The Kill Artist

This spy thriller (433 pages) was published in April of 2004 by Berkley. The book takes you to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, London, Paris, and more. Melissa read The Kill Artist and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.

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The Kill Artist

Gabriel Allon Series

Daniel Silva

Gabriel Allon is a master spy, a reluctant assassin, and the world’s foremost art restorer — his cover and true passion. The work he does for the clandestine Israeli organization known simply as ‘the Office’ is a responsibility, rarely his desire.

Almost against his will, he’s become the spiritual and tactical team leader for a group of often-difficult, but supremely talented, agents who carry their (mostly) heartbreaking backstories with them like broken-in luggage.

In each installment of this 22-book series, Gabriel and his team are on the side of the angels as they undertake complex missions to stop terrorists around the globe. When he’s away from home, Gabriel longs for Tel Aviv and the Jezreel Valley. Silva’s eye for telling detail will make you yearn for it, too.

The Kill Artist is the first novel in the series, and it’s a heart-stopping introduction to Gabriel and his found family of espionage experts. When Israel’s ambassador is murdered in Paris, the team commits to a fraught quest to stop the Palestinian terrorist Tariq al-Hourani. As the investigation reveals secrets, Gabriel is forced to relive the devastating tragedy that destroyed his family.

The team builds their clandestine mission around the stunning face — and equally sharp mind — of French supermodel Jacqueline Delacroix, using her charms to set a trap for the terrorists. The action jets to some of the most cosmopolitan cities on the planet: Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, London, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Paris, Montreal, and New York — with cameo appearances by both the Israeli Prime Minister and Yasser Arafat.

The legitimate lethal danger of the political intrigue is palpable, and the larger-than-life threats are threaded with equally compelling emotions that run the gamut from fury to sorrow, relief to jubilation. It’s a big story told on a personal scale through characters that are all too human.

His goal was to make the retouching invisible to the naked eye. The brush strokes, colors, and texture all had to match the original. If the surrounding paint was cracked, Gabriel painted false cracks to hide retouching…. His mission was to come and go without being seen. To leave the painting as he had found it, but restored to its original glory, cleansed of impurity. — Daniel Silva

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From majestic (Michelangelo's David) to silly (a can of SPAM) and everything in between (taxidermy! historical costumes!), museums are a fantastic place to get curious. These books do the same, no travel required.
We might sometimes get a bit belligerent and argue that 'the book is always better.' But if we're totally honest, we enjoy a bad adaptation as much as a good one. The coulda/shoulda/woulda talk is so much fun.
Let's go jet-setting around the world this weekend (from the safety of our couches, obvs). Yes, it's potentially dangerous, but when you're hanging out with the world's best assassin, excitement is to be expected.

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