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The Defector (Gabriel Allon #9)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  22,914 Ratings  ·  810 Reviews
Six months after the dramatic conclusion of Moscow Rules, Gabriel has returned to the tan hills of Umbria to resume his honeymoon with his new wife, Chiara, and restore a seventeenth-century altarpiece for the Vatican. But his idyllic world is once again thrown into turmoil with shocking news from London. The defector and former Russian intelligence officer Grigori Bulgano ...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published July 21st 2009 by Brilliance Audio
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Jul 24, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Silva is very good writer, and Gabriel Allon is a captivating character with a complex mind. However, the author seems to have run out of ideas because Gabriel is doing the exact same things that he's done time and time again. There is very little originality in The Defector. The plot has a boiler-plate predictability that should make the author blush. Unless Silva can create a new arena for his enigmatic protagonist (or at least develop a major departure in the storyline) I think it's ti ...more
Dana Moison
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

As much as I LOVE thrillers, I was never really into espionage novels. Once I read on the back-cover words such as “Russian intelligence” or “Terrorism”, I’d lose interest.
And then I stumbled upon “The Kill Artist” by Daniel Silva.
It wasn’t love at first sight, but it was love alright. My aunt from NY came for a visit and told me I should read this book, so I said to myself, what the heck, and gave it a chance.
By the end of the book, I’ve already fallen in love with Gabriel Allon, the Israeli s
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I generally reserve my highest ratings for more literary works, but I had to give this the full five stars to set it apart from other popular suspense/thriller books. This is the best one yet in the Gabriel Allon series. Exciting, fast-paced international action. Silva has really outdone himself with this one. If this turned out to be the last one ever in the series, I would be content.
The amount of research done and the descriptions of the places really make this story shine.

I strongly recomm
Aug 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Clancy fans
Shelves: 52-in-2009
The Defector by Daniel Silva (pp. 480)
The latest installment of Daniel Silva’s thriller series starring Gabriel Allon, a conflicted Isreali spy is a near sequel to last year’s Moscow Rules. After finding a somewhat normal life with his new wife, Allon gets thrown back into the mix when the man he rescued in the previous book is kidnapped by a Russian arms dealer.

After nine books using the same main character, Silva shows that he IS master of the genre. When other series are ready to kill off th
Jan 28, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There is no any sophistication of real spy novel in this particular book and in "Moscow Rules". Before these two, I read "The Secret Servant" and what still OK with it for long flights but starting from "Moscow Rules"... Probably 99 of 100 reviewers who put 4 or 5 stars on this page have never seen Moscow apart from the TV screen. I'm sure from reading your reviews that same percentage never dared to dig deeper to understand what really happens in Russia beyond what they've been fed by CNN and l ...more
Jul 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First off, this is five stars based on it being part of a series, and based on the fact I just finished it and am still feeling the adrenaline. If you haven't read the others it won't make sense, but if you have read this one NOW!

Holy crap I can't even catch my breath. I love Gabriel, but I never knew what he was capable of, or that I would question whether he was doing the right thing. Vengeance is clearly neither black or white.

I basically see this as part two of Moscow Rules and while that w
Ivana Books Are Magic
I can't believe this novel has had so many five star reviews on goodreads. I find it worrying to be frank. If Daniel Silva is a good writer, please tell me what is a bad writer? Because to me this is a wonderful example of bad and sloppy writing. I mean as a trivial literature it might just do- if only it wasn't so hopelessly overdone. If only it wasn’t so filled with racial hate. If only it didn’t feature such a stereotypical protagonist. If only it wasn’t a thriller completely devoid of suspen ...more
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: friends and family
Recommended to Sheila by: myself
Personally I feel Daniel Silva is great writer. I have given 5 stars as story was a page turner and full of suspense till the very end was not sure if he was going to kill Ivan. I have read few books and Gabriel Allon is my ideal captivating character with a complex mind. The author seems to have run out of ideas as Gabriel is doing the exact same things that he's done every time in the series I have read so far. At this point I have still not decided if the author should change anything in resp ...more
Jul 28, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook on the Indiana road trip. It's a decent story if you've read the others in the series. Otherwise, too much back story and not enough new plot.

These days, Gabriel Allon spends more time reminiscing about his past adventures than jumping into new ones.
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Repetitive and lacks a cohesive story.

