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The Confessor (Gabriel Allon #3)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  10,135 ratings  ·  497 reviews
This is a complex thriller of ancient and modern betrayal. Art restorer Gabriel Allon is trying to put his Secret Service past behind him, but when his friend Benjamin Stern is murdered in Munich, he's called into action once more.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Penguin Books (first published November 7th 2002)
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The Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe 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
181st out of 743 books — 1,102 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
164th out of 544 books — 615 voters

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Community Reviews

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I don't normally go for thriller spycraft fiction, but I confess I am totally addicted to Silva's spy novels about an Israeli assassin/spy and part-time art restorer named Gabriel Allon. The first book was written in 2000 and the latest in 2012 and in that time span, Silva draws a geopolitical arc starting with Nazi wartime crimes and the complicity of the Vatican and the Swiss in Nazi wartime looting. Then to the Palestinian conflict, Black September and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. And ...more
Zohar -
“The Con­fes­sor” by Daniel Silva is the third install­ment in the fic­tional adven­tures of the reluc­tant Israeli agent Gabriel Allon.

Work­ing as art restorer Mario Delvec­chio, Allon is called one more time into ser­vice to inves­ti­gate the mys­te­ri­ous mur­der of his friend Ben­jamin Stern. As the inves­ti­ga­tion pro­gresses, Allon dis­cov­ers that Stern has been work­ing on a book, that once pub­lished would cause a scan­dal in the Vat­i­can and do great harm to the Roman Catholic Churc
Maria João Fernandes
O terceiro livro da série do charmoso Grabriel Allon, tal como os anteriores, leva-nos numa viagem pelo mundo. Desde Veneza até Roma, de Munique até um palacete de luxo na Suíça, de um convento ao pé do lago até Londres e França, o livro tem um ritmo extraordinário e a leitura decorre com naturalidade. E pronto, aqui terminam as minhas observações positivas.

Em relação às personagens, Daniel Silva não as apresenta com sucesso. Limita-se a bombardear o leitor com nomes e cargos profissionais e afi
Kathleen Hagen
The Confessor, by Daniel Silva, b-plus, narrated by John Lee, produced by Books on Tape, downloaded from

This is the third in the Gabriel Allum series. In this one, he learns that he is to go to Munich because a Jewish historian, has been murdered. Again we have a thriller with Gabriel, now partnered with another beautiful woman, another Israeli spy, and the two of them are not only supposed to find out who killed the historian, but why. After Gabriel visits a journalist who was know
that cute little red-eyed kitten
I think it's interesting how each book treats one subject important to the world's (or Europe's) Jews and/or modern-day Israel. The last one was about the Swiss banks' role in and after the Holocaust and its plundering of Europe's Jews (along with the Nazis' physical elimination of them), this one about the Vatican and Pope Pius XII. I also liked the general plot of this one, although there are some parts I find a bit hard to believe in. They're details, but still annoying. Like, towards the end ...more
Daniel Silva’s book The Confessor, like most of his books, was an easy enjoyable political suspense story.

The main character Gabriel Allon, an Israeli assasin/spy/art restorer, who for me is always the big attraction. Allon was assigned to investigate the murder of Benjamin Stern in Munich with virtually no clues.

A second story line involves the death of a pope and conspiracy to hide secrets surrounding how the church handled the Holocaust. Crux Vera, a secret church organization, further compl
James Bruno
Daniel Silva is among the top five or six living political thriller writers. Each of his books exhibits polished prose, multidimensional, sympathetic characters, good pacing and meticulous research. "The Confessor" has all of these, though perhaps not as gripping in plot as "The Marching Season" and "The English Assassin."

The premise of the story, that the Vatican was complicit in the Holocaust and that a shady group called Crux Vera acts as a Mafia-like killing machine within the Holy See truly
Daniel Silva still writes a finely-paced thriller, but this one was simultaneously over-the-top and somewhat rote. The main plot thread and the coincidences needed to resolve it strain credulity, while the mechanics of getting from point A to point B - not to mention the villain - have all been done as well or better elsewhere, and sometimes by Silva himself.

Worth reading for fans of the Gabriel Allon series, but not a book that will be remembered in the same breath as the first two novels about
An exciting, intriguing thriller focused on the Vatican and the Shoah. I like Allon as spy thriller hero. The use of art restoration as a metaphor for Allon adds an element not often seen in spy thrillers. The self-reflection about his past and the way it affects him also adds an interesting element. This particular story was well-crafted and exciting with several twists. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I will say the ending (epilogue really) could have been its own book; Silva didn' ...more
I always have problems reviewing this series because the plots are so damn intricate and twisty and awesome.

I really loved this one. It was amazing in every aspect, plot, characterizations, writing, pacing. Everything works together so seamlessly, something that seems to be effortless for Daniel Silva.

