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The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1)
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The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  26,170 ratings  ·  1,124 reviews
Gabriel Allon is an art restorer persuaded out of retirement by Ari Shamron, Israeli spymaster, to kill Palestinian Tariq before he assassinates old comrade Yasir Arafat.

Tariq's role in the murder of Gabriel's wife and son draws in Gabriel and his mistress, French model Sarah Halevy. Sarah infiltrates Tariq's inner circle. Before Gabriel can rescue her, tables turn.
Paperback, 512 pages
Published April 6th 2004 by Signet (first published January 1st 2000)
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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Best Spy Novels
21st out of 773 books — 1,391 voters
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
21st out of 639 books — 769 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tea Jovanović
MUST READ autor i serijal... Svaki put se knjiga sa žaljenjem zatvara posle poslednje pročitane strane i nestrpljivo čeka juli sledeće godine da izađe novi nastavak... U Srbiji je prevod sjajna Žermen Filipović dobar poznavalac Izraela... :)
I read the 'Rembrandt Affair' a year ago and really enjoyed Gabriel Allon, the Israeli spy and assassin who just can't quit his job. I expect spies to have a lot of personal baggage - why else would they gravitate to a profession that requires isolation, deception, moral ambiguity and high ideals (whether it's for a country, a religious belief, or personal gain). He had a rich background and I slipped very easily into the story, enjoying every moment. And then I found out it was the eleventh in ...more
Maria João Fernandes
"Se estivermos a vigiar um alvo a partir de um café, não devemos fazer coisas que nos façam parecer estar a vigiar um alvo a partir do café, tais como ficarmos sentados sozinhos durante horas, a fingir estarmos a ler um jornal."

Daniel Silva introduziu-me, da forma mais extraordinária, o mundo da espionagem. Pela primeira vez, este tema afigurou-se aos meus olhos, surpreendentemente sedutor, envolvente e enigmático. Cada vez que tive de interromper a leitura, para responder às minhas necessidades
Nov 21, 2012 K rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to K by: Susan KG
Eh. Kind of an ordinary spy thriller, one I might have appreciated more had I read it 15-20 years ago when I was less jaded.

Like many of this genre, you have a good (and troubled) guy who works for Israeli intelligence working with his stunningly beautiful and capable heroine with whom he has a complicated (of course) relationship. And of course, you have the bad guys who are always one step ahead of the good guys, but then the good guys catch up, but then the bad guys catch on, etc., etc.

Lisa (Harmonybites)
Nov 05, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
I think what may have killed this book for me was I read this just after reading John Le Carre's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold--and after having recently read Alan Furst and Eric Ambler while working through a recommendation list that included Silva among this number. I got spoiled and after reading the best in the espionage genre this struck me as nothing more than a generic pulp thriller with all the writing skill, complexity of characterization and plotting of a blow'm up rat-tat-tat of a ...more
3.0 stars. A good, solid international thriller centering on Israeli operative/art restorer Gabriel Allon attempting to track down a Palestinian terrorist. This is the first of the Gabriel Allon books and I thought he was an interesting character and will certainly read the next book in the series.
The methodology of the art restoration expert is the same as that of the professional assassin: “study the target, become like him, do the job, slip away without a trace.” Just as retired Israeli agent Gabriel Allon must study the artist Vecellio in order to resurrect and restore The Adoration of the Shepherd, to make the painting just like the original so he must study again the work of his old nemesis Tariq, agent of the PLO wing that is angry and upset with Arafat’s peace initiatives. Tariq i ...more
Jane Stewart
Felt like things had been done before. Nothing grabbed me.

The story was ok but several minor things bothered me, so I’ll list them below.

When I finished this I thought huh, the hero didn’t do anything heroic and he did not solve the bad guy problem. The good action was done by another. Ok, but that kind of let me down - not much hero development here.

Throughout the book the good guys were not doing smart things which made it less fun to root for them. In a few scenes the bad guys came out ahead
Tim "The Enchanter"
An Average Read Until the End

This marks the first book I have read by Daniel Silva. The Kill Artist, the first in the Gabriel Allon Series was first published in 2000 and it is starting to feel its age. The story resolves around Israeli and Palestinian conflict. There is a cast of a "villain" and an "anti-hero" and retaliation is the word of the day. The plot feels tired. Granted, had I read it first in 2000, I may have not felt this way.

As in many books that are the first in a series, the sto
Elisha Condie
I’m always surprised when a premise of a book sounds so good – a perfect swish, and then the book itself is like a big old airball. Meet Gabriel Allon: super spy, art restorerer, tortured soul, handsome, ruthless, boring.