1. The abduction of the female Israeli secret service agent, resulting from an uncharacteristic lapse in Israeli security, wouldn't have happened even in fiction the way it did. A poorly executed plot feature, though essential for the bigger storyline. It simply wasn't a very creative plot feature.

2. The long drawn-out (and so pitifully predicable) conversation at the remote Russian dacha with the bad guy, Ivan, who uncharacteristically allows the "literary
Nov 16, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Isn't it astonishing how you don't know variation in a genre is possible until you discover that variation? For example, until I read this book I hadn't ever considered the possibility of writing a thriller with an infallible hero. And lo, here Silva has done it. Well, well, well.

Do you know why I hadn't ever considered a perfect hero? Because it makes for a CRAP story. This novel is about 30% awed praise for the almighty and magnificent Israeli special agents and their special agency and the un
Jan 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
Gabriel Allon is one of the thriller genre’s most charismatic characters. He’s something of an oxymoron: the soft hearted, intellectual, humanist, cold blooded assassin. Author Silva has also surrounded Allon with other appealing characters, and the political backgrounds are always compelling. This is what keeps me reading the series. As many other reviewers have noted, Silva’s plots have grown predictable. The Defector is the sequel to Moscow Rules, but, except for the change in the identity of ...more
Oct 07, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read every Daniel Silva book that comes out. It is a little like TV for me. However, even given that I don't read Silva for its breathtaking prose this was a disappointment. This book, relative to many of his others, was quite weak. I am not sure how much longer he can keep up the Gabriel Allon books. With that said, I'll buy his next book on the first day it's out and read it quickly. I just hope it's better next time.
Michelle Wilson
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why do we love an assassin? Because Daniel Silva makes him lovable. In this particular story Gabriel goes to great length to find the ' bad' guy. He finds him after a very exciting trip and does kill him. Silva denies many incidents he puts in the book as fiction. Very well, very reassuring fiction...the Brits, the Americans and the Israelis all cooperating to keep the word safe. I like it.
Brilliant, Fast-paced. Couldn't put it down. 5 stars!
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Silva fans, fans of spy fiction
Shelves: spy-novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gautam Patel
Excellent thriller in the Gabriel Allon series. These are not the kind of books you read back-to-back. For one thing, they're pretty intense, and very violent. They can also be, as someone else remarked, somewhat repetitive because they run to a defined pattern. Read at wide intervals, that familiarity of terrain is precisely what makes them welcome: you know roughly what you're going to get; you just don't know when or how.

Silva's writing is tight, lucid and clear. There's hardly a surplus wor
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I've never been a fan of the spy genre. Sure, as a child I've watched the collection of Bond movies (my father use to rent them), but honestly I never got the people's fascination with spies. I guess spying reminds me too much on politics.

That being said, I actually enjoyed this book more then I expected. The story is not completely predictable. There is a patter but there is no need to say that, it is to be expected in this genre. Gabriel is a bit like James Bond (fortunately not to much), wome
Mar 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Silva is one of my favorite authors and I have read everything by him. In this book he continues his series about a paintings conservator who happens to also be an assassin/agent for the Israeli government. Always action packed with twists at every turn this book was done in typical Silva style. The only downfall I could point out would be the predictable pattern that the majority of his latest books have developed. Allon goes back to work, the situation is desperate, they form a brillian ...more
Jan 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really conflicted on this book, because I thoroughly enjoyed it, but a couple of points made me drop it from a 4 to a 3:

1) The romanticising of Israel's security organisation. I realise fiction is not politics, but this was close to the bone enough for me to come across as fictionalised propaganda.

2) The good guys/bad guys divide - I'm by no means a Russophile, but the sinister portrayal of all things Russian is ridiculously akin to a pot/kettle situation.

3) The wife's "Kill them all" bit
Sep 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is, I believe, the 9th book in a series with protagonist Gabriel Allon, who is a Jewish assasin/operative of the Israeli version of the CIA who repairs paintings for the Vatican when he's not on assignment to kill someone. Really, who could make up a character like that but it totally works! These books need to be read in order as Allon's co-workers and family are an important part of each story. You certainly need to read Moscow Rules first as the books have the same main villan, Ivan Khar ...more
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gabriel continues to grow as a spy and a person. This picks up from Moscow Rules when Grigori is kidnapped from London. The action never slows.

