The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon Series #1)

The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon Series #1)

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Overview

Tightly written thrillers like The Marching Season have made bestselling novelist Daniel Silva a favorite of readers everywhere. In The Kill Artist, he paints an absorbing portrait of a reluctant hero’s attempt to thwart an old enemy to preserve a precarious peace. After the assassination of his wife and son, Gabriel Allon retires from his brutal anti-terrorist career and loses himself in his previous cover job: art restoration. But when Tariq al-Hourani, the Palestinian terrorist responsible for his family’s death, begins a killing spree designed to destroy Middle East peace talks, Gabriel once again slips into the shadowy world of international intrigue.

In a global game of hide-and-seek, the motives of Gabriel and Tariq soon become more personal than political. Filled with vivid action and a fascinating cast of supporting characters, The Kill Artist delivers pulse-pounding suspense, carried to a startling climax by the tension-packed narration of George Guidall.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501260087
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 06/02/2015
Series: Gabriel Allon Series , #1
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 122,061
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.50(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, The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Price of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules and The Defector. He is married to NBC News Today correspondent Jamie Gangel. They have two children, Lily and Nicholas. In 2009 Silva was appointed to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council.

Date of Birth:

1960

Place of Birth:

Michigan

Read an Excerpt

By coincidence Timothy Peel arrived in the village the same week in July as the stranger. He and his mother moved into a ramshackle cottage at the head of the tidal creek with her latest lover, a struggling playwright named Derek, who drank too much wine and detested children. The stranger arrived two days later, settling into the old foreman's cottage just up the creek from the oyster farm.

Peel had little to do that summer - when Derek and his mother weren't making clamorous love, they were taking inspirational forced marches along the cliffs - so he determined to find out exactly who the stranger was and what he was doing in Cornwall. Peel decided the best way to begin was to watch. Because he was eleven, and the only child of divorced parents, Peel was well schooled in the art of human observation and investigation. Like any good surveillance artist, he required a fixed post. He settled on his bedroom window, which had an unobstructed view over the creek. In the storage shed he found a pair of ancient Zeiss binoculars, and at the village store he purchased a small notebook and ballpoint pen for recording his watch report.

The first thing Peel noticed was that the stranger liked old objects. His car was a vintage MG roadster. Peel would watch from his window as the man hunched over the motor for hours at a time, his back poking from beneath the bonnet. A man of great concentration, Peel concluded. A man of great mental endurance.

After a month the stranger vanished. A few days passed, then a week, then a fortnight. Peel feared the stranger had spotted him and taken flight. Bored senseless without the routine of watching, Peel got into trouble. He was caught hurling a rock though the window of a tea shop in the village. Derek sentenced him to a week of solitary confinement in his bedroom.

But that evening Peel managed to slip out with his binoculars. He walked along the quay, past the stranger's darkened cottage and the oyster farm, and stood at the point where the creek fed into the Helford River, watching the sailboats coming in with the tide. He spotted a ketch heading in under power. He raised the binoculars to his eyes and studied the figure standing at the wheel.

The stranger had come back to Port Navas.

The ketch was old and badly in need of restoration, and the stranger cared for it with the same devotion he had shown his fickle MG. He toiled for several hours each day: sanding, varnishing, painting, polishing brass, changing lines and canvas. When the weather was warm he would strip to the waist. Peel couldn't help but compare the stranger's body with Derek's. Derek was soft and flabby; the stranger was compact and very hard, the kind of man you would quickly regret picking a fight with. By the end of August his skin had turned nearly as dark as the varnish he was so meticulously applying to the deck of the ketch.

He would disappear aboard the boat for days at a time. Peel had no way to follow him. He could only imagine where the stranger was going. Down the Helford to the sea? Around the Lizard to St. Michael's Mount or Penzance? Maybe around the cape to St. Ives.

Then Peel hit upon another possibility. Cornwall was famous for its pirates; indeed, the region still had its fair share of smugglers. Perhaps the stranger was running the ketch out to sea to meet cargo vessels and ferry contraband to shore.

