The Heist a novel

by Silva Daniel,

Book, 2014



Call number




New York : Harper, 2014


Gabriel Allon, art restorer and occasional spy, searches for a stolen masterpiece by Caravaggio. Sometimes the best way to find a stolen masterpiece is to steal another one.

User reviews

LibraryThing member readafew
Gabriel has been collecting a large list of ‘friends’ whose sense of right and wrong and what laws to abide vary greatly. This time around he gets them all to help him pull off the worlds biggest heist. He started it all because he friend Isherwood happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong
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Julian Isherwood went to a villa in Italy to discuss the sale of some artwork and what he found was artwork of a different kind. The man he went to see had been beaten to death by professionals. This put Julian in a bad spot and it was used to get Gabriel to look into the matter. Apparently the dead man was a fence for priceless stolen paintings, and the rumors were he was selling a very sought after piece, which might have something to do with his demise. Someone has been buying up all the stolen artwork they can lay their hands on and this is a common way to for rich to hide money for safekeeping.

Gabriel gets all the criminals he has had associations with together to put on a sting like none other. The first order of business is to try and identify this mysterious buyer. To do so, Gabriel needs a very tempting piece of artwork, and the easiest way to get to get a stolen painting to sell, is to steal one.

While I like all of the Gabriel Allon books I have read, this is one I’ve enjoyed reading the most. I don’t mind the dark ones, with the gruesome details of death and torture, but this one proves Gabriel doesn’t need it. I do like how each book in the series targets people and places to showcase the terrible things governments and other groups do to people because they can. Silva is trying and I believe succeeding in bringing to light many atrocities that have and continue to happen around the globe.
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LibraryThing member khiemstra631
Another excellent novel in the Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva. This one enlightens the reader on the situation with Syria and its ruling family. While looking for a stolen alter piece, Gabriel works to pull off a heist worth billions of dollars that belong to the ruler of Syria. Gabriel's
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wife, Chiarra, is still pregnant with his twins, and hopefully, the poor woman will finally give birth in the next book. Lots of good reading and perhaps not quite as much violence as usual. Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member Brewoo69
Great! Gabriel's prepared to take over the Office. Opportunity for recovering stolen painting leads to a middle east connection of huge impact.
LibraryThing member Judiex
Once again art restorer and former Mossad agent Gabriel Allon is trying to do what he likes best, restore a damaged old master, this time an alterpiece in Venice. Unfortunately, his friend;, London art dealer Julian Isherwood has gone to Lake Como to appraise some pieces, at the request of an
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unsavory associate, and discovers a body. In order to save Isherwood from being convicted of being the killer, Allon is asked by Italian authorities to find the killers and as well as a Caravaggio painting that has been missing for several decades.
“Each year thousands of paintings and other objets d’art went missing from museums, galleries, public institutions, and private homes. Estimates of their value ranged as high as $6 billion, making art crime the fourth most lucrative illicit activity in the world....” Allon’s search takes him and his team members to several European countries. In the process of trying to learn the identity of the collector who may have the painting, he decides to smoke him out by offering another priceless masterpiece for sale. We learn why people will steal art objects from museums and how art forgers create forgeries good enough to fool the experts. The description of making a forgery is described, though not in as much detail as given in THE ART FORGER.
The use or misuse of the international banking system is also highlighted as Allon tries to trace the source of the money being used to purchase stolen art masterpieces.
I found the trade near the end of the book to be unrealistic: It could have been made for a lower amount.
THE HEIST includes some of Silva’s philosophy and subtle wit: “...Remember..., everything I told entre nous.” “It shall never pass my lips.” “Swear to me....” “‘You have my solemn word....’ Then, after finishing his drink, he told everyone in the room.”
“It seems difficult to imagine, but there was once a time when human beings did not feel the need to share their every waking moment with hundreds of millions, even billions of complete and utter strangers....In the online age, it was more important to live out loud than to live with dignity. Internet followers were more treasured than flesh-and-blood friends, for they held the illusive promise of celebrity, even immortality.”
As in all of Daniel Silva’s books in the Allon series, this one is well-written and fast-paced. Unfortunately, it also includes unnecessarily short chapters, often several chapters that take place in the same location with the same people at the same time. I always lower a rating because I think that practice is insulting to the intelligence of the readers.
For more information about Caravaggio, another relatively recent book is Matt Rees's A NAME IN BLOOD.
For readers interested in learning more about art restoration, the Cleveland Museum of Art is currently (until September 14, 2014) restoring a Caravaggio’s Crucifixion of Saint Andrew
in a public gallery so visitors can watch as the work progresses.
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LibraryThing member shazjhb
Great book. Hard to keep the intrigue going with the same set of characters. Very enjoyable read
LibraryThing member maggie7484
good story have not read any other book from this author. really enjoyed. the story just kept right on moving.
LibraryThing member nhlsecord
I enjoyed this book although not as much as the others in this series. Silva included a lot of history about the conflicts in the Middle East which was interesting but I would rather have had more story of Gabriel and his team at work in the field. It looks like the team will be retiring soon.