The team is back in place, including Sarah, Graham, and Adrian. The book takes a twist I didn't see coming. I'm glad Gabriel got to visit with Elena. She and the children were an integral part of the story.

I don't want to spoil anything, but the timing couldn't be cut any closer in Russia.

The end of the story at Ari's place had me blinking away tears (
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never read any of the Daniel Silva books until I landed onto The Defector and I don't even remember how, but after reading it I'm in complete awe with the way he has managed the whole story. Woven so beautifully, even little things which are lying somewhere in the background appears to be of great importance and believe you me indeed they are.
I was really intrigued the way Daniel Silva has crafted the character of Gabriel Allon, and not to forget the introduction of 'Ivan Kharkov'. However, b
Clark Zlotchew
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: espionage/thriller lovers
Recommended to Clark by: ever since I read the first Silva book (I don't remember why I read it) I try to read as many of his books as possible.
The Defector This, like all Silva's novels I've read, this espionage/thriller grabs you by the literary lapels and doesn't let go for an instant. It pulls you through page after thrilling page of intrigue and violent action and finally releases you, panting from your long but swift journey, on page 497. This novel is part of the popular Gabriel Alon series. It takes place in Russia, London and Switzerland. Warning: Do not start to read this at bedtime; you won't want to put it down in time to g ...more
Aug 27, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps if I had started this series from the beginning, I would have been more interested in this. There were numerous references to past books and had I read them it might have made a difference. But I didn't. And, as such, it was boring. Very boring. Just your typical spy thriller. Had I been more invested in the characters it would probably have made a difference. I'm sure (I hope) the author established the characters well in the first few books and then stopped bothering. This is what I ge ...more
Shannon Brennan
This was the first Gabriel Allon book I have read and probably the last. It wasn't a bad story, but it wasn't the greatest either. The plot was lacking and very predictable. I had trouble keeping some of the Russian characters names straight. I am very surprised that it made the NY Times Best Sellers list.
Sep 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, thriller
I wish I had read this right after Moscow took awhile to remember the characters. This was well written and cleverly exciting. I guess a good measure of a book is whether there is regret when the book is finished. By that measure, it was a very good book.
Nov 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished the latest in the Gabriel Allon series. It read like an action movie - fast and with plenty of hits, though not explosions. I know that Silva has gotten formulaic, but this was a very good example of the formula.
Maria Carmo
Another excellent adventure full of unexpected turns of the plot and much loyalty, self sacrifice and inspiration! Gabriel Allon at his best... with all of his team.

Maria carmo,

Lisbon, 7 October 2016.
Michael L. Sternad
Complex enough to keep you guessing

Gabriel and the rest of the team are back with a multi-pronged chase. Good action, good writing. Beginng to wonder where the characters will go though.
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Espionage Aficion...: Good Spy Series To Read 4 52 Feb 01, 2011 07:55AM  
  • The Ghost War (John Wells, #2)
  • Pursuit of Honor (Mitch Rapp, #12)
  • Warlord (Alexander Hawke, #6)
  • Foreign Influence (Scot Harvath, #9)
  • Rules of Vengeance (Jonathan Ransom, #2)
  • Guardian of Lies (Paul Madriani, #10)
  • Coup d'Etat (Dewey Andreas, #2)
  • The Kingmaker (Sean Drummond, #3)
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
More about Daniel Silva...

Other Books in the Series

Gabriel Allon (1 - 10 of 18 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 Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon, #10)
  • Portrait of a Spy (Gabriel Allon, #11)

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“If there was indeed a recording of the conversation that followed, it did not exist for long. Carter would never speak of it, except to say that it was among the most difficult of his long career. The only other witness was Ed Fielding. The security man could not hear Carter's words, but he could see the terrible toll they were taking. He saw a hand gripping the telephone with such force that the knuckles were white. And he saw the eyes. The unusually bright green eyes now burning with a terrifying rage. As Fielding slipped quietly from the room, he realized he had never seen such rage before. He did not know what his friend Adrian Carter was saying to the legendary Israeli assassin. But he was certain of one thing. Blood was going to flow. And men were going to die.” 2 likes
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