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The Secret Servant (Gabriel Allon #7)

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4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  16,214 Ratings  ·  672 Reviews
When last we encountered Gabriel Allon, the master art restorer and sometime officer of Israeli intelligence, he had just prevailed in his blood-soaked duel with Saudi terrorist financier Zizi al-Bakari. Now Gabriel is summoned once more by his masters to undertake what appears to be a routine assignment: travel to Amsterdam to purge the archives of a murdered Dutch terror ...more
Audiobook
Published July 24th 2007 by Brilliance Audio
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Community Reviews

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Christiana Moffa
Jan 29, 2008 Christiana Moffa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Espionage fans, as usual!
I don't know what number this is in the Gabriel Allon series (I think the 9th?), but like all the other books Daniel Silva writes it contains a great deal of information about Middle Eastern politics and the U.S / England's relationships with countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia. Though Jewish himself, Silva writes with the knowledge that certain political alignments will never garner the outcome desired in the region: PEACE.

For any of you looking to learn more, and to read fantastic spy novel
...more
Maria Carmo
Sep 26, 2016 Maria Carmo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This new episode of the thrilling and terrifying life of Gabriel Allon completely pleased me: there was not only the excellent writing and the thrilling rhythm, but also true, solid feeling, good values such as loyalty and generosity, and the scope of the action was even more wide spread than in previous books. Gabriel lives in the permanent contradiction of being, at the same time, a killer and a saviour of sorts, always ready to give his own life, but to escape narrowly after a lot of persecut ...more
Les Aucoin
Nov 30, 2011 Les Aucoin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
My first Daniel Silva read was Portrait of a Spy. Enjoyed it so much, I couldn't wait to get into this one. The Secret Servant goes back a few years in the career of Gabriel Allon, Silva's art-restoring spy (what a combination!). I also noted that this work won the Publishers' Weekly Best Book of the Year award when it came out.

In terms of word craft, The Secret Servant did not disappoint. Silva has a command of the language that can, at its best, enthrall.

But by the time I got about halfway int
...more
Maritere
Jun 02, 2008 Maritere rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy-fare
I'm addicted to Gabriel Allon... A hot, greying spy whose cover is as an uber-successful art restorer? How can I not? For someone with an odd affinity for spy novels and a deep love of Renaissance art, this charcter is quintessential.

This is not Silva's best book, but he has managed not to disappoint in the often-difficult task of developing his characters, "growing" them so to speak, as the series continues. I cannot wait for the next one!
Luan
Sep 08, 2011 Luan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I took a break from Silva's series and now I've back to it still pleased with the way the hero is not a superhuman and bad things happen to him. In fact, bad things happen to everyone which means that as a reader, even though this is a series, I'm not really sure if the kidnap victim gets saved. Silva's protagonist is a government secret ops worker for Israel. Even so, Silva presents both sides of the very difficult conflict that exist between the Israeli and Arab worlds. What he doesn't forget, ...more
Yngvild
Feb 07, 2010 Yngvild rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espionage
I pulled The Secret Servant out of the bargain bin of my local bookshop some months ago because it ticked all the boxes: Israeli spy story set in Amsterdam and London. It was downhill from there.

Daniel Silva’s weakness is a tendency to be didactic. That need to over-explain becomes problematic when it results in such gems as the “Zuiderkirk church”, which even spelled correctly translates as “South church church”, or “mackintosh raincoat”, which is a “raincoat raincoat”.

The history and politics
...more
Jim A
Jul 14, 2014 Jim A rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second read for this one. Every bit as good the second time through as it was the first.
Marc
Aug 01, 2013 Marc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Secret Servant is a highly readable, well-constructed international spy thriller. Although it was published in 2007, the book's subject is radical Islamic terrorism in Europe, so it retains a "ripped from the headlines" feel in 2013. The writing is crisp and precise; the plotting is expertly crafted. The story is somewhat complicated, but never overly so, as the author handles its twists and turns smoothly. The pacing is consistently taut, and the suspense never lets up.

Daniel Silva frames t
...more
Mel Ostrov
Aug 26, 2014 Mel Ostrov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Middle East Fiction/Nonfiction

This has got to be one of Daniel Silva's best in the Gabriel Allon series. Although well written,the predictable plot somewhat smacks of a potboiler. However, the expected conclusion of this story is overridden just by the excitement of getting there.
What makes this story stand out is its presently still timeliness in reference to the Islamic Jihad problem. Interspersed among numerous fast-paced short chapters are statements like "The Americans threw in their lo
...more
Jessica
Sep 13, 2007 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Silva is the only one of this genre that I read and I love them. Silva and Christopher Buckley's Florance of Arabia are my main instructors on the Middle East today.

