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The Defector (Gabriel Allon #9)

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  16,229 ratings  ·  595 reviews
Six months after the dramatic conclusion of Moscow Rules, Gabriel has returned to the tan hills of Umbria to resume his honeymoon with his new wife, Chiara, and restore a seventeenth-century altarpiece for the Vatican. But his idyllic world is once again thrown into turmoil with shocking news from London. The defector and former Russian intelligence officer Grigori Bulgano ...more
Audiobook, 9 pages
Published July 21st 2009 by Brilliance Audio (first published 2009)
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Aug 03, 2009 Elizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Clancy fans
Shelves: 52-in-2009
The Defector by Daniel Silva (pp. 480)
The latest installment of Daniel Silva’s thriller series starring Gabriel Allon, a conflicted Isreali spy is a near sequel to last year’s Moscow Rules. After finding a somewhat normal life with his new wife, Allon gets thrown back into the mix when the man he rescued in the previous book is kidnapped by a Russian arms dealer.

After nine books using the same main character, Silva shows that he IS master of the genre. When other series are ready to kill off th
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I generally reserve my highest ratings for more literary works, but I had to give this the full five stars to set it apart from other popular suspense/thriller books. This is the best one yet in the Gabriel Allon series. Exciting, fast-paced international action. Silva has really outdone himself with this one. If this turned out to be the last one ever in the series, I would be content.
The amount of research done and the descriptions of the places really make this story shine.

I strongly recomm
Daniel Silva is very good writer, and Gabriel Allon is a captivating character with a complex mind. However, the author seems to have run out of ideas because Gabriel is doing the exact same things that he's done time and time again. There is very little originality in The Defector. The plot has a boiler-plate predictability that should make the author blush. Unless Silva can create a new arena for his enigmatic protagonist (or at least develop a major departure in the storyline) I think it's ti ...more
First off, this is five stars based on it being part of a series, and based on the fact I just finished it and am still feeling the adrenaline. If you haven't read the others it won't make sense, but if you have read this one NOW!

Holy crap I can't even catch my breath. I love Gabriel, but I never knew what he was capable of, or that I would question whether he was doing the right thing. Vengeance is clearly neither black or white.

I basically see this as part two of Moscow Rules and while that w
Audiobook on the Indiana road trip. It's a decent story if you've read the others in the series. Otherwise, too much back story and not enough new plot.

These days, Gabriel Allon spends more time reminiscing about his past adventures than jumping into new ones.
There is no any sophistication of real spy novel in this particular book and in "Moscow Rules". Before these two, I read "The Secret Servant" and what still OK with it for long flights but starting from "Moscow Rules"... Probably 99 of 100 reviewers who put 4 or 5 stars on this page have never seen Moscow apart from the TV screen. I'm sure from reading your reviews that same percentage never dared to dig deeper to understand what really happens in Russia beyond what they've been fed by CNN and l ...more
Aug 10, 2014 Sheila rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: friends and family
Recommended to Sheila by: myself
Personally I feel Daniel Silva is great writer. I have given 5 stars as story was a page turner and full of suspense till the very end was not sure if he was going to kill Ivan. I have read few books and Gabriel Allon is my ideal captivating character with a complex mind. The author seems to have run out of ideas as Gabriel is doing the exact same things that he's done every time in the series I have read so far. At this point I have still not decided if the author should change anything in resp ...more
Repetitive and lacks a cohesive story.

1. The abduction of the female Israeli secret service agent, resulting from an uncharacteristic lapse in Israeli security, wouldn't have happened even in fiction the way it did. A poorly executed plot feature, though essential for the bigger storyline. It simply wasn't a very creative plot feature.

2. The long drawn-out (and so pitifully predicable) conversation at the remote Russian dacha with the bad guy, Ivan, who uncharacteristically allows the "literary
Gabriel Allon is one of the thriller genre’s most charismatic characters. He’s something of an oxymoron: the soft hearted, intellectual, humanist, cold blooded assassin. Author Silva has also surrounded Allon with other appealing characters, and the political backgrounds are always compelling. This is what keeps me reading the series. As many other reviewers have noted, Silva’s plots have grown predictable. The Defector is the sequel to Moscow Rules, but, except for the change in the identity of ...more
Isn't it astonishing how you don't know variation in a genre is possible until you discover that variation? For example, until I read this book I hadn't ever considered the possibility of writing a thriller with an infallible hero. And lo, here Silva has done it. Well, well, well.