Daniel Silva’s book sounds great! A spy who restores masterpieces, who is out for revenge for his murdered family but doesn’t really like to kill people. He’s recruited from retirement by a ruthless Israeli agent who wants to stop an equally ruthless Palestinian terrorist. Ru
As personagens? Gabriel Allon é a personagem principal deste livro e dos restantes da serie. Antes de se dedicar exclusivamente ao restauro de quadros, foi um agente secreto israelita e responsável por vários assassinatos, tendo sido considerado um dos melhores agentes do seu tempo de actividade. É um homem justo, perspicaz mas de certo modo ainda atormentado pelo seu passado e de um momento para o outro vê-se de novo no activo.

O enredo? Inicialmente tive bastante dificuldade com o avançar da a
I came to this book after reading the later story Moscow Rules, which may have been a mistake because the later story is much more gripping than the first. On the other hand, had I read this one first, I might not have found it compelling enough to get me to read on in the series. Silva's first Gabriel Allon book is enjoyable, but it is not a gripping page-turner. Some have compared Silva to John LeCarre. I think that's overstating the case. Silva is, at this point at least, a good, entertaining ...more
Sometimes I think I am so disconnected from my peers (i.e. other readers). I like spy movies, and have enjoyed some thriller/spy novels. So why does the first Gabriel Allon novel fall so short for me and not everyone else?

For myself I know the answer. Two-dimensional characters at best, and with 420+ pages Silva should have done more than just do the small character development bits that he did. Yes, I get it that Gabriel is damaged for many reasons, but really none of them are explored. Especia
Apr 24, 2011 Ed rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Espionage fans
As the first book in the series, this effort does not measure up to later stories. This is understandable because Silva had to cover a lot of ground in order to set the series on its way. The later books in the series keep getting better and better.

Gabriel Allon, the protagonist, is an art restorer, who at one time worked for a secret Israeli intelligence agency. He, in fact, was one of the assassins, Golda Meir dispatched to take revenge for the Munich Olympics massacre of Israeli athletes. All
Gabriel Allon is an art restorer brought back from retirement to be a secret agent for Ari Shamron and to restore The Office by capturing Tariq. Gabriel agrees because he is seeking revenge on Tariq. Severla years beofre, Tariq planted a bomb in the car which Gabriel's wife and son were in thereby killing his young son and physicaly and mentally scarring his wife. Tariq is part of a terrorist network who is planning to kill the Palestinian prime minister and disrupt the Isreali/Palestinian peace ...more
Filipe Miguel
Cometi o "erro" de começar a ler Daniel Silva pelo fim: "Regras de Moscovo" e a sua sequela: "O Desertor".

Só depois resolvi comprar os restantes livros da saga Allon para ler pela ordem correcta.

Em comparação, e tendo lido duas das suas últimas obras e a primeira, considero o "Artista da Morte" bem menos conseguido.

Presumo que a introdução a esta nova personagem - Gabriel Allon -, tenha levado Silva a tentar uma abrangência de temas que, no final, não cobriu como desejaria (conflito israelo-pale
Benjamin Thomas
This first book in the Gabriel Allon series is a solid beginning to the best-selling series of international espionage books. I don’t recall reading a spy novel centered on the Israeli intelligence service before so was intrigued. That, combined with the protagonist being a fine art restorer that is called back to duty to assassinate an internationally known terrorist was enough for me to give this book a try.