But this one was not my favorite. Dialogue was annoyingly cliched. Why does Silva always make the super Jewish spy rescue some well bred shiksa? Also found him more dogmatic than ever before. Can't deny it was a page-turner! After this, need something more edifying.
Nancy
Nov 30, 2016 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book with Gabriel Allon, my favorite spy/art restorer. The theme of this book is very contemporary since it deals with terrorism and how terror groups recruit their members.

Incidentally, I have read this series out of order and I enjoyed it anyways.

Reinaldo Lourenço
Oct 10, 2016 Reinaldo Lourenço rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lidos-2016
Nao me considerando grande fã do Daniel Silva nao deixo de gostar de alguns dos seus livros.
Gostei bastante deste, talvez porque a componente de espionagem é bem menor.
Mas coitado do Gabriel Allon, está sempre a levar grandes enchertos de porrada :)
Em tempos deixei de comprar mais livros do Daniel Silva, porque nao tinha gostado muito do Confessor (o 1º que li dele), mas agora tenho de repensar esta decisão porque este era o meu ultimo livro dele e até se lêm bem :)
Tal
Jun 10, 2016 Tal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"גבריאל לקח מידי נבות את הספר. ספר מתח קליל שאמור להיות טוב, חשב. נשמע נחמד, אבל הדברים האלה איכשהו אף פעם לא מסתדרים ככה..."

וזה באמת לא הסתדר. זה בהחלט ספר טוב ומהנה, שמכניס אותך אליו ואתה מוצא את עצמך עם קושי להפסיק לקרוא לפעמים. אבל, עלילה לא כל כך מפתיעה(מה שמפתיע זה מאיפה כל החומר נפץ הזה הגיע? נראה לי כיוון טוב לנסות להבין מאיפה זה הגיע, כי יש שם לא מעט חומרי נפץ), בהחלט מעלה כמה וכמה שאלות בנוגע ל"לאירופה המוסלמית" והתרחיש המתואר בהחלט לא עד כדי כך מופרך. אבל... בספר מתואר פיגוע בלונדון ו
...more
Andrew
Jul 15, 2012 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
NOTE: This review was written based on the Audio CD version.

Daniel Silva's "The Secret Servant" is the best "Book on Tape" that I have listened to in awhile. There have been times when I almost wish that my commute was longer or that we'd had some heavier traffic just so I could listen to more of the book each day!

Credit begins with Silva's novel - the pacing was fantastic. The mix between action and pauses, the characters & dialog, the overall plot were quite well done. I'll never know (no
...more
Avigail
This book I had a lot of years on my shelves unread. While I reorgnised a little my shelves and decided to put it up front so when I am in the mood for somethingof the genre mystery, crime and the political situation in the Middle East or even the world.
Even though the book is the seventh of the series you can read them out of order. I think that I want to start the series in order, because there are parts that Daniel Silva refers and I don't understand. I love the writing of Daniel Silva, becau
...more
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
I'm working my way through the Gabriel Allon series. This is the 7th in the series and it feels very repetitive and formulaic, like a mash up of previous books. Once again we start with Gabriel Allon being sent to Europe to clean up after the death of an Israeli source. Once again he is identified almost immediately because he's possibly the most inept agent ever. Then it merges into a kidnap plot with elements of The Messenger and Allon proves useless at i) hostage negotiation and ii) rescue, b ...more
Julie Johnson
Oct 30, 2011 Julie Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great book! I enjoy these books immensely (came upon them quite by chance, picking one up at random at the local library--since then I've been completely hooked & I am now steam rolling my way thru them!).

Gabriel Allon is better than Bond. More human, more emotional, also, in a committed relationship. No bond groupies!

He faces defeat, turmoil, negativity, jealousy...his is not a glamourous life. He is such an enjoyable character, a reluctant hero but a hero nonetheless--one who is d
...more
Jim
Gabriel Allon returns in this seventh outing and once again his mission is to rescue a damsel in distress. The story opens in Amsterdam where a professor who has written a book on Muslim extremists is assassinated. This professor however happened to work for Ari Shamron and "The Office". Shamron sends Gabriel to Amsterdam to sanitize the professor's office of any link to his work with the Israeli intelligence agency. While in Amsterdam Gabriel receives a tip of the extremists next plot. This tim ...more
David Feinstein
Mar 08, 2009 David Feinstein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Silva has yet again written a novel that at the same time will entertain and scare the hell out of you!

In "The Secret Servant", Gabriel Allon, the avenging angel of Israel's formidable secret service, is back to do battle again with the ever-rising tide of radical Islam terrorism. Sent to Amsterdam on a seemingly routine mission to clean up after an assassinated undercover agent, Allon unwittingly uncovers an Al Qaeda-like plot which leads him to London and Elizabeth Halton, the daughter
...more
An Odd1
Aug 11, 2011 An Odd1 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Assigned to papers left by a recently assassinated professor in Holland, Israeli spy finds Muslim terrorist plot against American embassy in London. Authorities do not heed the 50s experienced operative's warning in time. When his near-save of the victim is splashed on front pages, he also becomes a target.

