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The Mark of the Assassin

(Michael Osbourne #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  9,656 ratings  ·  469 reviews
When a terrorist bomb blows Flight 002 out of the sky off the East coast, there is only one chilling clue. A body found near the crash site bears the deadly calling card of an elusive, lethal assassin–three bullets to the face. Michael Osbourne of the CIA knows the markings. Personally. Propelled by an obsession that threatens to consume his career, his family, his life, O ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by Penguin Group (USA)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  9,656 ratings  ·  469 reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: action, thriller
This is an excellent book.

The interesting thing here is that when I began the book, the way it opened I "felt" sure that the book would get no more than a 3 star raring from me. BUT more and more I became (again) more involved in the plot. The characters were well formed without being overly detailed. We learn about each of them within the story's body and not in what would be called "dumps".

Of all the characters I found the female sub-protagonist...Michael's wife well, most annoyin
Jim A
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a re-read for me, having first read this book when it was first published in paperback. Actually this was my first experience with Daniel Silva back then, written before he started his very popular Gabriel Allon series. There are a couple of characters in this book that Silva carried forward into the Allon series, Adrian Carter of the CIA and Ari Shamron of Israeli Intelligence (Mossad). Interestingly, Shamron is not a good guy in this novel, although he really only has a cameo.
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a pretty good spy thriller that is based around terrorism before 9/11, but after the fall of the USSR. I found that viewpoint rather refreshing, almost like the early Clancy novels, although the characters didn't pop as well for me. They were good characters. I liked the mix, both good & bad, but they didn't make me want to meet them. I think he did best with the settings. He described them very well, but didn't get flowery. The plot was good & twisty with a really good conspira ...more
Bekki Phillips
Feb 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
If you don't mind cliches then you'll probably enjoy this book. But if scandinavian blondes with vivid blue eyes, cia agents who are as good as good, kgb baddies who are as bad as bad and have psychological problems aren't your thing then seriously don't bother. the plot is predictable. the characters are obvious and without interest and all in all the story is one that has been told a billion times before. Frankly, I was bored.
Karl Marberger
Filled with a lot of satisfying action and political intrigue, but lacking in scope and background. The entire book is surface action with very little of the narrative dedicated to plot and character development. The latter of which was pretty lazy, as the image of every character is limited to a routine, half-paged personality rundown. Too many named characters appearing in only 1-3 pages. It was still a fun read.
Scott Rhee
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: espionage
There was a time, believe it or not, when it was actually shocking to hear stories of corruption and wrongdoing perpetrated by elected officials. Likewise, there was a time when conspiracies involving government officials, multinational corporations, and foreign parties colluding to commit crimes was looked at as simply theories, and unbelievable ones at that.

We are definitely living in weird times.

****A Testimonial****
I remember once reading a book in which terrorists fly a passenger jet i/>****A
Apr 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-crime
The Mark of the Assassin is billed as part of the Gabriel Allon series, and as a prequel, I suppose there’s some truth in that. But Allon makes no appearances here, although familiar characters such as Adrian Carter do have roles. The eponymous assassin is Jean-Paul Delaroche, whose “mark” is his killing style, always three shots to the face. He’s a pretty effective antagonist. As for the protagonist, Michael Osborne, he’s no Gabriel Allon, personality wise. Most of the characters, in fact, good ...more
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Again, my husband recommended this book. He said it was the second in the "Gabriel Allon" series, however it was actually the first of the "Michael Osbourne" series. This confusion made reading the book quite amusing.

I kept waiting for the Gabriel Allon character to be introduced into the story. The only remotely close character, who the author took pains to keep a mystery, was the "bad" guy who helped the terrorists shoot down an American jet. I was outraged that the Israelis would
Benjamin Thomas
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller-spy
I’ve long anticipated dipping my toe into the works of popular author Daniel Silva and now that I’ve made that first effort, I fully anticipate diving all the way in. Silva, of course, is most famous for his long running Gabriel Allon series. However, I happened to have both of his early Michael Osbourne books on my TBR shelves so I chose to start with them. This particular book is actually his second published novel, after the stand-alone The Unlikely Spy.