Gabriel Allon is such a complex character, I like him more and more with each book. I hope he finds a little true peace and happiness somewhere along the line.

Looking forward to the next one!
The Confessor by Daniel Silva is the third installment in the fictional adventures of the reluctant Israeli agent Gabriel Allon. Working as art restorer Mario Delvecchio, Allon is called one more time into service to investigate the mysterious murder of his friend Benjamin Stern. As the investigation progresses, Allon discovers that Stern has been working on a book, that once published would cause a scandal in the Vatican and do great harm to the Roman Catholic Church.

At the Vatican, the new po
Alex is The Romance Fox
Gabriel Allon is assigned to investigate the murder of his friend and historian in Munich.
He soon discovers that his death may be linked to the Vatican. Back into the dark and shadowy world he knows so well, he unearths a conspiracy involving the church’s collaboration with a secret organization during the Holocaust.
Again, great characterization fast paced plot set in different locations.
Ila Jean
In general (based on 4 books in series I have read), Silva writes espionage thrillers with a pro-Israel slant. Interesting stories. Great locations. Lots of tension. The main human character in this series is Gabriel Allon, master spy and assassin for the Israeli Intelligence Service, who dashes around Europe and the Middle East "like a Jewish James Bond." He often serves reluctantly as he's content to also live a peaceful life as one of the world's best art restorers. Israel is a character in h ...more
Marcia Pottenger
I'm not good at writing reviews, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book so will attempt to articulate why I gave it 4 stars. The details are rich but Silva doesn't get lost in them at the expense of keeping the plot moving at a quick pace. He is a master of suspense. The setting is all over Europe and involves a plot to kill the Pope.
The third of Daniel Silva's long-running series featuring Gabriel Allon, The Confessor focuses on the untold story of the Vatican's failure to speak out against Nazism or to encourage Catholics in Europe to save Jews. I'm a huge fan of Silva's writing, but I'll only mention two features that deserve attention. Throughout these books Silva builds an alliance with the Vatican founded on the common heritage of Catholics and Jews and the need of the Church to redeem itself not only for its failure t ...more
This one was my favorite out of the first three. I loved Chiara and hope she sticks around. It was confusing and understandable all at the same time. I love the intricacies of his plotlines. They scramble my brain and make me think, great things in a book. On to the next.....
Beau Braswell

I have mixed feelings about this book. 3.0 stars seems right because I enjoyed it but was left feeling like I would not have missed much had I not read it. I was not a big fan of how much it focused on the Vatican and Catholicism as a whole. The intricacies of that world felt bland to me. There were some "oh come on" moments where unrealistic things happened that would have certainly been avoided in real life. And finally the end of the book was extremely anti-climactic. A major aspect is resolv
Bruce Mohler
A secret society within the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church and the Italian government is fighting to return the One True Church to its glory and restore its equality along side secular governments. It stops at nothing to protect the Church against the truth. It reminded me of the Crusades when other people claiming to be Christians acted in a very decidedly non-Christian way. Daniel Silva makes it so real that he's compelled to remind the reader at the end that this secret society is no ...more
LA Carlson
Jan 03, 2015 LA Carlson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: spy enthusiasts
Recommended to LA by: fan of the author
Shelves: fiction
The Catholic Church is the background for this 3rd installment of Israeli Operative/Art Restorer Gabriel Allon's latest assignment. It reminded me heavily of the movie version of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code; a book I have not read. Sophisticated, elegant and wisely written Silva unravels the story through his practice of titling chapters in locations. As in most good spy novels there's gun play and chases through historic streets and The Vatican figures prominently in this fictionalized story. ...more
I listened to an abridged version of this book on cd. This is my first Daniel Silva book. I was intrigued when I saw it in the library and remembered seeing Silva interviewed by Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday." It was an intense, exciting story that held my attention, something that doesn't always happen when I listen to books on cd. The characters were believable and the plot was great. The language was a bit strong at one point, but I admit that it fit the character and the moment, even if ...more
I have a friend who adores Daniel Silva's books so when I received one for my birthday I decided to finally give it a shot.

It was interesting, but not mind-blowing. I especialy didn't like the characters. They just... never felt real. It was like we only knew them superficially.

Still, it was a nice read, but one that honestly, if I hadn't needed to finish the book, it would have probably taken me much longer than just a few days to read it. It just wasn't a story that kept calling me.

(Fun fact:
Richard Barnes
This is a cracking read - on one level it's a taught action thriller, with a man on a mission to investigate and take revenge for his friend's assassination; on another level, the conspiracy behind the murder raises real issues around how complicit the Catholic Church was in the holocaust.