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love the descriptions of the cities and the art restorations, and the interactions of the characters. Mr. SIlva excels at those. I look forward to the next book.
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LibraryThing member repb
Well, I'm sad because I've finished Silva's newest book and I don't know when there will another. The Heist has many of the same characters and intrigue as his earlier works and thus, is a bit predictable. But I don't care. Lovely, descriptive writing with none of the foulness in language or sexual
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nonsense the majority of today's authors feel necessary to include. I admire Silva greatly for that and wish it would rub off. If you're a great writer and come up with great plots like he does, it is not necessary.
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LibraryThing member Bookaholic2
Ongoing series, #14, may be a transitional title in the series as characters age. There are some who claim redundancy in the titles but there are reasons for that. This title continues to use near history, socio-political / geopolitical events / conditions with art restoration thrown into the mix.
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I have no problem with character descriptions being repeated as everyone has not read the entire series. I like the characters and what they go through to achieve positive goals.
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LibraryThing member utbw42
Gabriel Allon is once again drawn into helping solve an international theft of a famous painting and finds himself tracing billions of dollars being used to finance the brutal dictatorship of Syria. Not quite as gripping as previous Silva novels, but no less enjoyable or readable as the author has
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managed to weave a very interesting tale of international embezzlement along with Allon's pursuit of the stolen painting, which leads him to many other problems along the way. I would like to see more of Allon's character expanded in future novels with the upcoming birth of his children with Chiara, and how his family will tie in to his passion (restoring paintings), and his duty (chief of Israeli intelligence). I can see some tense times ahead for Allon as Silva continues to bring to life these wonderful characters.
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LibraryThing member Pmaurer
Long and convoluted tale, linking the theft of multiple paintings and massive funds controlled by the Syrian ruling family. Got to be very tedious at times, but I finished listening to it while on the road.
LibraryThing member labdaddy4
Another excellent book in the series by Daniel Silva. I never tire of his primary character and cast of Israeli intelligence operatives. While Silva's style does not keep you guessing until the very end, he does have enough twists and turns to keep you unsure of the entire final outcome - Well Done
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LibraryThing member librarian1204
I felt that this book was a very good addition to the Gabriel Allon books. I especially it when the emphasis is on art and not on violence. I have read them all and I am eager to see if the series will switch directions when Allon becomes the Director.
LibraryThing member cabockwrites
I've read all the Gabriel Allon books by former journalist Daniel Silva——my guilty pleasure——and this ranks in the middle of the pack. The novel has a lethargic start, the first 200 pages or so is the famous Israeli spy (now slated to become Chief of the Office) searching for a famous
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Italian painting, but not, at first, because there is much at stake other than the painting. However, when the stakes are raised (no spoilers here!) the novel takes off and dives right into the center of Middle East issues on the world stage today.

In addition, and this is my quibble as a writer——get a better title. This title is used up, obvious, a title for even a lesser book, or maybe this is just that.

Read for the last three-quarters of the novel.

Enjoy the summer!

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LibraryThing member buffalogr
This 14th book is a fun read--Gabriel is on his last caper before becoming the head of the Israeli Intelligence Agency. (I don't really believe that it will be his last, do you?) The first part of the book is rather boring and deals with art restoration. I began to wonder if it were an art book.
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Then, it picks up as the head of the Italian art police persuades our hero into looking for a rare painting stolen decades is still loping along. Then, the action gets a little better. When the "office" gets involved, then we're back into Silva's best. Gabriel masterminds a scheme to seize $8B stolen by the Syrian government. As in many other novels Gabriel has always time to visit his first wife and one wonders why? It's a book about spies, dictators, a little art, some current events and quite a bit of excitement. There are references to action from the first 13 books and I wish that I'd read them all before this one.
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LibraryThing member clprice
I knew I had a 10 hour trip to and from Florida so this was a good book to listen to. I like books about art--forgery, history, etc. I chose this book After reading The Art Forger and hearing about this book on Good Morning, Joe, It is not as fast moving as The Inferno, but it has good suspense and
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incredible information about art forgeries, etc.
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LibraryThing member Skylles
Daniel Silva is an excellent writer. While the first chapter of The Heist was a bit difficult to settle into, by chapter 3, I was very much enjoying the story and Daniel Silva's easy pace. The characters are fun and the story enjoyable to watch unfold.

I must also respect Silva's awareness of the
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atrocities being committed globally, and the compassionate way in which he approaches them.

What I did not feel, however, was much anxiety over the character's well-being or safety, which I believe should be a part of any spy/conspiracy novel.