This novel did its job: it held my
This is one early Silva before he chose to write his famous Gabriel Allon series. You can somehow feel that Silva is still trying the water with his novel about an conspiracy that starts with shooting down of a commercial airliner with a stinger. This has consequences and changes the dynamic in the upcoming presidential elections.

It is a satisfying read in which you find out about the various involved people in this thriller about an unknown assassin who has to clear up the lose threads of the
Gerald Sinstadt
Jan 01, 2010 rated it did not like it
Another reviewer could not put this book down. I could - and did after about a hundred pages. Granted the subject is topical, but the plot is unbelievable and so are the mechanics necessary to make it work. To take but one example, the fact that the wife of the CIA agent happens to be a close friend of the investigative journalist is a coincidence too far.

As for the writing: "... surrounded by the élite of Washington's Republican establishment," a waiter hands Elizabeth "a glass of cold Chardon
Jun 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, audio, spy, fiction
This was Silva's second novel, published in 1998. It and his third novel (published in 1999) had Michael Osbourne as the main character. Then Silva started the Gabriel Allon series and the Osbourne stopped. The 19th Gabriel Allon book is due out in July 2019 - one a year since 2000. While Silva's style is apparent in this book, it is not refined and the book, while decent, is not as good as the Allon series. There are a couple of characters in this book who are in the Allon series. Ari Shamron m ...more
Mr. Gottshalk
I’m rounding down on this one. It’s a compelling story with multiple layers of intrigue, a ruthless assassin, and a CIA agent who has to be coy around his wife, who wants nothing but stability and to start a family. There are passages full of action and suspense, and others I glazed over. This was not a book that I “had” to keep reading. In fact, I digested it over six nights in pretty equal chunks. And yet it’s the kind of book that could easily be turned into a Hollywood movie that would net $ ...more
Kenny Bellew
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm going to give this series a shot. I liked book one, though I hate having to start with a story that has floppy discs in it (everything is so dated), but it really didn't affect the story much. This book is a spy thriller. Not bad. I listened to the audio book in a day. I'll probably read the next one
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is more 4.5/5 Stars. I really wanted this to be as good as the Gabriel Allon series, but it wasn’t. Maybe because the CIA doesn’t let its operatives go full archangel on someone like Israel does. Or maybe Michael just doesn’t have that beautiful personality and unrelenting drive to avenge his people like Gabriel does. Either way, it was a good book and I recommend it.
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
I enjoyed this book, great story and an awesome narration by Christopher Lane.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book starts off slow while all characters are established...then it becomes a real page turner. I thoroughly enjoyed it and stayed in my pajamas way too long! There will obviously be a sequel.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an excellent book with a great plot and well developed characters. Once again, Daniel Silva has created a character, Michael Osborne of the CIA, who is believable and engaging. An airline crash and the unique trademark of an assassin keep this story moving quickly from start to finish. This particular mark is especially meaningful to Michael. His previous girlfriend had been killed by this same assassin. This is a page-turner, and I highly recommend it.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
At first read, especially the first few chapters are quite boring. Seriously...only strong willpower could make me continue reading this book. At first, all the events and characters don't match each other. It's like reading different parts from a book and you can't connect the dots.
But in the middle part of the story, things started to get clearer and all the events started to connect with each other (here we go).
The story line is quite nicely build with the ascend near the end of t
Mike Tueros
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Having read the Gabriel Allon series, I've long been a fan of Daniel Silva's writing, however had not gone back to read his earliest works, including this book featuring CIA operative Michael Osbourne. The story revolves around the terrorist bombing of a flight departing from JFK and an assassination bearing the trademark "3 shots to the face" that Osbourne recognizes from a previous murder. Osbourne has been tracking him on the side for years, and knows the trail is hot after the latest killing ...more
Judith Kaufman
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Karen Paquette
Recommended to Judith by: Lori Kaufman
Excellent! Daniel Silva really keeps you reading!
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy
It was ok got a bit long at the end.
That was quite fun. I don't read a lot of thrillers though so not much can end up being typical, although some bits of plot were somewhat predictable.
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Too world wide conspiracy for my tastes. Engaging, well full-circle connected characters, but a bit ridicolous from time to time.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
#1 in the Michael Osbourne series. This 1998 series entry by author Daniel Silva is a sterling series debut. Somehow I've read the first 19 books of the better known Gabriel Allon series before starting this one and as I read this book some forerunners of the Allon series were clear. For example, Delaroche's holing up in a seaside hut on Finisterre and painting, foreshadows Gabriel's painting sabbaticals in a Cornwall seaside hut. It wasn't followed up on, but I was surprised to see Allon's ment ...more
Gail Smith
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Although my TBR stack is out of control, I felt the need for a Daniel Silva fix recently, and knew that the next Gabriel Allon book would not be released until July. Silva wrote 3 books before he began the series with the famous art restorer/Israeli spy chief. I decided to give them a try, and I’m glad that I did. The first book was a free-standing mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed (The Unlikely Spy).
In his second book, Silva highlights an intelligence officer, Michael Osbourne. Some famil
Michael Johnston
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Before his Gabriel Allon series, Daniel Silva experimented with other main characters in his early best selling books. Here it is Michael Osborne a former CIA field operative brought back to headquarters to fill a desk tracking Middle Eastern terrorist groups. As inevitably happens in thrillers like this, Osborne is drawn back into field action when he is targeted by one of the world's greatest assassins - a former KGB killer now operating freelance - who murdered his first true love.