I had read two previous novels by Daniel Silva (the two Michael Osbourne books) and enj
Linda Appelbaum
My husband suggested this book to me and it is not the typical story I like to read, however, I am passionate about art and I'm Jewish. This book incorporated both in the story...about terrorist activity, the PLO, Israel, and spies. The main character, an assasin, is also an art restorer (that is his "cover" and he is good at it as well). The book is well written and concisely constructed. I'm going to be reading more from Daniel Silva!
Titas (Emperor)
The name is Bo…errrr… I mean Allon, Gabriel Allon
The Kill Artist introduces us to Gabriel Allon, a retired secret agent as an art-restorer who repairs/restore classic arts to its original glory. But it was just his cover while he actually worked for the government. He had made many enemies in his life and one of them was Tariq who took his wife and child away from him forever. But after a long time, when a ruthless killing occurs at Paris with Tariq's signature written all over, Gabriel has to c
Jay Deb
This is the second Silva book I have read and is the best book that I read in last 3-4 months. I believe this is the book that made the writer famous. Protagonist is a high-value painting restorer and is also an ex-Israeli intel action man.
There is a Palestine terrorist who is killing innocents all over the world and the intel chief thinks Gabriel is the only one who can end it all. There is elaborate scheme to bring back the unwilling hero back into action.
The progress to climax, scene by scene
Richard Toscan
After reading The English Girl, the most recent of the Gabriel Allon novels, I went back to this first one in the series. Despite some claims by critics, there's not much development of the central character from the first appearance in this title. It's well written for the spy/thriller genre and incorporates Daniel Silva's insights into Israeli and Palestinian Authority politics and political violence. The moral (ethical) dilemmas bedeviling Israel in regard to the Palestinian situation are giv ...more
Alex is The Romance Fox
This is the 1st book in the Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva.
Gabriel Allon, former Israeli super spy/agent is now a restorer of old art masterpieces, living an isolated life in a remote English seaside village. Persuaded out of retirement by his former boss, Ari Shamron to track down the deadly Palestinian assassin, threatening to derail the peace talks between the Israeli Prime Minister and Arafat after assassinating the Israeli Ambassador in Paris, and who is also responsible for his wife
Jim A
Once again I spent a very enjoyable weekend with Gabriel Allon. While this was a reread for me, it’s been many years since I first enjoyed the beginning of the Allon series.

While I probably (never say never) won’t reread the rest of the series, it was entertaining and enlightening to go back to Silva’s first novel with an Israeli assassin as the protagonist. Especially so after my rereads of the two Michael Osbourne novels by Silva and his development of the world class assassin in those.

I enjo
Luffy Monkey D.
After completing The Kill Artist I felt lifeless, and drained. Which is quite unusual for me. Another uncanny thing about this book is that it established a blistering 5/5 average rating right from the start. In this book it is 90% clear who we are supposed to side with. More unusual aspects of this unusual book is that the seemingly condemned character doesn't die. Also the hero doesn't perform much in the vicinity of heroics. I felt sad after reading The Kill Artist. I should not. The book wa ...more
Scott Welch
It has been about 15 years since I first read “The Kill Artist” and became addicted to what would become the Gabriel Allon series, and decided to revisit where it all began. I’m not sure, but I may have enjoyed it even more this second time around. This is the story that introduces the reader to Allon, a former highly successful Mossad operative who left the field due to very tragic family circumstances and now works alone and aloof as a person restoring art masterpieces. And, even in that field ...more
I enjoyed this book so much I now intend to read the rest of the series. Not really sure how I came across this author but I am so glad I did. The story is exciting, fast paced and informative. The characters are well developed and you can easily picture them in your mind which makes the read easier and more enjoyable. The subject matter is not entirely my genre and not an obvious choice for me but I quickly got into it and read it over two days.
Natacha Cunha
A escrita é simples, o ritmo de leitura rápido, como se pede a um livro deste tipo, sempre envolto em clima de mistério, conspiração e intriga. Gostei. Não é fenomenal, mas cumpre o propósito: entretém. Admira-me que ainda não tenha sido adaptado ao cinema.

Opinião completa:
One thing I realized while reading this book is that there are authors who love their characters and you can tell, because even when they're flawed and not perfect, you still enjoy reading about them. Then there are authors (and I think Silva is one) who are a bit misanthropic, and they don't really like the people they're writing about, and it makes me dislike the book -- that was the case with "The Kill Artist."

Also, at least up until the very end, I got really annoyed because I felt like I ke
É mais 3,5
Ao princípio achei um bocado confuso mas depois gostei bastante...
Dennis Koniecki
It's a compelling espionage genre novel that moves at a brisk pace.

The writing is a bit better than most of the authors you find at an airport book shop (Steig Larsson, Dan Brown, Tom Clancy, etc), but it never really rises above the genre or surprises. There are plenty of familiar tropes to anyone who has ever read any mystery, thriller, or spy book. For example:

- Genius protagonist that excels at his job, his hobbies, and getting ladies.
- Beautiful female who is beautiful. But she's more tha
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A Million More Pages: 1 - The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon): Jun 29 3 12 Jun 17, 2015 07:30PM  
Full Allon series 10 112 Feb 01, 2015 12:02PM  
Daniel Silva in general 6 59 Jan 24, 2015 07:14AM  
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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 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)
  • Portrait of a Spy (Gabriel Allon, #11)

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“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I give to the children of Israel; of every tribe of their fathers shall you send a man, every one a prince among them.” —Numbers 13:1-2” 0 likes
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