A Death in Vienna (Gabriel Allon Series #4)

A Death in Vienna (Gabriel Allon Series #4)

by Daniel Silva

Hardcover(Large Print)

$32.95 View All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

Gabriel Allon's nightmares come back to haunt him in this tense thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva.

Art restorer and sometime spy Gabriel Allon is sent to Vienna to discover the truth behind a bombing that killed an old friend, but while there he encounters something that turns his world upside down. It is a face—a face that feels hauntingly familiar, a face that chills him to the bone. 

While desperately searching for answers, Allon will uncover a portrait of evil stretching across sixty years and thousands of lives—and into his own personal nightmares...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786264704
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 05/14/2004
Series: Gabriel Allon Series , #4
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 552
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Daniel Silva is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Unlikely Spy, The Mark of the Assassin, The Marching Season, and the Gabriel Allon series, including The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules, The Defector, The Rembrandt Affair, Portrait of a Spy, The Fallen Angel, The English Girl, The Heist, The English Spy, The Black Widow, and House of Spies. His books are published in more than thirty countries and are bestsellers around the world.

Date of Birth:

1960

Place of Birth:

Michigan

Read an Excerpt

PART ONE

The Man From Café central

1

VIENNA

THE OFFICE IS hard to find, and intentionally so. Located near the end of a narrow, curving lane, in a quarter of Vienna more renowned for its nightlife than its tragic past, the entrance is marked only by a small brass plaque bearing the inscription Wartime Claims and Inquiries. The security system, installed by an obscure firm based in Tel Aviv, is formidable and highly visible. A camera glowers menacingly from above the door. No one is admitted without an appointment and a letter of introduction. Visitors must pass through a finely tuned magnetometer. Purses and briefcases are inspected with unsmiling efficiency by one of two disarmingly pretty girls. One is called Reveka, the other Sarah.

Once inside, the visitor is escorted along a claustrophobic corridor lined with gunmetal-gray filing cabinets, then into a large typically Viennese chamber with pale floors, a high ceiling, and bookshelves bowed beneath the weight of countless volumes and file folders. The donnish clutter is appealing, though some are unnerved by the green-tinted bulletproof windows overlooking the melancholy courtyard.

The man who works there is untidy and easily missed. It is his special talent. Sometimes, as you enter, he is standing atop a library ladder rummaging for a book. Usually he is seated at his desk, wreathed in cigarette smoke, peering at the stack of paperwork and files that never seems to diminish. He takes a moment to finish a sentence or jot a loose minute in the margin of a document, then he rises and extends his tiny hand, his quick brown eyes flickering over you. "Eli Lavon," he says modestly as he shakes your hand, though everyone in Vienna knows who runs Wartime Claims and Inquiries.

Were it not for Lavon's well-established reputation, his appearance-a shirtfront chronically smeared with ash, a shabby burgundy-colored cardigan with patches on the elbows and a tattered hem-might prove disturbing. Some suspect he is without sufficient means; others imagine he is an ascetic or even slightly mad. One woman who wanted help winning restitution from a Swiss bank concluded he was suffering from a permanently broken heart. How else to explain that he had never been married? The air of bereavement that is sometimes visible when he thinks no one is looking? Whatever the visitor's suspicions, the result is usually the same. Most cling to him for fear he might float away.

He points you toward the comfortable couch. He asks the girls to hold his calls, then places his thumb and forefinger together and tips them toward his mouth. Coffee, please. Out of earshot the girls quarrel about whose turn it is. Reveka is an Israeli from Haifa, olive-skinned and black-eyed, stubborn and fiery. Sarah is a well-heeled American Jew from the Holocaust studies program at Boston University, more cerebral than Reveka and therefore more patient. She is not above resorting to deception or even outright lies to avoid a chore she believes is beneath her. Reveka, honest and temperamental, is easily outmaneuvered, and so it is usually Reveka who joylessly plunks a silver tray on the coffee table and retreats in a sulk.