Main action is swift, villainous betrayals predictable, side-issues drag. I don't like the younger hottie who nags for marriage, nor care about internal office wrangling. If they are continui
...more
Jeffrey
Jan 26, 2008 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Silva fans, spy thriller readers, people who like good reads
Excellent spy adventure novel featuring Silva's Israeli assassin Gabriel Allon. I read most of Silva's books over the summer when my library was closed and they start and have many similar elements. There is a terrorist plot, Allon is forced to give up his day job as an art restorer and take up the job. The first attempt at something fails but ultimately Allon is victorious.

Many of those elements are present in this tale of a kidnapping in London and Allons search for the kidnappers and the plot
...more
Heather
Mar 29, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gabriel-allon
Truth be told, 4 stars is probably a bit generous. Silva is definitely my favorite "spy thriller" author so, in my opinion, his okay to good book is still better than the average thriller author's book. His middle of the series books like this one (number seven in the Gabriel Allon series) are rather forumlaic. The good news is they're still a fast paced, action packed (without being ridiculous) read with a very likeable lead character/Allon. His earlier and later books are great! Don't give up ...more
Don Bradshaw
Jun 02, 2010 Don Bradshaw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Silva wrote a good spy book but even more gave readers a very real look at just how strong the Islamic terrorists have infiltrated Europe.
Israel's top spy,Gabriel Allon,becomes caught up in the kidnapping of the daughter of the U.S. ambassador to the U.K. by a cell of The Sword of Allah. The secret services of the U.S.,England, Israel and several other countries finally share information in a rescue attempt but run into different jihadist cells working in Europe. Read the book with an op
...more
Karel Soeters
As a Dutch resident it always amazes me that the murder of Theo van Gogh has so much impact on the perception of Muslim influence on Christian Europe.

The Secret Servant was my first Gabriel Allon novel. A real pageturner until 80% of the book. A good and 'could-be-true' story quickly unfolds herself. The motivation for Gabriel to hunt the kidnappers is a bit weak, but who cares. Like some other reviewers I can also confirm that the last 20% is an ordinary predictable cat and mouse story. But I'd
...more
Nachman Kataczinsky
The Israeli not so secret secret agent is back with another adventure. There is a problem though. Like in “Moscow Rules” he is both smart and inexplicably stupid. Without disclosing too much of the plot and spoiling the enjoyment of the book: it is not entirely clear why he needs to follow some of the terrorist’s demands. Especially as they have no way of knowing whether he did or not. It is also not clear why he risks his life and the lives of others without a clear plan.

Al in all an enjoyable
...more
Onka
Aug 02, 2012 Onka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sk-cz, crime
Aj keď mi niektoré situácie prišli pritiahnuté za vlasy (napr. fakt, že Gabriel prežil už asi naozaj všetko), stále sa mi kniha nesmierne páčila. Obdivujem štýl autora a hlavne zbožňujem fakt, že ma kniha dokáže v momente vtiahnuť do deja a nedokážem sa od nej odtrhnúť. A napriek tomu, že všetky Silvove knihy majú rovnaký "vzorec" aj siedma kniha v sérii dokáže zaujať a vyvolať napätie u čitateľa. Klobúk dole pred Pánom spisovateľom. Už sa neviem dočkať ďalšej knihy ;)
Hermien
Enjoyable, but I preferred the earlier books which had more historical background. And do we really need to be told that our hero faces "the most dangerous man in the world", "the most feared man in the world", "the most famous man in the world", the most talented" etc. We know Gabriel would never waste his time on anything or anybody mediocre or just good enough!
Jannene
Sep 29, 2011 Jannene rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, audio
I listened to this book. It was a great novel. The characters were believable and convincing. The plot took many twists and turns. I just don't like Chira. I find her a needy, insecure woman which is surprising for the kind of job that she does.
Kevin
Aug 04, 2015 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. A new author for me but found the storyline kept me fully interested until the end. As an avid reader of the spy thriller genre I found Daniel Silva stacks up against my early favourites of Greene and Le Carre. Will be reading more.
Laurie Young
Aug 15, 2007 Laurie Young added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who is interested in international terrorism and the politics of the Middle East
I love his books.
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Ending 1 3 Oct 30, 2016 03:39PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #16 - The Secret Servant 1 2 May 01, 2015 05:40AM  
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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 17 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)
  • Moscow Rules (Gabriel Allon, #8)
  • The Defector (Gabriel Allon, #9)
  • The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon, #10)
  • Portrait of a Spy (Gabriel Allon, #11)

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“I can be whoever you want me to be: CIA, FBI, DIA, an agency so fucking secret you've never heard of it before." -Gabriel Allon” 34 likes
“To Pakistan? Or Afghanistan? Or Wherever-the-fuck-istan?” 26 likes
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