The book h
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is my second Silva novel to read. I read the The Kill Artist previously upon the recommendation of friends and was disappointed, expecting Ludlum-level writing. However, with this first book in the Michael Osbourne series, I found the characters to be much more engaging and their behavior more consistent than with the first Silva book.

A New York passenger flight never reaches its London destination because of a supposed terrorist missile strike. When the terrorist's body is recovered with
Rhonda Sue
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ari Shamron, Adrian Carter, Graham Seymour-what do they all have in common? Well, they show up in the Allon series several years later. This is Dan Silva's first thriller and it was interesting to see how he develops his characters and how they move on to the next series. Having read all of the Allon books, I figured I'd go back and read Silva's earlier novels.

This one does not disappoint and for me I paid close attention to the development of his characters. We've got our CIA fellow Michael Os
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another fast-moving novel by Daniel Silva introducing a new character, CIA agent Michael Osbourne who is married to Elizabeth, a lawyer. A flight out of NYC is shot down by a missile killing 250 people; the tragedy was attributed to the work of a Middle East group "The Sword of Gaza"....but Osborne begins to think differently.
There is a very secretive group called The Society made up of 8 very powerful men....a member of MI6 known as The Director, a leader of Mossad (actually Ari Shamron w
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Mark of the Assasin 1 20 Jan 14, 2010 09:03AM  

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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

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“She believed that “British cuisine” was an oxymoron,” 1 likes
“had not slept. Her gaze was somewhere else. Three half-smoked cigarettes lay in the ashtray on her nightstand. A pile of briefs was strewn across his side of the bed. He could tell she was angry, and she had dealt with it the way she always did—throwing herself into her work. Michael undressed silently. “What time is it?” she asked, without looking at him. “Late.” “Why didn’t you call? Why didn’t you tell me you were going to be so late tonight?” “There were developments in the case. I thought you’d be asleep.” “I don’t care if you wake me up, Michael. I needed to hear your voice.” “I’m sorry, Elizabeth. The place was crashing. I couldn’t get away.” “Why didn’t you come to the appointment?” Michael was unbuttoning his shirt. He stopped and turned to look at her. Her face was red, her eyes damp. “Elizabeth, I’m the officer assigned to the terrorist group that may have shot down that jetliner. I can’t walk out in the middle of the day and come to Washington for a doctor’s appointment.” “Why not?” “Because I can’t, that’s why. The President of the United States is making decisions based on what we tell him, and in a situation like this it’s impossible for me to leave the office, even for a couple of hours.” “Michael, I have a job too. It may not be as important as working for the CIA, but it is damned important to me. I’m juggling three cases right now, I’ve got Braxton breathing down my neck, and I’m trying desperately to have a—” Her composure cracked, just for an instant. “I’m sorry, Elizabeth. I wanted to come, but I couldn’t. Not on a day like today. I felt horrible about missing the appointment. What did the doctor say?” She opened her mouth to speak, but no sound came out. Michael crossed the room, sat down beside her on” 0 likes
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