Lavon has no set formula for how to conduct his meetings. He permits the visitor to determine the course. He is not averse to answering questions about himself and, if pressed, explains how it came to be that one of Israel's most talented young archaeologists chose to sift through the unfinished business of the Holocaust rather than the troubled soil of his homeland. His willingness to discuss his past, however, goes only so far. He does not tell visitors that, for a brief period in the early 1970s, he worked for Israel's notorious secret service. Or that he is still regarded as the finest street surveillance artist the service has ever produced. Or that twice a year, when he returns to Israel to see his aged mother, he visits a highly secure facility north of Tel Aviv to share some of his secrets with the next generation. Inside the service he is still referred to as "the Ghost." His mentor, a man called Ari Shamron, always said that Eli Lavon could disappear while shaking your hand. It was not far from the truth.

He is quiet around his guests, just as he was quiet around the men he stalked for Shamron. He is a chain smoker, but if it bothers the guest he will refrain. A polyglot, he listens to you in whatever language you prefer. His gaze is sympathetic and steady, though behind his eyes it is sometimes possible to detect puzzle pieces sliding into place. He prefers to hold all questions until the visitor has completed his case. His time is precious, and he makes decisions quickly. He knows when he can help. He knows when it is better to leave the past undisturbed.

Should he accept your case, he asks for a small sum of money to finance the opening stages of his investigation. He does so with noticeable embarrassment, and if you cannot pay he will waive the fee entirely. He receives most of his operating funds from donors, but Wartime Claims is hardly a profitable enterprise and Lavon is chronically strapped for cash. The source of his funding has been a contentious issue in certain circles of Vienna, where he is reviled as a troublesome outsider financed by international Jewry, always sticking his nose into places it doesn't belong. There are many in Austria who would like Wartime Claims to close its doors for good. It is because of them that Eli Lavon spends his days behind green bulletproof glass.

On a snow-swept evening in early January, Lavon was alone in his office, hunched over a stack of files. There were no visitors that day. In fact it had been many days since Lavon had accepted appointments, the bulk of his time being consumed by a single case. At seven o'clock, Reveka poked her head through the door. "We're hungry," she said with typical Israeli bluntness. "Get us something to eat." Lavon's memory, while impressive, did not extend to food orders. Without looking up from his work, he waved his pen in the air as though he were writing-Make me a list, Reveka.

A moment later, he closed the file and stood up. He looked out his window and watched the snow settling gently onto the black bricks of the courtyard. Then he pulled on his overcoat, wrapped a scarf twice around his neck, and placed a cap atop his thinning hair. He walked down the hall to the room where the girls worked. Reveka's desk was a skyline of German military files; Sarah, the eternal graduate student, was concealed behind a stack of books. As usual, they were quarreling. Reveka wanted Indian from a take-away just on the other side of the Danube Canal; Sarah craved pasta from an Italian café on the Kärntnerstrasse. Lavon, oblivious, studied the new computer on Sarah's desk.

"When did that arrive?" he asked, interrupting their debate.

"This morning."

"Why do we have a new computer?"

"Because you bought the old one when the Hapsburgs still ruled Austria."

"Did I authorize the purchase of a new computer?"

The question was not threatening. The girls managed the office. Papers were placed beneath his nose, and usually he signed them without looking.

"No, Eli, you didn't approve the purchase. My father paid for the computer."

Lavon smiled. "Your father is a generous man. Please thank him on my behalf."

The girls resumed their debate. As usual it resolved in Sarah's favor. Reveka wrote out the list and threatened to pin it to Lavon's sleeve. Instead, she stuffed it into his coat pocket for safekeeping and gave him a little shove to send him on his way. "And don't stop for a coffee," she said. "We're starving."

It was almost as difficult to leave Wartime Claims and Inquiries as it was to enter. Lavon punched a series of numbers into a keypad on the wall next to the entrance. When the buzzer sounded, he pulled open the interior door and stepped into the security chamber. The outer door would not open until the inner door had been closed for ten seconds. Lavon put his face to the bulletproof glass and peered out.

On the opposite side of the street, concealed in the shadows at the entrance of a narrow alleyway, stood a heavy-shouldered figure with a fedora hat and mackintosh raincoat. Eli Lavon could not walk the streets of Vienna, or any other city for that matter, without ritualistically checking his tail and recording faces that appeared too many times in too many disparate situations. It was a professional affliction. Even from a distance, and even in the poor light, he knew that he had seen the figure across the street several times during the last few days.

