|A Death in Vienna
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Art restorer and sometime spy Gabriel Allon is sent to Vienna to investigate a bombing and uncovers a portrait of evil stretching across sixty years and thousands of lives -- and into his own personal nightmares.
Gabriel Allon hasn't been back to Vienna since his wife and child died there in a terrorist bombing. But when his mentor in the Israeli intelligence agency dispatches him to the Austrian capitol to investigate a murderous explosion at the Wartime Claims and Inquiry Office, his presence alerts the attention of police officials who have reasons to stand in the way of his investigation. When a concentration camp survivor is killed who could link the father of Austria's next chancellor to Nazi atrocities and an ongoing coverup by the Catholic Church, Allon discovers another connection to the conspiracy, this one closer to his own past than he could ever have imagined. This is the third of Silva's thrillers featuring Allon, the art restorer who's also a spy (The Confessor and The English Assassin are the first two). In an endnote, the author calls them a "completed cycle dealing with the unfinished business of the Holocaust." Allon is such a compelling hero that one hopes Silva, a skilled craftsman and a terrific story-teller, will bring him back in another series. --Jane Adams
- Gabe Allon v.Jack Ryan?
Where are all the Gabriel Allon movies from Hollywood??? Oh yes, film industry Jews would rather churn out mind rotting and sexually degrading films and television shows. They certainly don't want to attract undue attention to themselves by offering the world an alternative to the Ameri-Anglo character, Jack Ryan. Daniel Silva deserves credit and recognition for writing stories that are so believable (except for the one where Il Papa addresses the Rome synagogue). Come on Hollywood! The whole world is choking on your politically correct spew; give us something whorthwhile, give us Gabe Allon....more info
- Love Daniel Silva!!!
Daniel Silva is a wonderful author. His books are hard to put down once you start reading one. His characters are full and extremely human-showing the best and the worst of humanity. Many of his books have the same characters but he makes it very easy to understand how they all fit together-in the past and in the time of the book. His assassins are even somewhat likeable because he gives the background showing why they became assassins. His books would make terrific movies. He better write another one fast because I only have a couple of his older ones to read before I will need more....more info
- When do we stop? Never.
Learned historians have argued for years about the cause, loss, destruction and Armageddon-like aspects of the Second World War. Insanity, greed, myopia, good versus evil. One of the more compelling arguments that the storm that gathered which would turn Europe into a giant necropolis was that it was intrinsically evil. More so than in other conflicts dating back to Alexander. And at the heart of that is the death camps.
Hard to explain. It is so horrific as to make the brightest of women and men shudder in attempts to comprehend. Just to understand takes monumental discipline.
Simon Weisenthal, the most known of the Nazi hunters, was once asked if ever we come to the point that we have hunted these monsters of the Reichstag long enough. Weisenthal responded, "never." We must remember. We must have something to remind us. We must never forget.
I'm not sure that the novel is the best forum for that monument. But at times it may be the only forum. Mr. Silva presents a magnetic, riveting novel on the search for a death camp officer who, through a series of believable ironies and misguided assitance escaped detection.
It is a terrifying journey. Not having read the first two parts of the Gabriel Allon saga, I can at least report that "A Death in Vienna" stands on it's own two legs.
Lengthy and haunting, even for an Irish kid from New York born after WWII, it brings tears to your eyes.
Not your usual mystery/adventure. Worth the effort. 5 stars. Larry Scantlebury ...more info
- My Least Favorite of the Holocaust Trilogy
Gabriel Allon, art restorer/Israeli spy-assassin is back in the third installment dealing with the sins of the past. Allon is pulled from his art restoration project when a friend who is active is tracking down Nazi war criminals is the target of an assassination attempt. As his friend fights for his life, Allon delves into the reasons behind the attack. What he finds becomes personal when it appears that his Mother had encounters in Jewish prison camps in the WWII era with the very man who might be responsible for the assassination attempt. The book, while at times fast moving, seems to drag and be more predictable than most of Silva's books. I enjoyed The Confessor much more than this book....more info
- Danger, excitement, secrets, intrigue and revenge...
A Death in Vienna was my first Dan Silva book and it won't be my last. Silva weaves together a spy story of danger, excitement, secrets, intrigue and revenge that few authors can match.
