Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Portrait Of A Spy (Gabriel Allon, #11)” as Want to Read:
Portrait Of A Spy (Gabriel Allon, #11)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Portrait Of A Spy

(Gabriel Allon #11)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  22,575 ratings  ·  1,125 reviews
“A bona fide thrill ride.”
Miami Herald
“Silva builds tension with breathtaking double and triple turns of plot.”
Portrait of a Spy is Silva’s eleventh thriller to feature art restorer and master spy Gabriel Allon as he races from Great Britain to Washington to New York to the Middle East on the trail of a deadly and elusive terrorist network responsible for massacr
Kindle Edition, 528 pages
Published (first published July 19th 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Portrait Of A Spy, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Manu I don't think this century will see the end of terrorism because it has taken shape of religious extremism. Religion is giving pseudo solutions for…moreI don't think this century will see the end of terrorism because it has taken shape of religious extremism. Religion is giving pseudo solutions for problems like hunger, poverty and discrimination and people are exploiting these things for their own purposes; political and capitalist. There are nations which are power mongers and hungry for power and control. It's their greed of the past and present which is taking shape of terrorism.(less)
Tamro I think a 16 y/o boy is better off reading graphic sex than the graphic violence and hate that are in the Gabriel Allon books.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  22,575 ratings  ·  1,125 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, thriller
This is another spy novel in the Gabriel Allon series. It is excellent, like all the others in the series. My only complaint is that it is starting to feel a little repetitious. Here again, Allon sends a willing female into the lion's den of a known terrorist. The purpose is to make an identification of the terrorist mastermind, in order to ensure that the correct person is assassinated. Here, the terrorist uses some of the same confusion-causing tactics as in at least one of the other books.

Jay Connor
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Silva again justifies my claim that he is today's best writer of international intrigue. He is to our world of jihad what Ludlum and Le Carre were to the cold war -- unrivaled. Not only does he write "ahead of the headlines" but imbues this struggle with courage and character in the face of unspeakable evil. Unlike Clancy and Flynn, Daniel Silva writes of a world which is more complex and nuanced than a testosterone tempest.

His lead is Gabriel Allon, an art restorer and at-large agent of Israeli
Is it my imagination or have I read this book before. Actually, I have not, but the plot is nothing to write home about. Its not that I am tired of Silva's ability to write because he still remains a great read, but the plots are a tad tired, and the characters are looking a little frayed around the edges.

I liked the book, but its too similar. Formulaic in the extreme.

Silva may be a master of espionage, but his stories are depressingly the same.
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers, ebooks, fiction
This is the 11th Gabriel Allon novel from Silva, and it is very good. At the same time, when you've done ten previous titles in a series, then it's easy for things to start to seem repetitive and derivative of previous outings, and that's once again the problem here. The last time around, the problem was surmounted by a particularly good plot line, but this one takes a bit of a step back on the plot front, making the more formulaic aspects of things more noticeable. Perhaps some of it is because ...more
Dana Moison
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this current book in the Gabriel Allon series while vacating in the beautiful beaches of Santorini on my mini-honeymoon. Soon enough, I was taken away from the clear water and the mesmerizing view and thrown into the mayhem of suicide bombings executed by a new terror organization in the middle east.

If you read my former reviews about Silva’s books, you know I have a soft spot for Gabriel Allon. Silva’s writing is always gradual, thorough, and intriguing. The immortal character
Kenneth P.
Not exactly a page-turner. There is action in the beginning and end. In between you have endless dialogue, interior monologue, chapters that plod along until you're ready to scream. Characters are paper-thin. I mean that literally since they are little more than names on a page.

It's clear from the outset that American intelligence agencies are inept and naive. Thankfully the Israelis come to the rescue and take over a huge CIA anti-terrorist effort. Hero Gabriel Allon, an Israeli agent, gets a
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Yesssssss! Another Gabriel Allon book.
I wonder how Silva will top himself this time. The last two were the best in the series. Untoppable?
kartik narayanan
I am resuming reading Gabriel Allon after a break where I was reading only indie authors for a month. What a relief to come back to something familiar and well written. The story is similar to its predecessors and the beats are the same. But, the book is so much fun that you never get bored.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have enjoyed all of the Gabriel Allon books but this is one of my favorites. I like that the main character uses the restoration of famous art to atone for the things that he has to do for his country. The events in Daniel Silva's books are very relevant to current affairs which makes his books very believable.

