Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Kill Artist

(Gabriel Allon #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  49,636 ratings  ·  2,007 reviews
Gabriel Allon had a simple but brutal job: he tracked down and eliminated Israel's terrorist enemies. But when his wife and son fell victim to the danger that accompanied him everywhere, Gabriel quit and devoted himself to the work of art restoration, an occupation that had previously been a cover for his secret assignments. Now Ari Shamron, the head of Israeli intelligenc ...more
Paperback, 501 pages
Published April 6th 2004 by Signet (first published December 19th 2000)
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 The Kill Artist, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Robin McDowell I've read them all, including the first three, which were not Gabriel Allon stories. The Unlikely Spy was set in WWII, and I thoroughly enjoyed the…moreI've read them all, including the first three, which were not Gabriel Allon stories. The Unlikely Spy was set in WWII, and I thoroughly enjoyed the story and loved the character! The Mark of the Assassin and The Marching Season introduced Michael Osbourne, an American agent who later appears as a recurring character in several of the Allon stories. I am amazed at the depth of Silva's understanding of the world of diplomacy, secrecy, and espionage! I can't put his novels down!(less)
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythThe Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
Best Spy Novels
1,037 books — 1,896 voters
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
863 books — 1,092 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  49,636 ratings  ·  2,007 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read the 'Rembrandt Affair' a year ago and really enjoyed Gabriel Allon, the Israeli spy and assassin who just can't quit his job. I expect spies to have a lot of personal baggage - why else would they gravitate to a profession that requires isolation, deception, moral ambiguity and high ideals (whether it's for a country, a religious belief, or personal gain). He had a rich background and I slipped very easily into the story, enjoying every moment. And then I found out it was the eleventh in ...more
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
I've read more than half of the 14 in this series and decided to go to the beginning and get caught up in all. This first shows an insecure and hesitant Gabriel before his maturation into a confident, and self-assured hero of Isreal and that's the Gabriel I prefer. 5 of 10 stars
Nov 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to K by: Susan KG
Eh. Kind of an ordinary spy thriller, one I might have appreciated more had I read it 15-20 years ago when I was less jaded.

Like many of this genre, you have a good (and troubled) guy who works for Israeli intelligence working with his stunningly beautiful and capable heroine with whom he has a complicated (of course) relationship. And of course, you have the bad guys who are always one step ahead of the good guys, but then the good guys catch up, but then the bad guys catch on, etc.
kartik narayanan
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Kill Artist is an enjoyable book that uses an interesting premise to set up the rest of the series.

I was fascinated by the main character and that is one of the reasons I picked this book up. Gabriel Allon is somehow both an Israeli assassin as well as a world renowned art restorer and the book deftly manages to combine his two talents at the same time. The book has good tradecraft and I really liked the ending.
Jane Stewart
Felt like things had been done before. Nothing grabbed me.

The story was ok but several minor things bothered me, so I’ll list them below.

When I finished this I thought huh, the hero didn’t do anything heroic and he did not solve the bad guy problem. The good action was done by another. Ok, but that kind of let me down - not much hero development here.

Throughout the book the good guys were not doing smart things which made it less fun to root for them. In a few
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
I think what may have killed this book for me was I read this just after reading John Le Carre's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold--and after having recently read Alan Furst and Eric Ambler while working through a recommendation list that included Silva among this number. I got spoiled and after reading the best in the espionage genre this struck me as nothing more than a generic pulp thriller with all the writing skill, complexity of characterization and plotting of a blow'm up rat-tat-tat of a popcorn chom ...more
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book so much I now intend to read the rest of the series. Not really sure how I came across this author but I am so glad I did. The story is exciting, fast paced and informative. The characters are well developed and you can easily picture them in your mind which makes the read easier and more enjoyable. The subject matter is not entirely my genre and not an obvious choice for me but I quickly got into it and read it over two days.
Karl Marberger
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ve heard good things about this series, and I was not disappointed. Very enjoyable. Lots of action and twists. I’m glad I starts this series.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: serial-thrillers
Number 1 in the Gabriel Allon series.

I really enjoyed this book. A good spy thriller in the mould of Robert Ludlum. Books such as The Osterman Weekend and others.

