Dec 05, 09
Recommended to Michael by:
Heard the author on NPR
Airport Book Store Crowd
Read in September, 2009 — I own a copy, read count: 1
I heard Daniel Silva being interviewed on NPR and listened to the callers fawning over his books. Being a big fan of taut modern thrillers, I added his first Gabriel Allon book, "The Kill Artist" to my "to read" list.
Sometimes books suffer by juxtaposition. "The Kill Artist" was a decent thriller but it didn't measure up to the recent thrillers by Stieg Larsson. Having recently finished "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
" and the "Girl who Played with Fire" I kept thinking how engaged I was while reading them and how indifferent I was about this book. In fact, I took a break in the middle of "The Kill Artist" to read another book.
The writing was serviceable, but bland. The characters were somewhat flat and uninteresting. Again, in comparison, I would take Michael Blomkvist over Garbriel Allon and Lisbeth Salander over Jacqueline Delacroix for complex, fully-realized characters.
One little pet-peeve (and this might be a minor spoiler...): the story involves a recent Palestinian/Israeli peace deal and Yasser Arafat is a main character that makes an appearance toward the end. What baffled me was Silva's decision to use a fictitious U.S. President named James Beckwith. It was so distracting. I could just imagine Sam Waterston entering the room.
After reading the "The Kill Artist," I'm not sure I will continue on with this series, even though I understand the "English Assassin" is pretty good.