It has been six months since Gabriel's showdown with Ivan Kharkov. Now, having severed his ties with the Office, Gabriel has retreated to the Cornish coast with only one thing in mind: healing his wife, Chiara, after her encounter with evil. But an unspeakable act of violence once again draws Gabriel into a world of danger when an art restorer is brutally murdered and the newly discovered Rembrandt on which he is working taken.
Gabriel Allon is an art restorer/expert assassin. He's retired (from killing), though, and looks forward to
Of course, things don't go according to plan. He's recruited to help find a stolen Rembrandt painting, and all hell breaks loose.
At first I thought this might be a fun, Thomas Crown-style book, but it really isn't. It's got international intrigue and politics and really scary people (there's a big Holocaust subplot). It's a thick book (476 pages, not counting the author's note) but it reads like a beach novel.
I’ve read 2 of the previous Gabriel Allon books and while I enjoyed them they didn’t come close to The Rembrandt Affair, this one just grabbed me and I didn’t like having to set it down. Each of the books I’ve read has a little history lesson on the Holocaust and some party or countries participation. The history here was some I’d never heard before and really appreciated the information.
Overall, a great story, an intense read and educational as well as enjoyable. The best one I’ve read in the series so far.
Gabriel Allon, master art restorer and infamous spy and assassin, is forced out of retirement to help a friend recover a stolen item, but what starts out as a simple robbery deepens into a mystery that will place Allon firmly back into the world of espionage and international politics. A sleek, sophisticated thriller for the 21st Century, THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR will leave you on the edge of your seat crying for justice, as Allon races around the world to right one of the largest evils of the twentieth century.
Gabriel Allon is a talented spy and assassin, but also a master art restorer. If you could have two careers that seem to be complete opposites, what would they be?
I already do: writer and accountant! To me, the two are nothing alike. One is very exact, very rule-based, logical and impartial. The other is emotional, creative, and free. They definitely require usage of two different portions of the brain.
What three words would you use to describe the character of Gabriel Allon?
Dedicated, compassionate, committed.
THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR takes the reader all over the world. Of all the locations mentioned, which would be your ideal vacation spot?
My ideal vacation spot would be Amsterdam. I have been there once before at least a decade ago and fell in love with the city. There is so much to do there and so much to see. I would love to go back and explore those areas of the city we did not get to see the first time I was there.
Art theft plays a major role in the novel. If no crime were involved, what piece of art would you like to have in your home?
As cheesy at it sounds, I would love to have either Van Gogh's Sunflowers or Starry Nights. Either one speaks to me in a way that no other art work has. Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers, so looking at that piece of art automatically cheers me up, while Starry Nights calms me down and forces me to relax.
Zoe Reed is a powerful female character in the novel. Tell us about an influential woman in your life.
One of the most influential women in my life is my former mentor and manager. From the very first, she took me under her wing to help guide me around the intricacies of the business. More importantly, she taught me the importance of balance and priorities. When my children were sick, she all but kicked me out the door to go get them, never concerned about my work but more concerned that I was there for my children when they needed me. When I was searching for my next challenge and attempting to envision my future, she supported me, gave me advice on her experiences and never once prevented me from putting my resume in for different jobs. Her mantra was that it was my career, and that she would not hold me back from what I wanted to do. It was a lesson in management and leadership that I wish others would learn. I remain grateful for her influence and her lessons and strive hard to keep that balance and hope to pass it along to my future employees, if I ever decide to make the leap into management.
Who was your favorite "good guy" in THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR and why?
My favorite character was Zoe Reed. She was sensible and realistic. She was able to put aside her hurt feelings and raw emotions to do what she felt was right. She has a strong sense of ethics and does not let anything compromise that. Also, one cannot help but feel a bit sorry for her that she was thrust into certain situations when all she was doing was trying to live her life in accordance with her own morals and dreams.
All of the technology discussed in the novel is real. Does any of it surprise you?
There were no surprises in the technology discussed in the novel. In fact, I am positive that there is even more ultra-sensitive espionage technology out there that most of us have never before contemplated. The current technology available to most civilians lends itself well to the espionage game. Let's face it, secrets are what make the world go round.
What celebrity would play Gabriel Allon if THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR were on the big screen?
I could see Pierce Brosnan making an excellent Gabriel Allon. He has physique and ability to showcase cold-heartedness and compassion all at once.
Which fellow book-loving, blogging friend do you think would enjoy THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR? Tag them here and we will mail a finished copy of the novel!
Andi from Estella's Revenge is the first one to come to mind!! Enjoy, Andi!
On a personal note, this was the first time I have ever read a novel of Mr. Silva's. I was completely entranced by the richness of the characters he has created and will definitely be searching out his other works to learn more about Gabriel Allon.
Typical Silva. Good read but I've read it before.