Gabriel Allon, a once Israeli agent come spy has retired from that occupation and now lives as an art restorer in a quiet village in Cornwall England.
The last thing on his mind is a return to his former life. His, one time boss, gets in touch and tells him that the man who was responsible for the death of his wife and child is out
Aug 05, 2009 rated it liked it
3.0 stars. A good, solid international thriller centering on Israeli operative/art restorer Gabriel Allon attempting to track down a Palestinian terrorist. This is the first of the Gabriel Allon books and I thought he was an interesting character and will certainly read the next book in the series.
Alex Cantone
He had the strange sensation of walking through the rooms of his childhood – everything was familiar but slightly different, a bit smaller than he remembered, a bit shabbier perhaps. As always he was struck by the similarities between the craft of restoration and the craft of killing…

As always with a Gabriel Allon thriller, I am struck by author Daniel Silva's penmanship, a style that is more European than American, the slickness of the plot, with a twist in the tail. It is easy to engage with the cha
Tim The Enchanter
An Average Read Until the End

This marks the first book I have read by Daniel Silva. The Kill Artist, the first in the Gabriel Allon Series was first published in 2000 and it is starting to feel its age. The story resolves around Israeli and Palestinian conflict. There is a cast of a "villain" and an "anti-hero" and retaliation is the word of the day. The plot feels tired. Granted, had I read it first in 2000, I may have not felt this way.

As in many books that are the first in a ser
Elisha Condie
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
I’m always surprised when a premise of a book sounds so good – a perfect swish, and then the book itself is like a big old airball. Meet Gabriel Allon: super spy, art restorerer, tortured soul, handsome, ruthless, boring.

Daniel Silva’s book sounds great! A spy who restores masterpieces, who is out for revenge for his murdered family but doesn’t really like to kill people. He’s recruited from retirement by a ruthless Israeli agent who wants to stop an equally ruthless Palestinian terrorist. Ru
Alex is The Romance Fox
This is the 1st book in the Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva.
Gabriel Allon, former Israeli super spy/agent is now a restorer of old art masterpieces, living an isolated life in a remote English seaside village. Persuaded out of retirement by his former boss, Ari Shamron to track down the deadly Palestinian assassin, threatening to derail the peace talks between the Israeli Prime Minister and Arafat after assassinating the Israeli Ambassador in Paris, and who is also responsible for his
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
“The Kill Artist” is the first book out of 17 (as of today) that follows the exploits of Israeli agent Gabriel Allon. I had previously read the 16th book in the series, “The Black Widow”, and enjoyed it very much. So much so that I went back to the beginning of the series. I am glad that I did not begin at the beginning.
This novel is okay, not great. Unlike my previous experience while reading a book of Mr. Silva’s I found I could easily put it down. That is not to say that I did not enjoy
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Strong introduction to the series, specially setting up the background of Gabriel Allon. As the book progressed, however, I found the set up with Allon as 'surveillance' detail, felt sluggish and bored me. I was expecting a Mitch Rapp or Jason Bourne, but instead got neither. There are still over 10 Gabriel Allon books, I'll give Mr Silva another chance simply for his unique and engaging writing style. 3stars.
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
3,5 stars It was a nice read, good start of a series, but there's room for improvement.
Judith E
Sep 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, audible
An entertaining audible listen with fairly complex characters and a tricky spy plot. It held our attention through the Pennsylvania and Ohio turnpikes.

3.5 stars.
Jan 04, 2009 rated it liked it
The methodology of the art restoration expert is the same as that of the professional assassin: “study the target, become like him, do the job, slip away without a trace.” Just as retired Israeli agent Gabriel Allon must study the artist Vecellio in order to resurrect and restore The Adoration of the Shepherd, to make the painting just like the original so he must study again the work of his old nemesis Tariq, agent of the PLO wing that is angry and upset with Arafat’s peace initiatives. Tariq i ...more
Scott Rhee
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
“The Kill Artist” is the first novel in the popular Daniel Silva series to feature his Israeli spy/art restorer extraordinaire, Gabriel Allon. In this novel, readers are given a glimpse at the tragic backstory of Allon---his son was killed in a car bomb explosion meant for him, while his wife survived only to live in a vegetative coma-like state---and introduced to Allon’s arch-nemesis, a Palestinian terrorist named Tariq.

Among the other important characters are:

***Jacqueline Delacr
Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
Eh. Not my thing. The twist at the end was somewhat diverting, but, otherwise...