He sorted through his memory, almost as a librarian would sort through a card index, until he found references to previous sightings. Yes, here it is. The Judenplatz, two days ago. It was you who was following me after I had coffee with that reporter from the States. He returned to the index and found a second reference. The window of a bar along the Sterngasse. Same man, without the fedora hat, gazing casually over his pilsner as Lavon hurried through a biblical deluge after a perfectly wretched day at the office. The third reference took him a bit longer to locate, but he found it nonetheless. The Number Two streetcar, evening rush. Lavon is pinned against the doors by a florid-faced Viennese who smells of bratwurst and apricot schnapps. Fedora has somehow managed to find a seat and is calmly cleaning his nails with his ticket stub. He is a man who enjoys cleaning things, Lavon had thought at the time. Perhaps he cleans things for a living.

Lavon turned round and pressed the intercom. No response. Come on, girls. He pressed it again, then looked over his shoulder. The man in the fedora and mackintosh coat was gone.

A voice came over the speaker. Reveka.

"Did you lose the list already, Eli?"

Lavon pressed his thumb against the button.

"Get out! Now!"

A few seconds later, Lavon could hear the trample of footfalls in the corridor. The girls appeared before him, separated by a wall of glass. Reveka coolly punched in the code. Sarah stood by silently, her eyes locked on Lavon's, her hand on the glass.

He never remembered hearing the explosion. Reveka and Sarah were engulfed in a ball of fire, then were swept away by the blast wave. The door blew outward. Lavon was lifted like a child's toy, arms spread wide, back arched like a gymnast. His flight was dreamlike. He felt himself turning over and over again. He had no memory of impact. He knew only that he was lying on his back in snow, in a hailstorm of broken glass. "My girls," he whispered as he slid slowly into blackness. "My beautiful girls."

--from A Death In Vienna by Daniel Silva, copyright © 2004 Daniel Silva, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., all rights reserved, reprinted with permission from the publisher

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A masterful and compelling tale of evil, treachery and revenge...goes to the top of the list of this year's best."— Rocky Mountain News
"A masterfully constructed tale of memory and revenge. It demonstrates that thrillers can be more than entertainment."— MiamiHerald
"[A] superbly crafted narrative of espionage and foreign intrigue."— Publishers Weekly