The next time the stranger returned from one of his voyages, Peel stood a strict watch in his window, hoping to catch him in the act of removing contraband from the boat. But as he leaped from the prow of the ketch onto the quay, he had nothing in his hands but a canvas rucksack and plastic rubbish bag.

The stranger sailed for pleasure, not profit.

Peel took out his notebook and drew a line through the word smuggler.

The large parcel arrived the first week of September, a flat wooden crate, nearly as big as a barn door. It came in a van from London, accompanied by an agitated man in pinstripes. The stranger's days immediately assumed a reverse rhythm. At night the top floor of the cottage burned with light - not normal light, Peel observed, but a very clear white light. In the mornings, when Peel left home for school, he would see the stranger heading down the creek in the ketch, or working on his MG, or setting off in a pair of battered hiking boots to pound the footpaths of the Helford Passage. Peel supposed he slept afternoons, though he seemed like a man who could go a long time without rest.

Peel wondered what the stranger was doing all night. Late one evening he decided to have a closer look. He pulled on a sweater and coat and slipped out of the cottage without telling his mother. He stood on the quay. looking up at the stranger's cottage. The windows were open; a sharp odor hung on the air, something between rubbing alcohol and petrol. He could also hear music of some sort - singing, opera perhaps.

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher


[A] heart-stopping complex yarn of international terrorism and intrigue...A thrilling roller-coaster ride, keeping readers guessing until the mind-bending conclusion." —Publishers Weekly

Reading Group Guide

1. Gabriel Allon's work as one of the world's foremost art restorers has significant parallels to his work as one of the world’s foremost intelligence operatives. Indeed, the part titles of The Kill Artist allude to these parallels: Part One, "Acquisition"; Part Two, "Assessment"; and Part Three, "Restoration." What are the various parallels suggested by these part titles? What are the similarities between Gabriel's work in art restoration and his work in intelligence operations? The goal of the art restorer is to restore a painting so well that it's nearly impossible to tell the difference between the restorer's work and the original artist's. How is a similar kind of deception and layering of identity a part of intelligence work?

2. One of the epigraphs of the book is the motto of the Israeli secret service, the Mossad: "By way of deception, thou shalt do war." It turns out that in various ways this motto applies just as much to the workings within the Israeli secret service as it does to their dealings with their enemies. Towards the end of the novel, Yassir Arafat alludes to just that aspect when he says of Ari Shamron, "Shamron makes a habit of never letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing." How does Shamron employ this method through the course of the plan to assassinate Tariq? In many ways his plan is a brilliant success as a result. What negative consequences result from his method?

3. Ari Shamron trained Gabriel to become one of the world's best intelligence operatives. In the process, Gabriel became Shamron's best and most prized student and the two ended up working closely togetherfor many years. Such a relationship necessarily draws its strength from the bonds of trust and loyalty that are established, but at the same time of course their relationship is not immune to deception, given their environment. How does Shamron deceive Gabriel and vice versa, and how do their deceptions affect their relationship, both professional and personal? What can one say about their relationship by the novel's end?

4. Near the beginning of the novel, Gabriel says to Ari Shamron, "When you look into a man's eyes while pouring lead into his body, it feels more like murder than war." Shamron replies, "It's not murder, Gabriel. It was never murder."The distinction between murder and war in this novel is obviously extremely murky and complex. What lines of reasoning might one follow in support of Gabriel's position? And Shamron's? What is it in each of their characters and/or life experiences that causes them to disagree?

5. Part of Gabriel's reason for agreeing to help Shamron assassinate Tariq is that he thinks, perhaps consciously, perhaps not, that it may help him get past his family tragedy. Do you think that in the end he succeeds in this? Why or why not? Gabriel feels Israel can never be his home, yet for Jacqueline (Sarah), it becomes her home and brings her a measure of peace. Why so for her and not for Gabriel?

