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The English Assassin
Cover of The English Assassin
The English Assassin
Gabriel Allon Series, Book 2
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Spy turned art restorer Gabriel Allon finds himself accused of murder in this New York Times bestseller from Daniel Silva.An Israeli spy by trade and art restorer by preference, Gabriel Allon arrives...
Spy turned art restorer Gabriel Allon finds himself accused of murder in this New York Times bestseller from Daniel Silva.An Israeli spy by trade and art restorer by preference, Gabriel Allon arrives...
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Description-

  • Spy turned art restorer Gabriel Allon finds himself accused of murder in this New York Times bestseller from Daniel Silva.

    An Israeli spy by trade and art restorer by preference, Gabriel Allon arrives in Zurich to restore the work of an Old Master for a millionaire banker—and finds himself standing in blood and framed for the man’s murder.
    While trying to clear his name, Allon is swept into a spiraling chain of events involving Nazi art theft, a decades-old suicide, and a dark and bloody trail of killings—some of them his own. The spy world Allon thought he had left behind has come back to haunt him. And he will have to fight for his life—against an assassin he himself helped train.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Switzerland 1975

    Marguerite Rolfe was digging in her garden because of the secrets she’d found hidden in her husband’s study. It was late to be working in the garden, well past midnight by now. The spring thaw had left the earth soft and moist, and her spade split the soil with little effort, allowing her to progress with minimal noise. For this she was grateful. Her husband and daughter were asleep in the villa, and she didn’t want to wake them.

    Why couldn’t it have been something simple, like love letters from another woman? There would have been a good row, Marguerite would have confessed her own affair. Lovers would have been relinquished, and soon their home would return to normal. But she hadn’t found love letters—she’d found something much worse.

    For a moment she blamed herself. If she hadn’t been searching his study, she never would have found the photographs. She could have spent the rest of her life in blissful oblivion, believing her husband was the man he appeared to be. But now she knew. Her husband was a monster, his life a lie—a complete and meticulously maintained lie. Therefore she too was a lie.

    Marguerite Rolfe concentrated on her work, making slow and steady progress. After an hour it was done. A good hole, she decided: about six feet in length and two feet across. Six inches below the surface she had encountered a dense layer of clay. As a result it was a bit shallower than she would have preferred. It didn’t matter. She knew it wasn’t permanent.

    She picked up the gun. It was her husband’s favorite weapon, a beautiful shotgun, hand-crafted for him by a master gunsmith in Milan. He would never be able to use it again. This pleased her. She thought of Anna. Please don’t wake up, Anna. Sleep, my love.

    Then she stepped into the ditch, lay down on her back, placed the end of the barrel in her mouth, pulled the trigger.

    ***

    The girl was awakened by music. She did not recognize the piece and wondered how it had found its way into her head. It lingered a moment, a descending series of notes, a serene diminishment. She reached out, eyes still closed, and searched the folds of the bedding until her palm found the body which lay a few inches away. Her fingers slipped over the narrow waist, up the slender, elegant neck, toward the graceful curved features of the scroll. Last night they had quarreled. Now it was time to set aside their differences and make peace.

    She eased from the bed, pulled on a dressing gown. Five hours of practice stretched before her. Thirteen years old, a sun-drenched June morning, and this was how she would spend her day—and every other day that summer.

    Stretching the muscles of her neck, she gazed out the window at the flowering garden. It was a melee of spring color. Beyond the garden rose the steep slope of the valley wall. High above it all loomed the snow-capped mountain peaks, glittering in the bright summer sun. She pressed her violin to her neck and prepared to play the first Ètude.

    Then she noticed something in the garden: a mound of dirt, a long shallow hole. From her vantage point in the window she could see a swath of white fabric stretched across the bottom and pale hands wrapped around the barrel of a gun.

    “Mama!” she screamed, and the violin crashed to the floor.

    ***

    She threw open the door to her father’s study without knocking. She had expected to find him at his desk, hunched over his ledgers, but instead he was perched on the edge of a high-backed wing chair, next to the fireplace. A tiny, elfin figure, he wore his...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 14, 2002
    Switzerland's shameful behavior in WWII provides the backdrop for this superbly crafted thriller that puts Silva at the forefront of his generation of foreign intrigue specialists. Here, the former CNN correspondent also appears to have settled on a main character to propel his promising line—Gabriel Allon, the art restorer and Israeli hit man who starred in last year's acclaimed The Kill Artist. Just a few pages into this sequel, Allon finds himself the apparent victim of a double cross. When he arrives to restore a Raphael owned by reclusive Swiss banker Augustus Rolfe, Allon not only discovers the banker dead but finds himself the number one suspect. The charge doesn't stick, however, and when he is released from custody, he vows to find out who tried to frame him. His first stop is Rolfe's daughter, Anna, one of the world's top violinists and a woman haunted by her family's heritage of wartime greed and cruelty. Allon catches the attention of Switzerland's secretive power structure, which intends to stymie any further investigation into Rolfe's murder and the theft of his suspiciously acquired art collection. The so-called Council of Rütli contracts with a shadowy hit man, known only as the Englishman, to eliminate Allon and anyone else who threatens to expose Switzerland's past. The action unfolds in tightly focused scenes played out across a spectrum of European capitals and more pastoral settings. As a historical framework, the secrets of the Bahnhofstrasse are well-trod territory, yet Silva's sophisticated treatment—polished prose, an edgy mood, convincing research—gives his plot a crisp, almost urgent quality. Agent, Esther Newberg of ICM. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 national advertising campaign.

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Gabriel Allon Series, Book 2
Daniel Silva
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