BTW - I have read the series out of order and I still enjoyed it.
Lewis Weinstein
Another good Silva thriller. So far, he seems able to keep adding new wrinkles to his set of characters and issues. Silva has a unique way of building tension even when you suspect what is about to happen. This one had some plot surprises. Silva's descriptions of places and great art is also as excellent as always.
*Rating* 4
*Genre* Thriller


Gabriel Allon is known around the world as the angel of vengeance, and an international operative who has worked for the Israeli Intelligence machine called the Office, since 1972. He is a man who will stop at nothing to see justice done even if it puts his own life at risk.

After the events that occurred during The Rembrandt Affair, Allon has finally decided to retire from the Office. He is living the quiet life in Cornwall, England as an art restorer along wit
Another reliable entry in the multi book story of Gabriel Allon, spy and assassin, originally recruited by the Israeli agency known as "the Office" to help with retaliation after the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. He was recruited out of art school and this is a field to which he returns after each assignment, having developed skills as an art restorer over many years.

As this new episode begins, Gabriel has left that spy's life behind and once again retired to Cornwall to paint
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it
The perfect companion for a quick cross-country 32-hour round trip (with, of course, some work, a nice dinner, and a little sleep squeezed in too).... I continue to find that Silva's Gabriel Allon series meets my needs - convenient, voluminous serial fiction that keeps me interested and entertained without over-taxing my concentration - when I travel.

As for this installment, a few random observations: I enjoyed the title - I admit I didn't see it coming, and that, as a result, I found it somewh
Shawn Davis
Gabriel Allon, Mossad Officer extraordinaire, has decided to retire from the espionage business. He and his wife, Chiara, nestle into a faintly reclusive life in a small British community. Allon, however, cannot get away from his past. No matter how many paintings he restores, restoring normalcy in his own life escapes him and he finds himself again at the center of terrorism's storm.

I love Silva's novels. They were my introduction into the thriller genre, and I look forward to them so eagerly t
J.F. Penn
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
I am a Gabriel Allon fan and love to read these books. As ever, Silva doesn't disappoint as the book opens to bombings across Europe with the threat of violence moving towards the US. A new wave of terrorists has emerged and Israeli assassin/ art restorer Gabriel Allon must step in with his team to find the people responsible. Recruiting billionaire business woman Nadia al-Bakari means Gabriel must confront his past and try to protect Nadia from discovery.
I particularly enjoyed the detailed expo
Nancy Brisson
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Europe is in an economic recession and it is flooded with refugees who cannot speak the language of their new nations and who have difficulty finding work that will pay enough to support their families, or even a single person. In this post 9/11 world refugees inhabit areas around Europe’s cities and some mosques are centers of religious radicalism where young men are recruited to terrorize the West. Portrait of a Spy (Gabriel Allon Series, Book 11) by Daniel Silva deals with an environment we r ...more
Eric Wright
One of the most interesting and informative spy stories I have read in a long time. The main character, Gabriel Allon is unique: an art restorer extraordinaire and a retired international operative from Israel's spy agency. Gabriel and his wife Chiara are in London as an outing from their isolated cottage in Cornwall where he has retired. Suddenly he spies a man whom he is sure is a suicide bomber. What to do? Kill him? But what if he is mistaken?

He follows the bomber into a crowded place in Lon
Caroline Bock
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read through this in one day -- a mini vacation! Another captivating, intelligent thriller by Daniel Silva. What I love about his work is that it feels so current, so real and provocative about extremism and the men and women who fight it. (I don't want to give away any spoilers, but Saudi Arabia is prominent in this novel). His main character, Gabriel Allon, remains emotionally deep and thoughtful (almost too much, but then he's sharing exposition with us in the least cumbersome way possible) ...more
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was listening to this one, but by the end I had to get the book and finish!! I don't drive very much and just couldn't wait for the ending!! These books are just terrific, but scary too in the real world sense. I hope the Israeli's really do a lot of the things that happen in these books! I am now about to start "Fallen Angel" Fortunately my library has all the audio books, but I will read the most recent when I get there, as my brother got me a signed copy when Silva was in Houston. I came to S ...more
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy, daniel-siva
Another fast paced, "don't want to put down" Silva thriller! I honestly thought about giving this book a 4 star rating instead of a 5 star because, at this point, all of the Gabriel Allon books are a bit similar. Then I realized why should I penalize Silva for that? His well developed characters, Allon, Isherwood, Shamron..., are wildly entertaining. The action is nonstop. The story flows while incorporating fact into it. If Silva changed the formula, I'm sure we'd all be disappointed. Recommend ...more
Elwood D Pennypacker
I read Silva's first book, The Unlikely Spy, when it was released when I was a teenager and I thought it excellent.

This is not excellent.

Pop trash Clancy/Fleming-light. But with a hawkish tint to the War on Terror that could read as if Silva has it in for Obama as a soft pacifist who would let all the baddies get away if not for the badasses of Israel. So history is proving him wrong right through today (read the news).