(view spoiler) ...more
Maria Carmo
A relentless thriller that makes one hold one's breath... A lesson to be taken into account: once in never out... Gabriel Allon tried to break free from his previous life as a member of Mossad - being an exquisite artist of restoration of ancient paintings, he becomes one of very few who really can be trusted to bring back all the beauty and splendor of an old painting of a great master... But, his old boss Shamron has different ideas and whenever he needs Gabriel, his now quiet life in Cornwall ...more
Sep 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Gabriel Allon is an art restorer brought back from retirement to be a secret agent for Ari Shamron and to restore The Office by capturing Tariq. Gabriel agrees because he is seeking revenge on Tariq. Severla years beofre, Tariq planted a bomb in the car which Gabriel's wife and son were in thereby killing his young son and physicaly and mentally scarring his wife. Tariq is part of a terrorist network who is planning to kill the Palestinian prime minister and disrupt the Isreali/Palestinian peace ...more
Apr 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Espionage fans
As the first book in the series, this effort does not measure up to later stories. This is understandable because Silva had to cover a lot of ground in order to set the series on its way. The later books in the series keep getting better and better.

Gabriel Allon, the protagonist, is an art restorer, who at one time worked for a secret Israeli intelligence agency. He, in fact, was one of the assassins, Golda Meir dispatched to take revenge for the Munich Olympics massacre of Israeli a
Apr 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
I came to this book after reading the later story Moscow Rules, which may have been a mistake because the later story is much more gripping than the first. On the other hand, had I read this one first, I might not have found it compelling enough to get me to read on in the series. Silva's first Gabriel Allon book is enjoyable, but it is not a gripping page-turner. Some have compared Silva to John LeCarre. I think that's overstating the case. Silva is, at this point at least, a good, entertaining write ...more
Blaine DeSantis
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first ever read of a Daniel Silva book and I want some more. I found this a very good action/adventure book dealing with terrorists, counter-terrorists and the protagonist is an art restoration expert. The book is a bit dated since it was written a while back but the saga is quite engaging and moves us around the world quite deftly as a Palestinian terrorist tries to complete a mission and Israeli counter-terrorist Gabriel Allon tries to prevent it from happening. The books plot is driven by ...more
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
Daniel Silva’s gripping thriller, The Kill Artist, is exactly what I want from this type of book. Silva takes multiple perspective and locations, and weaves them together into a story I couldn’t put down. I listened to the last 90 minutes of the audio very late at night, because I had to know the final twists before sleeping.

Full review at
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read the first of the series based on the reviews. I was unable to get past the first 30%. This is rare for me. I will venture to his later writings to determine if it’s his progress that gets the accolades. In deference perhaps it’s just haven’t aged well but then it was actually irritating.
Bill Donhiser
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy the adventures of Gabriel Allon. Mossad operatives tough criminals. Very well done
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I think I am so disconnected from my peers (i.e. other readers). I like spy movies, and have enjoyed some thriller/spy novels. So why does the first Gabriel Allon novel fall so short for me and not everyone else?

For myself I know the answer. Two-dimensional characters at best, and with 420+ pages Silva should have done more than just do the small character development bits that he did. Yes, I get it that Gabriel is damaged for many reasons, but really none of them are explo
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: [Trim] The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva 3 stars 2 11 Apr 01, 2019 04:40PM  
Daniel Silva in general 7 89 Jan 21, 2018 12:36PM  
A Million More Pages: 1 - The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon): Jun 29 3 20 Jun 17, 2015 07:30PM  
Full Allon series 10 135 Feb 01, 2015 12:02PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Silent Man (John Wells, #3)
  • One Rough Man (Pike Logan, #1)
  • Term Limits
  • Power Down (Dewey Andreas, #1)
  • Hawke (Alexander Hawke, #1)
  • The Tourist (Milo Weaver #1)
  • The Last Patriot (Scot Harvath, #7)
  • Extremis (John Rain, #5)
  • Bloodmoney
  • The American (Ryan Kealey, #1)
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 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)
  • Portrait of a Spy (Gabriel Allon, #11)
“I suppose I needed to share it with her. I suppose I needed someone to forgive me.” 6 likes
“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I give to the children of Israel; of every tribe of their fathers shall you send a man, every one a prince among them.” —Numbers 13:1-2” 2 likes
More quotes…