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A Death in Vienna (Gabriel Allon Series #4) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 136 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although a scion of Hollywood's famed Goldwyn family, Tony Goldwyn has very much made it on his own as producer, director, and actor. As producer he brought us 'A Walk On The Moon' (1999); as director he gave us 'Someone Like You' (2001). His acting credits are extensive with TV appearances running the gamut from 'Frasier' to 'L.A. Law.' He voiced the title character for Disney's 'Tarzan.' All who heard know he is a voice performer par excellence, and this is evidenced once again in his reading of Silva's latest. International suspense is Daniel Silva's milieu, and strongly imagined characters only one of his strengths. He has been compared to the masterful John le Carre, and rightly so. 'A Death In Vienna' is related to two of his earlier works, 'The English Assassin' and 'The Confessor.' For pure pleasure and a greater appreciation read or listen to all three. This time out an art restorer who doubles as a spy, Gabriel Allon, is summoned to Vienna where an old friend has died in a bombing. His task is to ferret out the truth behind this death. As clues lead to a man now living in Vienna, the search takes on new meaning for Allon as he reads his mother's account of her days in a concentration camp: 'I will not tell all the things I saw. I cannot. I owe this much to the dead.' - Testimony of Irene Allon, March 19, 1957. Not only may this man be responsible for his friend's death, but may also have tried to kill Allon's mother. Shadows of the Holocaust fall on this elegantly wrought tale of suspense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm very disappointed that he didn't spend more time developing this book. Great history lesson but the characters were confusing me. Of course I immediately opened the next in his series.
frydaddy More than 1 year ago
Alittle hard to get going......but enjoyed it as it progressed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Gabriel Allon series is excellently written. Despite disclaimer that events are fictional, unfortunately they are close to the truth, and reflect in many aspects exactly what the "Islamic" world thinks and believes about the west.
sewingmom More than 1 year ago
The beuty of Silva's stories is that they don't have a warm, fuzzy ending. The conclusions reflect real life and are more of a compromise. They are eye opening. I did not realize the extent of the atrocities committed during the holocaust and the blind eye the rest of the world turned to the Jews even after he war. Well worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always loved the books by Daniel Silva but he outdid himself with A DEATH IN VIENNA. I love the characters and they did not let me down. It is so hard to find a good 'spy thriller' and this author never lets you down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When he is not restoring art, Israeli Gabriel Allon works as an espionage agent for his country. He is sent to Vienna to investigate the bombing of the Wartime Claims and Inquiries Bureau run by Eli Lavon. Gabriel learns that Eli was trying to prove that wealthy businessman Ludwig Vogel was an SS officer at Auschwitz. Vogel is spending millions to get the Austrian National Party candidate elected as chancellor.............................. When Gabriel is kicked out of Austria, he travels to Israel and with the information he accumulated. People working on the Holocaust believe that Vogel is actually Erich Radek, a monster responsible for the killings of thousands of Jews. Gabriel recognizes a picture of Radek because he is in one of his mother¿s paintings. He did something terrible to her as they were evacuating Auschwitz in 1945 and for Gabriel this case has become very personal. An organization that has international tentacles wants Gabriel to stop investigating and they hire the infamous hitman the Clockmaker to kill him before he exposes secrets that the group wants to stay buried........................... A DEATH TO VIENNA is an exciting espionage thriller that will appeal to fans of John de Carre, Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler. The action is non-stop but the author does not neglect his characters that have a depth rarely seen in a work of this type. Drawing on facts, Daniel Silva portrays a world that would rather forget about the Holocaust or just as bad, believe it never happened. Readers will adore the troubled and vulnerable protagonist who fights in an invisible war against his country¿s enemies......................................... Harriet Klausner
Anonymous 7 months ago
another++good++one+%2C++I++will++read++the++next+++one++soon++
SharronA on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good abridgment (to 5 CDs), didn't seem chopped at all. Following Gabriel Allon on his travels to exotic and dangerous places is always fun. This time it was a little less due to poor narration. We groaned aloud every time the narrator mispronounced "Xavier" as "EX-avier," for example.
magentaflake on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a very good read. love gabriel allon
Jenbug on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book seemed to have some really neat spy stuff in it. They didn't have the cool gadgets but instead focused on what is normally availble to use for spying. I really don't ever read books about the holocaust but this book focused on it. I now feel like my goal for this year may be to read some non-fiction books about those times because this book has piqued an intrest.
ThorneStaff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very well written book, with little strong language. With the theme of revenge and justice, I wasn't quite sure what would be coming next.
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