Even lacking the "Thrill" factor, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it for a fun summer read.
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LibraryThing member nyiper
Loved the audio when there was dialogue and discussion of the actual movements as well as the action, but I, unfortunately, don't know enough history to make perfect sense of the more historical details in the book---definitely my fault, not the author's!
LibraryThing member neddludd
This series remains compelling and fun. It's the Super Jews vs. evil. In this case, the bad guys are Sryian's loyal to Assad, and the Syrian government thugs are the reincarnation of Nazi evil. In this work, as in previous titles, Israel, via the super-hero main character, makes a preemptive
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attack. The curve ball here is that in so doing he compromises one of his team who falls into the bad guys hands, and Israel must undo the damage it caused to get the hostage back. There's no perception that an unprovoked preemptive attack might be evil in itself and there's certainly no criticism of Israeli occupation politics or its wars in Gaza. Like in an old-fashioned cowboy movie, the Israelis always wear the white hats and the villains the black hats. The Israeli intelligence community can so anything. Silva's big on establishing parity with other intelligence agencies; in this work, for example, he intersects with the Italians, Swiss, and Great Britain, and the hero is treated as one of the better players on the field. He's supported by the same crew as in the previous books (as well as reveiving aid from the demi-monde including a Corsican assassin, and a French art thief, a forger and others), and don't ever bet against the good guys. But the hero also has this other avocation of restoring old-master art. This allows art history to permeate the stories providing a "good" side to human behavior to match the torture and murder. James Bond is a similar character to the hero, as is Jack Reacher and the Mission Impossible team. It's all very plot driven and as easy to get down as a great beer on a hot day. But there is no suspension of disbelief as there's never any doubt as to who will ultimately win and save the world from yet another sociopath. This is prime beach reading--even in the dead of winter.
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LibraryThing member Olivermagnus
The fourteenth book of the Daniel Allon series begins with a murder investigation surrounding a stolen painting and becomes a mission to hunt down the hidden assets of the Syrian president. Gabriel Allon displays his talents as an art restorer, investigator, and Israeli intelligence operative. The
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story begins when Gabriel attempts to save Julian Isherwood from jail by agreeing to recover the most famous missing painting in the world, Caravaggio’s Nativity. While on this search he recruits the help of a German naturalized citizen, Jihan Nawaz, whose family was the victim of a major massacre in her Syrian hometown. Numerous old favorites from prior series make an appearance here but the most compelling characters of the book are Gabriel and Jihan.

Gabriel Allon has an incredibly complex personality, which makes him more empathetic, and believable. He sometimes makes mistakes and allows himself to be haunted by the loss of loved ones. One of the most poignant scenes in the book is when Gabriel visits his first wife, Leah, who was scarred emotionally and physically by a terrorist bombing where their son was killed. It is heart-breaking to see Leah’s struggles with psychotic depression and witness her as a prisoner to the past. Leah very rarely makes an appearance but when she does she can still pack quite a powerful punch for long time readers.

As always I learned a lot about famous paintings and artists. I found myself googling a number of the paintings referenced and that seemed to add some extra enjoyment to the story for me. The plot line is action packed and filled with intrigue and suspense. Normally this would be a five star read for me but for the very first time I felt like I'd already read this story. It's hard to keep a character fresh after fourteen books and by the end of the book you realize there will soon be lots of changes in Gabriel's life that will potentially open up some great possibilities for future books. I'm still a fan and Silva can count on me to pre-order his next Gabriel Allon thriller.

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LibraryThing member gypsysmom
I really enjoy this series which stars Gabriel Allon, an Israeli spy and art restorer. You always learn something about painting and art restoration and there is always an excellent mystery to boot.

In this installment Gabriel is working in Venice restoring a picture in a church when he is asked to
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get involved in clearing an old friend of a murder charge. The murder victim was a former British spy and art dealer was suspected of dealing in stolen art and, in particular, Caravaggio's Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence. In clearing his friend's name Allon discovers works of art that have been covered over by new paintings but not the Caravaggio. To flush out the Caravaggio painting Allon cooks up a scheme to steal another painting (Allon carefully says borrow, not steal) and offer it to the underground market. It appears that the Syrian dictator is involved so Allon then decides to steal the money stashed away in foreign banks by the Syrians. So there are a number of heists involved in this plot and I guess Silva invites us to take our pick as to which one the title refers.

Fast-paced and set in multiple locales from Tel Aviv to London, you are not going to be bored listening or reading to this book. I listened to it narrated by George Guidall and enjoyed it hugely.
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LibraryThing member librarymary09
Very enjoyable!
LibraryThing member kimkimkim
Daniel Silva never disappoints. Intricate plots, great descriptions of locales, an art history lesson and an up to date recounting of politics.
LibraryThing member skraft001
An enjoyable Gabriel Allon book. Art theft and forgery mixed with international finance.
LibraryThing member libgirl69
Brilliantly constructed and written as usual. For once, no heart dropping moment! Loved how Silva is writing Allon, and how he’s finally getting pulled into Israeli intelligence (a forever desire of Ari’s)

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