Daniel Silva is an experienced best-selling author. He deserves his place on the NY Times list. His latest novel is a fascinating blend of lust, international espionage, art theft and sale, and murder. It is well-written, well-paced and almost insidiously compelling. It’s also long.
Silva has peopled his thriller with a remarkable cast of characters, including a towering Swiss philanthropist, a raffish cast of thieves and murderers who are on the side of the angels, a master logician who is also a stone killer, an art restorer of great skill and several others of questionable yet important morals. Over all hangs the image of one of the greatest of European artists, Dutch painter Rembrandt von Rijin. He lived and prospered during the golden era of Dutch painting and died in 1669. His paintings are worth millions.
When a small portrait of a young woman mysteriously appears in the art world, knowing viewers immediately recognize it as the work of the great Dutch Master. But knowing and proving are quite different things. In the art world, provenance is everything. Where has this painting been for perhaps hundreds of years?
Answering that all-important question brings together a London art dealer and master restorer and art expert, and master spy, Gabriel Allon. That connection sets off a wild chase though high and low social levels of Britain and Europe in a taut novel fraught with unexpected turns, unusual characters and sometimes off-the-wall events.
It all adds up to a dandy novel that will satisfy the most discriminating thriller readers.