Arjun's Reviews > The Rembrandt Affair

The Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva
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I've read every single Gabriel Allon book and The Rembrandt Affair (or as I call it "Gabriel Runs an Errand") is no exception. I read the entire book in the store and I'm now elated I didn't bother buying it. The plot moves along steadily enough and like most Allon books, this one WILL have you turning pages to the end. However, this book felt WAYh more formulaic than the previous ones and I feel that Silva has lost interest in these characters and just popping them out for profit.

Here is the formula for the last 5 books:

1) Gabriel is in hiding after the horrors of his last novel (this time because his wife and him were almost murdered by a Russian psychopath)

2) Something happens in the real world that relates to Gabriel in the most subtle of ways

3) Gabriel doesn't want to go back... but is helped by Shamron.

4) The team (Rimona, Dina, Mikhail, etc) gets together, surveils, and goes in for the kill but OMG they're captured.

5) They barely get out thanks to some last minute heroics by Israel's finest.

*) Uzi Navot complaining that Gabriel is one of the cool kids but he aint. (Insert anywhere)

Don't get me wrong, this is a great formula and has kept me up late on many nights. But this time, I could care less about steps 4 and 5 because the danger felt so contrived.

One of the guilty pleasures of these books is that Villains always get their comeuppance via Gabrielle's skill with a handgun in the last chapters of the book. However, this time the villain is forced to become an intelligence asset.

Daniel Silva has chops as a writer of page-turners but this was seriously wanting. The "Man-behind-the-Man" trope was done with Iran's nuclear program instead of the traditional Nazi or Palestinian. I sincerely hope that Silva can recapture the original magic of the Israeli spy/art restorer, but I wont hold my breath.
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