4th in the Gabriel Allon series.Gabriel Allon is an Israeli Secret Service agent who ¿poses¿ as Mario Delvecchio, a very well-known and highly respected art restorer. At the moment, he is working in Venice, and living with his lover Chiara. But Gabriel¿s life is not his own; he owes his allegiance to Israel and to Ari Shamron, the Old Man of the Israeli Secret Service. Whenever Shamron appears, Gabriel embarks on a mission of death¿to track down and kill those responsible for blowing up an office in Vienna and in doing so, killing two young women, one Israeli, the other American, who worked there. The office is known as War Time Claims and Inquiries. Its work is to sift through ¿the unfinished business of the Holocaust¿, such as helping a survivor press her claim for restitution from a Swiss bank.A straightforward, dangerous mission for Allon. But during its course, he will have an unexpected and deeply disturbing encounter with his own past.No matter how you try to write a review of one of Danilel Silva¿s books, you always wind up sounding like a hyped-up dust jacket blurb. The problem is that the books are that good. I think that sSlva has no peer in the international spy/thriller genre. This latest installment just confirms my opinion of him.. Well-written, fast-paced page turner that keeps you up at night.Highly recommended.
skraft001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A well written novel that moves at a very fast pace. A number of characters in the book, so I found it best to not put it down too much or else I'd lose track of the cast of characters. That may be attributed to the fact that this was the first in the Allon series that I read -- I didn't find that to be any problem.The only issue I had with the novel was the resemblence at times to The Odessa File by Fredrick Forsyth.
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Themes: WWII, revenge vs. justice, politics, secrets, espionage, artSetting: Vienna, Israel, and Poland, not sure what yearGabriel Allon is an intelligence agent for the Israeli government. He's a bit of a renegade, even for them. His boss calls him in for a somewhat unofficial job - find out why an office related to the Holocaust and war crimes was bombed and two people killed. Find out who did it, and make them pay.The first part, finding whodunnit, takes most of the book. Gabriel discovers the identity of the man behind the bomb, but who is he really? He suspects the man is a former SS agent, but getting the truth is not easy, especially since post-war Vienna is not interested in reliving their Nazi past, and soon, someone is trying to kill him. Bring in the Vatican, a Swiss banker, and the CIA, and things get pretty complicated.This is not the type of book I normally enjoy. Life is complicated enough without trying to puzzle out spy thriller and secret agents and so on. But I wanted to keep reading. Some very grim stuff related to the Holocaust, but still worth reading. 4 stars.
nikitasamuelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While the plot and characters are different than the last book, The Confessor, the structure and story arc are very similar. Parts of the book--Gabriel's memories of his mother, in particular--are very good. But overall it felt very formulaic. Overall, it was disappointing.
heidialice on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gabriel Allon is called to Vienna by the Israeli Secret Service to investigate a murder, and to avenge the deaths if possible. He is hesitant to return to Vienna, given his history there, but ultimately goes and gets tangled up in a web of cover-ups, leading all over the world and back to Nazi money and his own family's history.Well-written and exciting plot, with difficult but important historical details, this is a well-executed suspense novel. However, as someone with an (admittedly biased) high opinion of Vienna, it seemed like a stretch to me to set this in modern-day Austria. This was my first Silva novel, and I would certainly read more when I'm in the mood for a fast-paced, intelligent and interesting action novel.
gypsysmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I listened to this book, read by Tony Goldwyn, and it worked really well as an audiobook. At times the information was almost too harrowing to listen to, dealing as it does with the Nazi death camps and the human atrocities carried out there.Gabriel Allon is an Israeli secret agent who works as an art restorer. He is called away from a project to investigate who blew up a Jewish agency in Vienna. The chief of the agency has not been killed but he is in a coma. Gabriel discovers an old Jewish man hanging around the hospital who tells him he believes he caused the explosion. He doesn't mean he set it but he had given them some information about a well-connected Viennese businessman that he believed had been a Nazi officer in the war. Gabriel starts to investigate the businessman and soon comes across some information that causes him to believe the old man was right. He follows an evidence trail from Rome to South America to the USA and even to his mother's artwork in Israel. Gripping and informative, not a combination you often see. I'll be looking for more books by Silva.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You could fill in the dots somewhat with this plot. Story starts with the blowing up of a Jewish war-crime office in Austria and when this is investigated it opens a huge can of worms that lead to more deaths and a lot of twists and turns. As I said I found it pretty predictable but it moved at a fairly good pace and I finished it pretty quickly. However I didn't really engage with any of the characters, the author seemed determined that I should without showing me why I should.
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Much like the two before it, this book focuses not on Israel and Palestine, but on continued ramifications of the Holocaust. Another stellar entry in the series. New love interest for Gabriel in this one, who appears to maybe be more permanent. I still want Jacqueline to come back!
MSWallack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With each succeeding book, I feel that I get to know Gabriel Allon a bit better. The first half of this book may have been the best of the series; however, the second half (and the ending in particular) was somewhat of a letdown. The book finished with a whimper rather than the bang it needed.
theportal2002 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book. I really love the Gabriel Allon character. This book takes you through the world of Nazi war criminals.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Daniel Siva is a talented grandauthor who takes you in an Epic journey exploring the tragedy of the Holocaust and the intrigue of the quest to bring them to Justice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love his books, riveting !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gives you a real insight into the awful past.