6. Much of the action that takes place in this novel results from a mingling of extremely complicated motivations: nationalism and ideals connected with love of one's homeland and of one's family on the one hand and one's own personal success or aggrandizement or vendetta or romantic love on the other. How do these motivations mingle in the case of Shamron's plan to assassinate Tariq and rehabilitate the reputation of the Israeli secret service within Israel? What about in the case of Gabriel? Tariq? Jacqueline Delacroix?

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The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 275 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Daniel Silva's latest thriller, The Kill Artist, he not only continues the suspense created in The Mark Of The Assasin, he exceeds it. This book can't miss being a sure-fire smash with all readers who like international espionage thrillers; and it will keep you glued to the edge of your seat. Silva's writing style is so 'grabbing' it will make you feel that you're personally there in the middle of the action. The action is non-stop, the plot is excitng and includes several surprises, and the characters are so fully developed, you'll think you really know them. If you're looking for a book in which you can fully 'get lost', get yourself a copy of The Kill Artist as soon as you can.
musiciansinthekitchen More than 1 year ago
Another great installment in the Gabriel Allon series by Silva. Definitely a suggested read!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
nice book.but compared to spy masters like ludlum and forsyth,doesnt come close.but all the same a decent book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished my first book by Daniel Silva, The Kill Artist. It was the BEST book I have read in years! I could not put it down and was sorry when it was finished. The female lead (Sarah/Jacqueline/Dominique) reminded me so much of Charlie in Le Carre¿s Little Drummer Girl, in the way she was deceived and led to do things by duplicitous men she loved. I am now starting The Confessor and hope it is even half as good. I plan to get all his books. So thankful there is another writer whose thriller/spy novels I can look forward to getting my hands on (like Ludlum, Forsythe, Follett, etc.).
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an avid reader it is easy to predict the ending for many novels however Silva continues to keep you on the edge of your seat and turning pages. Nothing is ever as it seems Gabriel is a genuine character that is caught between something he believes in and trying to get on with his life. Great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have just finished three of Silva's books ending with the Kill Artist. He writes sparingly and well, and the action keeps the reader tied to the book. And for those who have read his other books, there is a not so hidden moment in Kill Artist when a terrorist meets an assassin. You will like it!
eBook-Aficionado More than 1 year ago
Dan Silva continually gets stronger as his Gabriel Allon series moves along. Perhaps his writing muscles are reaching their peak potential, but I rather think his knowledge of the lead character has brought him to a point where the story propels forward personally. This engages us, as we too get to care for our art restorer-spy, the one whose painful troubled past both threatens and enables him to face his present. A definite must read. Now on to the next one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author developed the character of Gabriel Allon very good. I loved the scenic descriptions as well as the reference to history/facts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An excellant read-silva has taken the lead as a suspense/spy thriller writer as far as I am concerned.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Daniel Silva burst onto the scene with the Unlikely Spy and has followed it with the Mark of the Assassin and Marching Season. Each of his novels is unique in setting, characters and plot. What remains consistant is his thought, pace and intrigue. He is quite simply the best thriller writer today!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was ok
prussblue10 More than 1 year ago
Difficult to put down.
jbm More than 1 year ago
Well written, page turner, twist and turns everywhere!! My first Daniel Silva book, but not my last!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very easy book to read. Kept my interest and I really enjoyed the authors writing style...not sure what was different from the others but it was.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great story line and development. Intriguing characters, cannot put them down. Intense descriptions.
paljbl More than 1 year ago
Just finished #4 in the Allon series and am looking forward to completing the series. Silva knows how to keep you interested in the story, preventing you from laying it aside 'til later.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very fast paced. A killer with a heart. Loved it.