A Death in Vienna opens in Austria when the office of Wartime Claims and Inquiries is bombed. The office is run by a former Israeli intelligence officer, and he is severely injured and two of his office assistants are killed. The Austrian's write it off as the work of Islamic extremists, but the Israeli's are convinced the crime was done to protect former Nazi officials. Gabriel Allon is a world class restorer of art and is working in Venice under the assumed name of Mario DelVecchio. In actuality, he is also an Israeli agent called in when needed on important cases. In A Death in Vienna, he discovers that the Austrian's are indeed protecting a former Nazi, and Allon needs to discover how and why. His search takes him through many countries including Austria, Israel, Italy, Argentina and the United States. Through it all, Allon discovers that things are sometimes even more complicated than they appear--especially when the CIA becomes involved. In the process, he also learns dark secrets about life in the German concentration camps during World War II, as well as secrets his mother couldn't tell him about her time in a camp.
I like mysteries that use real facts and historical backdrops, and A Death in Vienna is such a book. Silva wrote two previous books using the same characters that touch on related subjects, and I'm sorry that I didn't read them first. They include The English Assassin (about Nazi art looting and Swiss banks) and The Confessor (the role of the Roman Catholic Church and the Holocaust). You can be sure that I've added these books to my list.
- Slow, boring and unbelievable at times.
Of the six books that I have read by Silva, this is the first three stars; the others were either four or five. This book was the third in the Gabriel Allon series and it became tiresome to read many details over for the third time. It is okay to keep some of the main characters from book to book, but to keep repeating so many details is robbing a reader's time and is boring to say the least. In addition to this it was a slow moving story and in many places was unbelievable.
Everywhere Gabriel went some person picked up the phone after he left and told the bad guys where he was, what he was doing and in some cases where he was going. This is the first book that I have read where the bad guys had an informer that just happened to work in every hotel, restaurant, etc. where Gabriel showed his face; this occurred in multiple cities in different countries. In some cases it was true in reverse; when Gabriel is in trouble suddenly an associate pops up from nowhere just when he about to be eliminated. In one case an assassin has targeted Allon in a cemetery but does he try a shot from cover? No he is out in the open walking towards Allon. Why was this? Was it so that Allon's friend that he didn't even know was in the country would have time to suddenly appear on a motorcycle in a graveyard and shoot the assassin.
I love surprises in a novel but they have to be based on a reasonable sequence that is in character for what you have been let to believe. Of the many thriller books that I have read the most consistent writer is John J, Nance which has many five stars for my reviews.
- Anyone for a quick airport book?
Let me start and say this is the only Silva book I've read. I've been seeing Silva put out a Gabriel Allon book every year or so and decided that if the character has warranted so many books, it must be worth something. How wrong was I!
Let me start with the good. The book has a good flow and pace and is, in general, a quick fun read (hence an airport book). The Holocaust research is also interesting and well adapted into the story. Unfortunately, my praise ends about there. The plot is simplistic (zero twists), the characters are very shallow (one was involved in kidnapping Eichmann and the other in hunting the '72 Olympics murderers - WOW!!!) and underdeveloped and the story leaves much to be desired.
I said this was my first Silva book and I must say (unless I'm at the airport again) it will probably be my last. Whoever in the Chicago Sun-Times rated Silva as the new John Le Carre, should reread any Le Carre.
- Excellent ending to a 3 book series
I had just finished reading the last/newest book from my favorite author Patricia Cornwell and needed something new. On her website she recommended this book. When I looked into it further I decided to read the first two in the series as well. In 2 weeks I read all 3 books, and I have 4 children and a full time job. All three books just can't be put down!! The characters are so well written that you forget the books are fiction (even though some of the book is based on reality). I could picture the whole scene in my mind. I would highly recommend all 3 of these novels. Daniel Silva is a first rate author in my book!...more info
- Silva explores Europe's still-lingering denial/amnesia about the Holocaust
Daniel Silva may not be welcome in certain circles of the European elite, thanks to his series of novels featuring Israeli assassin/world-class art restorer Gabriel Allon. Using Allon as a very capable protagonist, Silva has explored the unsavory present-day connections with the Holocaust that Switzerland and the Vatican would prefer the rest of us forget. With "A Death in Vienna," Silva turns his remorseless pen to the birthplace of Adolph Hitler, Austria.
As one character remarks, only the Austrians could convince the world that Beethoven was an Austrian and Hitler a German. While most of us think of Austria in terms of alpine vistas and Mozart, Silva reminds us that Austria has largely avoided the condemnation that history foisted on its deserving neighbor, Germany. "A Death in Vienna" is not set in a specific year, but it's clear that in the latter half of the twentieth century, Austria still had some unresolved issues.
