Phloe's Reviews > Portrait of a Spy

Portrait of a Spy by Daniel Silva
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Aug 07, 11

bookshelves: killing-people-fun
Read on August 07, 2011

What's not to love in this 400+ page hardcover with yet another crazy yarn about an Israeli assassin who moonlights as an Italian renaissance art restorer. He keeps trying to retire to his cottage in Cornwall with his gorgeous wife (also a retired Israeli agent) who happens to be young enough to be his daughter. But can't! Too many crazy multi-national mishaps...soooo much fun to read while doing laundry.

Like, if you're gonna read some espionage thriller shit, you might as well go for the gold.

Four stars instead of five because of glossing over a major step in the structure of the Gabriel Allon series. With like eleven of these damn books published, the plots are now pretty much like:

1) Gabriel is retired (because the last installment just about did him in)
2) There's some la-dee-da-dee painting to restore
3) Uh oh! Some terrorist cell is getting crazy in some part of the world
4) He sulks out of retirement, Ari has really big hands and Chiara always has riotous hair
5) Recruits someone as an informant, things get tossed into rubbish bins
6) At some point, has what can only be described as a really, really boring sex scene with Chiara in a safehouse
7) Big showdown with bad guys does not go according to plan
8) Informant and/or Gabriel get kidnapped
9) Shoot em up bang em out gunfight ensues - Informant is tortured*, can die, Gabriel always lives
10) One of the bad guys gets away
11)Gabriel haunted for about ten pages
12)Last bad guy gets popped in very satisfying way

*Usually there's a whole lot more descriptive-y torture-y stuff when the informant gets kidnapped. Not so much in this one.

Still, a superfast read and still much better than John Grisham novels.
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