Do you know why I hadn't ever considered a perfect hero? Because it makes for a CRAP story. This novel is about 30% awed praise for the almighty and magnificent Israeli special agents and their special agency and the un
I read every Daniel Silva book that comes out. It is a little like TV for me. However, even given that I don't read Silva for its breathtaking prose this was a disappointment. This book, relative to many of his others, was quite weak. I am not sure how much longer he can keep up the Gabriel Allon books. With that said, I'll buy his next book on the first day it's out and read it quickly. I just hope it's better next time.
I'm really conflicted on this book, because I thoroughly enjoyed it, but a couple of points made me drop it from a 4 to a 3:

1) The romanticising of Israel's security organisation. I realise fiction is not politics, but this was close to the bone enough for me to come across as fictionalised propaganda.

2) The good guys/bad guys divide - I'm by no means a Russophile, but the sinister portrayal of all things Russian is ridiculously akin to a pot/kettle situation.

3) The wife's "Kill them all" bit
Gautam Patel
Excellent thriller in the Gabriel Allon series. These are not the kind of books you read back-to-back. For one thing, they're pretty intense, and very violent. They can also be, as someone else remarked, somewhat repetitive because they run to a defined pattern. Read at wide intervals, that familiarity of terrain is precisely what makes them welcome: you know roughly what you're going to get; you just don't know when or how.

Silva's writing is tight, lucid and clear. There's hardly a surplus wor
Mark O'Neill
I swear, just when I think Silva can't get any better, he does. He pulls out another amazing, heart-stopping thriller which you can't put down until you're finished. Although I would say that I am glad that this is the end of the Ivan Kharkov story - I wouldn't have wanted this to go on for a third book.[return][return]At the end of the previous book, Moscow Rules, Gabriel Allon has humiliated the Russian arms dealer Ivan Kharkov and taken away everything he owns and holds dear. His wife and chi ...more

I've never been a fan of the spy genre. Sure, as a child I've watched the collection of Bond movies (my father use to rent them), but honestly I never got the people's fascination with spies. I guess spying reminds me too much on politics.

That being said, I actually enjoyed this book more then I expected. The story is not completely predictable. There is a patter but there is no need to say that, it is to be expected in this genre. Gabriel is a bit like James Bond (fortunately not to much), wome
Mar 14, 2010 Samantha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Silva fans, fans of spy fiction
Shelves: spy-novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Silva is one of my favorite authors and I have read everything by him. In this book he continues his series about a paintings conservator who happens to also be an assassin/agent for the Israeli government. Always action packed with twists at every turn this book was done in typical Silva style. The only downfall I could point out would be the predictable pattern that the majority of his latest books have developed. Allon goes back to work, the situation is desperate, they form a brillian ...more
This is, I believe, the 9th book in a series with protagonist Gabriel Allon, who is a Jewish assasin/operative of the Israeli version of the CIA who repairs paintings for the Vatican when he's not on assignment to kill someone. Really, who could make up a character like that but it totally works! These books need to be read in order as Allon's co-workers and family are an important part of each story. You certainly need to read Moscow Rules first as the books have the same main villan, Ivan Khar ...more
I never read any of the Daniel Silva books until I landed onto The Defector and I don't even remember how, but after reading it I'm in complete awe with the way he has managed the whole story. Woven so beautifully, even little things which are lying somewhere in the background appears to be of great importance and believe you me indeed they are.
I was really intrigued the way Daniel Silva has crafted the character of Gabriel Allon, and not to forget the introduction of 'Ivan Kharkov'. However, b
Perhaps if I had started this series from the beginning, I would have been more interested in this. There were numerous references to past books and had I read them it might have made a difference. But I didn't. And, as such, it was boring. Very boring. Just your typical spy thriller. Had I been more invested in the characters it would probably have made a difference. I'm sure (I hope) the author established the characters well in the first few books and then stopped bothering. This is what I ge ...more
Brilliantly plotted and executed. This is one of the best in the series.
Clark Zlotchew
Aug 28, 2011 Clark Zlotchew rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: espionage/thriller lovers
Recommended to Clark by: ever since I read the first Silva book (I don't remember why I read it) I try to read as many of his books as possible.
The Defector This, like all Silva's novels I've read, this espionage/thriller grabs you by the literary lapels and doesn't let go for an instant. It pulls you through page after thrilling page of intrigue and violent action and finally releases you, panting from your long but swift journey, on page 497. This novel is part of the popular Gabriel Alon series. It takes place in Russia, London and Switzerland. Warning: Do not start to read this at bedtime; you won't want to put it down in time to g ...more
Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon series continues to grow in unexpected was with the ninth book in the series, "The Defector." Allon, "retired" Israeli assassin who wants nothing more to retire to his beloved paintings, keeps getting thrust into Europe's most sinister crimes. This is bad news for Allon's friends and family, but great news for us, the reader.