In a gripping opening chapter, an Israeli who makes his living tracking down Nazi war criminals is nearly killed when a bomb destroys his office. The Viennese police are only too willing to blame Islamic extremists, but Ari Shamron, former head of Israeli intelligence, knows better. He enlists Allon to do some investigating, intuiting that Allon's lethal skills will be required in this endeavor.
What follows is a pell-mell investigation that tracks from Europe to Israel to Argentina and back, as Allon discovers connections between the Holocaust and the current right-wing candidate for Austrian Prime Minister. Naturally, these are the kind of secrets that get people bumped off, and Silva keeps the pulse pounding as Allon digs deeper and deeper into the mysteries.
Allon is also forced to confront his own past as he learns of the connection between the Austrian PM candidate and his own mother, a survivor of Auschwitz. Indeed, the most riveting section of the book is the narrative history of his own mother Allon uncovers in the Israeli Holocaust archives. While perhaps the contents of this memoir aren't completely original for those of us who have seen "Schindler's List" or done even a modicum of research into the topic, but Silva writes with such a moving sense of place and person that the pages tear by.
Ultimately, "A Death in Vienna" is a thriller - complete with short chapters, action-packed scenes, and lethal and exotic characters all around. But it succeeds as both a thriller and as an exploration of one of Austria's dirty little secrets. By virtue of being "about something," "A Death in Vienna" gets a higher ranking than your standard airplane-thriller fare....more info
- Glowing Pains: To the Negative Reviewers
Daniel Silva has again capably demonstrated not only his talent, but also the development of his writing from his first novel to his latest. A Death in Vienna cannot be judged, or anticipated, by simply reading the book's inside cover (those critical of the book would probably not have enjoyed Gone With The Wind judging from the movie posters). Instead, it should be read from beginning to end, but only after one has read all of Mr. Silva's prior works in chronological order. For those negative reviewers who were searching for the new Da Vinci Code, welcome to the world of Daniel Silva's writing, which is, to say the least, art in and of itself. By his latest creation, Daniel Silva demonstrates that he has only one best selling novelist to top - himself. And the proof is in the reading....more info
A concentration camp survivor spots a war criminal in Vienna 60 years later. People do not forget. The criminal went into hiding after World War II, and has n new identity. He also has powerful friends and a network of informants, and will kill to protect his secret. Revealing his past will be a major embarrassment to governments and some highly placed people.
Art restorer Mario Delvecchio, in reality the Israeli agent Gabriel, is drawn into the case after people in Vienna are killed. His job is to verify the identity of the war criminal and to bring him to justice. Gabriel finds his own life in danger, but also finds a personal motive.
This is the third novel in a trilogy relating to The Holocaust. The story is well researched, and contains material not for the squeamish. It describes the details of the atrocities of the war criminal, the reasons for hunting him down, and the motives of the various people involved. It also goes into details of how war criminals escaped justice, and how various people, agencies, or governments would prefer to leave events in the past buried....more info
- stupid and offensive, but there is some action there
This is not a complete loss, there are some well written scenes, there is a thrill and there is an intrigue.
But, practically everybody acts stupid and there is a feeling that the most of the figures are simply cut out from the cardboard. And the biggest problem is that I found some parts of Holocaust-related line very offensive to the memory of my great grandfather and others who were killed....more info
- PAIN ON EVERY PAGE...
I don't know much about Mr. Daniel Silva but it feels as he lived through the events or at least was exposed to stories told by people, who lived through the events described in the book.
This is a case, somewhat familiar, of a hunt for an old Nazi, who was able to escape the prosecution. Yes, this approach was used on a number of times by many good writers in order to tell the story of the war, pain, terror, suffering, survival and escape of the criminal, who played the system and the system protected him. All these books end up with some kind of a punishment but neither writer nor the reader are ever satisfied. Even the worst punishment cannot restore the wrong done to so many innocent people and it never returns the dead. But, nevertheless, the punishment is important and it has to be public in order for people to realize what happened and to what degree. Also we hope that it would never happen again but it happens on a smaller scale as local genocides and as the terror spread out by the militant Muslims. So, this book, as many others, is very important.
