allon, #5)
  • The Messenger (Gabriel Allon, #6)
  • The Secret Servant (Gabriel Allon, #7)
  • Moscow Rules (Gabriel Allon, #8)
  • The Defector (Gabriel Allon, #9)
  • The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon, #10)

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