Silva skilfully walks a line a between the action and exotic locations of a Bond novel, and the slow, cold grit of a Le Carre spy story. It's serious and believable, but still has car chases and shoot-outs.

I almost put this one down but stuck with it. This is a fiction story about how the Vatican didn't condemn the Holocaust and the Jews back during WWII, (which is true) and how the latest Pope decided to expose their concealed documents through different means. This story involved assassins and all kinds of different people. I get lost when in these other countries, the foreign languages and different names. This wasn't too hard to follow though, I just didn't realize where this was all going for ...more
My first Daniel Silva/Gabriel Allon book and I must say I am absolutely impressed and hooked on Allon series now. I had short listed this series for quite some time and wanted to read this earlier but late is better than never. This one of those novel which is not just a spy suspense thriller but a real knowledge enhancing novel. The research made for the background of this novel is immaculate and portrays a very deep rooted plot which still puzzles me a lot, the holocaust. Like most spy thrille ...more
Gabriel Allon is back and uncovering the Vatican’s dirty secrets. When his friend and fellow Israeli intelligence agent Ben is murdered, Allon is tasked to discover the motive for the killing. Ben was researching a book, but the subject was so clandestine, it takes all of Allon’s investigative skills to determine who would want Ben out of the picture. Allon encounters missing priests, a convent with a shady past, and a secret society within the Vatican that will stop at nothing to keep the curre ...more
(3.5 stars) I'd read a previous Gabriel Allon novel a while back & remember it being a fairly decent read. I could say the same about this one. The story evolves around yet another corruption within the Catholic Church, although also includes the supposed role of this corruption during the Jewish roundup during WWII. It was an interesting take, as I'd not really read anything tying these two together before. I listened to the abridged audio, and most of my criticisms may be attributed to tha ...more
Dec 23, 2012 Ric marked it as to-read

Reading the Gabriel Allon backlist in reverse order, I note that the author, Daniel Silva, improved as he progressed. For clearly this early (#3 in publication sequence) Allon is a developmental piece where Silva is still working on the style that would later enliven such work as The Fallen Angel. In The Confessor, Silva aims high and broad, in the all-encompassing scope and audacity of The Da Vinci Code, and in the wish-fulfilling formulation of the invincible, impervious and unerringly-accurat

This is the third book in the Gabriel Allon Series. Just to give you an idea of the main character.Gabriel Allon restores fine paintings by day but is a secret Israeli agent by night, or whenever, ready, willing and able to do battle with Arab terrorists. In THE CONFESSOR, however, the stalkers of Jewish victims are Catholics operating out of the Vatican in an effort to cover up the evidence of the Church's collaboration with the Nazis in World War II.

The plot is based on the silence of Pius XII
Chad Sayban
I have to admit I broke one of my reading rules with The Confessor. Normally, I read a series in order from the beginning. However, The Confessor is the third installment in Daniel Silva’s long running series starring art restorer and sometime Israeli agent Gabriel Allon. Basically it was the first in the series that I had on the shelf, and after reading it I very quickly went out and ordered the first two…and all the rest that I didn’t already have waiting on the shelves. Yes, it was that good! ...more

By the way he writes, Mr Silva is following the footsteps of acclaimed international top notch thriller writers like (i.e) Federick Forsyth.
The Confessor exhibits a polished prose, good plotting, satisfactory outline of characters, and employment of resources to grab the reader attention

The core of this story is the willingness of the new elected Pope Paul the VII to release secluded key information and documents to prove the Church silence and Vatican-Na
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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 14 books)
  • The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1)
  • The English Assassin (Gabriel Allon, #2)
  • 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)
The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1) The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon, #10) The Defector (Gabriel Allon, #9) The Messenger (Gabriel Allon, #6) Portrait of a Spy (Gabriel Allon, #11)

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“Only a man with a damaged canvas of his own can truly be a great restorer.” 5 likes
“IN THE fifteenth century, a swampy parcel of land in the sestieri of Cannaregio was set aside for the construction of a new brass foundry, known in the Venetian dialect as a geto. The foundry was never built, and a century later, when the rulers of Venice were looking for a suitable spot to confine the city’s swelling population of unwanted Jews, the remote parcel known as Ghetto Nuovo was deemed the ideal place. The campo was large and had no parish church. The surrounding canals formed a natural moat, which cut off the island from the neighboring communities, and the single bridge could be guarded by Christian watchmen. In 1516, the Christians of Ghetto Nuovo were evicted and the Jews of Venice were forced to take their place. They could leave the ghetto only after sunrise, when the bell tolled in the campanile, and only if they wore a yellow tunic and hat. At nightfall they were required to return to the island, and the gates were chained. Only Jewish doctors could leave the ghetto at night. At its height, the population of the ghetto was more than five thousand. Now, it was home to only twenty Jews.” 0 likes
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