Maria Carmo
Once more I was delighted by a book which has everything to please the reader: fast moving action, strong and compelling characters, the virtues of loyalty and friendship...

It had been some time without reading a Gabriel Allon adventure, and meeting him, Chiara, Shamron and all others in this new book felt like a family reunion... in fact, I missed those characters and their solid friendship and respect of each other!

Maria Carmo,

Lisbon 15 December 2016.
Dick Reynolds
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gabriel Allon is having a nice weekend vacation in London with his wife, Chiara, when he finds himself in Covent Garden with a terrorist massacre in progress. He’s armed and possibly has a shot at the assassin but withholds his fire because he might kill an innocent bystander by mistake. Allon is summoned to Washington for a meeting with Adrian Carter of the CIA. Carter wants him to avenge this crime by locating the supposed mastermind of the massacre, one Rashid al-Husseini, and make it the la ...more
Legendary and sometimes retired Israeli Intelligence officer Gabriel Allon lives a quiet life in Cornwall. The residents of Gunwalloe Cove don’t quite know what to make of the mysterious art restorer “Giovanni Rossi” and his wife Chiara.
Suicide bombings in Paris and Copenhagen leave everyone in a state of shock. Soon after, a trip to London takes an unexpected turn for Gabriel when he spots a third bomber, but ultimately fails to stop him. It isn’t long before Adrian Carter the Director of the C
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Portrait of a Spy centers on international espionage and intrigue as former Israeli spy/ assassin Gabriel Allon is once again working with the United States and London's MI5 following strategically and symbolically timed bombs in Paris, Copenhagen and London pointing to the involvement of al-Qaeda with correlation to the times of the September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. This was great book full of many twists and turns as the narrative goes from London to Washington ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This time Legendary spy and assassin, Gabriel Allon is summoned to Washington to infiltrate terrorist network who financed and orchestrated suicides bombing across Europe. They recruit Nadia al Bakari, daughter of Zizi al Bakari to infiltrate the network. I forced myself to finish it as the plot was so similar and formulaic. I hope the next book would be different than others.
Gail Cooke
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

With literally hundreds of audiobook narrations to his credit and enough awards to fill many mantels, Simon Vance is an acclaimed voice performer. Formerly a newsman for the BBC, his voice is rich, resonant, strong, wonderfully suited to bring Silva’s affecting protagonist to life. Portrait Of A Spy is pure listening pleasure.

We’ve read that Gabriel Allon has been hailed as the most compelling creation since “Ian Fleming put down his martini and invented James Bond.” So true - a premier art r
Lance Charnes
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of John LeCarre and intelligent spy fiction
In many ways, Daniel Silva has taken up the mantle of John LeCarre in the "realistic espionage" genre. He's often praised by intel professionals for "getting it right", both in his depiction of tradecraft and his emphasis on the primacy of analysis and information. Though marketed as thrillers, his novels are dominated by scenes of two to four people sitting in a room or car, talking; what action there is comes in short, highly contained bursts and occupies a tiny fraction of each book's pages.

Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spy and Silva fans
The eleventh in the Gabriel Allon series is good but not great. I was still entranced with the story and the characters, many of whom have appeared in previous Silva novels. It is pretty much a "spy procedural" and as such loses some of the inventiveness of previous books in the series.

In this volume, Allon has left the Israeli intelligence service and is restoring paintings in a small cottage in the Cornwall area of England. He and his wife, Chiara, are spending a relaxing weekend in London whe
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Print Bad 4 48 Feb 19, 2014 04:42PM  
The Portrait of a Spy Series 5 52 Dec 23, 2011 02:52PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Secret Soldier  (John Wells, #5)
  • Warlord (Alexander Hawke, #6)
  • The Nearest Exit (The Tourist, #2)
  • Pursuit of Honor (Mitch Rapp, #12)
  • Foreign Influence (Scot Harvath, #9)
  • Once a Spy (Spy #1)
  • The Assassin (Ryan Kealey, #2)
  • Rules of Betrayal (Jonathan Ransom, #3)
  • The Hunted
  • Silent Enemy (Michael Parson & Sophia Gold #2)
See similar books…
Daniel Silva was born in Michigan in 1960 and raised in California where he received his BA from Fresno State. 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 polic ...more

Other books in the series

Gabriel Allon (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1)
  • The English Assassin (Gabriel Allon, #2)
  • The Confessor (Gabriel Allon, #3)
  • 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)
“But that’s the beauty of American cable news, darling. It doesn’t have to be credible. It just has to be entertaining.” 5 likes
“Do unto others before they have a chance to do unto you.” 1 likes
More quotes…