Smarti212 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. A friend recommended the Allon series to me and I literally read through all 12 books in about 8 weeks. I was finishing one book every 4 days or so. Clearly this was the book that had to set the stage for my devouring all of the rest of them. You will absolutely enjoy this and all of the rest of them!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gabriel Allon is ¿the Kill Artist¿; a former assassin who worked clandestinely for the Israeli government. When we first meet him he is living in a remote English seaside village and working as an art restorer, a cover he used frequently during his covert operations. He is soon called out of retirement by his former boss, Ari Shamron, head of Israeli intelligence, and a calculating man with his own agenda...one that may cost Gabriel his life. Ari needs Gabriel¿s talents to track down Tariq, an Palestinian assassin whose killing rampage is threatening the Middle East peace negotiations. Tariq and Gabriel have met before when Gabriel killed Tariq¿s brother in a very brutal manner, and Tariq avenged that death with a killing of his own...Gabriel¿s wife and son, making this a story of international intrigue and personal revenge. The stage is now set for a major showdown, but they must first cover three continents and weave through an array of cultures and characters to find each other. Gabriel is assisted by his former intelligence co-worker, a beautiful French girl named Jacqueline, whose family was killed in the Holocaust. Jacqueline is hesitant to join Gabriel on this assignment, but in the end it is love that prevails, and she plunges head first into Tariq¿s lair, a deadly trap that Gabriel may not be able to get her out of in time to save her life. What I love about Daniel Silva is his smooth and uncomplicated style. He has a 'rhythm' to his writing that hooks you somewhere in the beginning and stays with you long after you finish the book. It took me a little longer to warm up to these characters, probably because there isn¿t a lot happening in the way of relationships as there is in his other book _The Mark Of The Assassin_. Everyone is hiding behind their own specific job and agenda. They¿re all business. Still, the plot is riveting and the pace is solid. 4 and 1/2 stars. Highly recommended. His protagonist doesn¿t quite involve the readers as in his past works but this is definitely worth a buy.
Anonymous 9 hours ago
Excellent spy novel. Silva is a can't put down author.
Anonymous 4 days ago
Read this one after having read several others. This one was rough. He didn't know Gabriel well enough. But, don't stop reading this series. Ohh you and the author grow with Gabriel.
insanepoet65 3 months ago
TITLE: The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon Series #1) AUTHOR: Daniel Silva GENRE: Thriller PAGES: 345 I love a good spy story. I always have and that comes from my younger days watching James Bond on the big screen. When I was younger it was all about the guns and gadgets. As I got older, it became about the sneaking around in the shadows, achieving your objective where your mind is your greatest asset, more than guns etc. What is better is when there is a balance between these two schools of thought. Robert Ludlum was an author that found this balance, John le Carre was another.Daniel Silva is another author who has found that balance. Gabriel Allon is a very talented art restorer. His attention to detail is unsurpassed and has him in demand for his talents. But that is just one side of him. If you flip the coin you find out that he is also an operative for an Israeli spy organization known as “The Office”. His former boss, Ari Shamron, pulls him out of retirement to hunt down and kill the terrorist Tariq Al-Houwzi. Gabriel grudgingly agrees to hunt down Tariq, but makes it clear that once he is done, he is DONE. Gabriel will use all of the tools at his disposal, including a beautiful Paris fashion model he once had a brief affair with. The question is can he stop Tariq before he strikes again, this time on the world stage where peace in the Middle East is a pen stroke away. Where this book really shined was in the fact that is was more cerebral than physical in the sense that guns were used, but sparingly. There was more cloak and dagger to it which really ratcheted up the tension. The deeper I got into this book, the faster the pages flew by. Gabriel Allon is a hero you can get behind. He has flaws that makes him all the more human and a drive that made me want to cheer him on. As much as Gabriel is flawed, the villain, Tariq, is equally so and I soon find myself wondering who I wanted to see succeed. A problem I had with the book is foreign words would be in italics and no clear definition of what the word meant would be provided. There were times I wondered if I got the meaning right, and I really did not want to fire up the computer to run it through a translator program. Also, towards the end there was a problem with the formatting. When there were breaks in the chapter to change the focus from one character to another, it was done with a double space; in the last two chapters the break disappeared making me wonder if I missed something. (I noticed this on the e-reader, i do not know if it is like this in the paperback or hardcover versions). All in all I give it 4.5 Bookmarks out of 5.
Anonymous 4 months ago
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
and desperate for ONE female intro that doesnt include breasts...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
silva+never+disappoints+with+his+gabriel+allon+series%21