Silva has long used Allon and his adventures to explore the unpleasant history of Europe's treatment of the dispossessed in the 20th century - t
Kai Palchikoff
In the #1 New York Timesbestseller Moscow Rules, Gabriel Allon brought down the most dangerous man in the world. But he made one mistake. Leaving him alive... Over the course of a brilliant career, Daniel Silva has established himself as the 'gold standard' of thriller writers ( Dallas Morning News), a 'master writer of espionage and intrigue' (The Cincinnati Enquirer), and the creator of 'some of the most exciting spy fiction since Ian Fleming put down his martini and invented James Bond' ( Roc ...more
Jeg er også "gammel" Silva fan, har fuldt Gabriel Allon helt fra start, med stor glæde...

Men, nu synes jeg godt nok det går ned ad bakke for Silva. Denne roman er fuldt med gentaleser, meget lang tid om at komme i gang, og trods sporadiske gensyn med fordums spænding, når den på ingen måde op på tidligere niveau.

Sproget er stadig godt, bogen flyder, men der er kommet for mange unødige replikker, som udelukkende trækker ned.

Jeg holder meget af persongalleriet, men desværre er der absolut ingen fo
Drew Schott
The Defector by Daniel Silva
Gabriel Allon: He is an agent for Mossad, the Israeli spy service. He came to Israel with his mom who escaped the Holocaust. He has been an operative even since he was 18, when he was taken out of art school to participate in Operation: Wrath of God where he and other Mossad agents killed the terrorists responsible for killing the Jewish athletes at the Munich Olympics. His targets in operations go from Arab terrorists to the heart of the Russian government inside the
The Allon series is very good, and this one is an exciting thriller. I have two main concerns, though. First, Allon is less introspective here about his work. One of the things that makes this series unique and interesting is that Allon thinks about the ambiguity of his work. He isn't ambiguous about the ultimate need or justification for what he does, but he does still struggle with the morality of it and how the killing affects him. He does this much less in this addition to the series. This r ...more
Christine Ricci
This novel has the potential to be really good, but Silva makes it fall just short. The premise of the novel is pretty interesting, even if the plot is slow going. Spy stories do really well; just look at Bond and Bourne. However, there's a reason why we all know Bond and Bourne and not Allon. Allon is too perfect. He has no flaw, and frankly his "fatal flaw" of being too sensitive or his deeds weighing too heavy on his conscience is a) unoriginal and b) not backed up by actions within the novel ...more
Shannon Brennan
This was the first Gabriel Allon book I have read and probably the last. It wasn't a bad story, but it wasn't the greatest either. The plot was lacking and very predictable. I had trouble keeping some of the Russian characters names straight. I am very surprised that it made the NY Times Best Sellers list.
I wish I had read this right after Moscow took awhile to remember the characters. This was well written and cleverly exciting. I guess a good measure of a book is whether there is regret when the book is finished. By that measure, it was a very good book.
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Espionage Aficion...: Good Spy Series To Read 4 46 Feb 01, 2011 07:55AM  
  • The Silent Man (John Wells, #3)
  • Pursuit of Honor (Mitch Rapp, #12)
  • Foreign Influence (Scot Harvath, #9)
  • Warlord (Alexander Hawke, #6)
  • Guardian of Lies (Paul Madriani, #10)
  • Rules of Vengeance
  • The Killer Ascendant (John Rain, #6)
  • Power Down (Dewey Andreas, #1)
  • The Hunted
  • The Trinity Six
Daniel 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 policy programming. In 1994 he began work on his first novel, The Unlikely Spy, a surprise best seller that w ...more
More about Daniel Silva...

Other Books in the Series

Gabriel Allon (1 - 10 of 15 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 Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon, #10)
  • Portrait of a Spy (Gabriel Allon, #11)
The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1) The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon, #10) The Messenger (Gabriel Allon, #6) Portrait of a Spy (Gabriel Allon, #11) The English Assassin (Gabriel Allon, #2)

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“If there was indeed a recording of the conversation that followed, it did not exist for long. Carter would never speak of it, except to say that it was among the most difficult of his long career. The only other witness was Ed Fielding. The security man could not hear Carter's words, but he could see the terrible toll they were taking. He saw a hand gripping the telephone with such force that the knuckles were white. And he saw the eyes. The unusually bright green eyes now burning with a terrifying rage. As Fielding slipped quietly from the room, he realized he had never seen such rage before. He did not know what his friend Adrian Carter was saying to the legendary Israeli assassin. But he was certain of one thing. Blood was going to flow. And men were going to die.” 2 likes
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