But what makes it different, standing out, personal? When I was reading this book I had the feeling that Mr. Silva was very personal. It was not just another thriller with the Israeli secret service and running around the world. There was a painful story in the foundation of the book. This story is so familiar to so many Jews around the world. Every Jewish family had members, who perished during the war and not fighting the enemy but being starved and beaten to death, by being killed in so many ways, by being gassed and burnt and by being violated even after death through the denial of what the Nazis did.
I believe Mr. Silva reached the "best so far" with this book. Keep writing, Mr. Silva. You are on the right way.
- A Death in Vienna - Kay
One of my favorite books by a favorite author. I have read all of his books and am now having to buy second copies because my husband and I keep re-reading till they are plain worn out....more info
- Good book!
I have just started reading Daniel Silva and this book was good, but sometimes the characters names were hard to remember and I had to go back and find out who was who. Other than that, the storyline was good!...more info
- Another great effort from Silva
With A Death in Vienna, Silva provides the third book in a trilogy centered on the treatment of the Jews in WWII. In a reprise of Gabriel Allon, the art restorer and sometimes Israeli spy from previous novels, Silva spins a tale of intrigue that keeps the reader turning the pages. The core characters from previous efforts are complemented by a new cast of believable characters that come to life within the pages. The story provides the usual action, excitement, and intrigue that are Silva?s trademark. At the same time, deep emotional issues (some known to readers of previous works and some newly introduced in this latest effort) facing Gabriel provide an added dimension to the action. If you read and enjoyed The English Assassin and The Confessor, then A Death in Vienna is a must. ...more info
- The effect of the Holocaust unto the nth generation
This book is chronologically the fourth in the Gabriel Allon series.
1. The Kill Artist
2. The English Assassin
3. The Confessor
4. Death in Venice
5. Prince of Fire
6. The Messenger
In this book, Gabriel, a former assassin for Israel's foreign intelligence service, the Mossad (which translates into English as "The Institution") retired after the murders of his wife and son to lead a quiet life as an art restorer, one who fixes the wounded past. Gabriel's ex-boss, Ari Shamron, an Israeli spymaster a la George Smiley but far more treacherous, again draws Gabriel into the world of espionage and revenge by convincing him to investigate a bombing that left his friend Eli Lavon in a coma and two women dead. Gabriel sifts through the rubble of the past and finds not only the bomber, but his mother's story that he never knew.
While many books have dealt with the suffering of survivors of the Holocaust, few books have ventured to discuss the pain inflicted on the next generation, raised by people too badly scarred emotionally to normally parent children, but who tried their best nevertheless. The act of bringing a child into this vale of tears is an act of hope and optimism, a physical confirmation that the world is worth another human life, but many Holocaust survivors weren't able to fully participate in loving their children as much as they would have, given other circumstances. When one sees such devastation of humanity, it is impossible to cling too closely to one particular soul that might be snuffed out by the machinations of world powers. By exploring the aftermath of the Holocaust on a familial level, we gain new understanding of Gabriel, and we begin to understand how such a talented artist has the soul of killer.
Author of Rabid: A Novel and Callous: A Novel...more info
- Well done Mr. Silva
Well researched and written like McCrae's BARK OF THE DOGWOOD (though a totally different subject!) and well plotted and paced like Baldacci's SPLIT SECOND, A DEATH IN VIENNA is a superb read on so many levels. My first reaction to this book was, "The Holocaust and the Nazi thing has been done to death," but once into the book I realized that I was reading something fresh and new, and above all, exciting. As always, Silva has constructed a story that is gripping, compelling his readers to turn every page with bated breath. In the course of solving the murder, the protagonist has to delve deep into the history of the Nazis and the way that they treated their victims. Riveting and complex, this is not a tale for the faint-of-heart.
Also recommended: McCrae's Bark of the Dogwood and The Devil in the White City...more info
- Not his best, but still very good.
I have been a hardcore fan of Silva since I discovered his novel "The English Assassin" in the spring of 2002. I was going through a difficult time in my life and his book helped me through it. Since I've re-read all his novels at least twice and must say I was dissapointed this time. Don't get me wrong, this is a well-crafted, intelligent spy yarn that nicely ties up Silva's trilogy, but this one seemed to move slower than usual and the plotting just wasn't very interesting. There is more interesting backstory & drama involving Gabriel's personal life, including things with his mother and the woman in his life, but like I said the actual mystery/spy story in the novel is his weakest yet. I feel that "The English Assassin" is still the best of the three, and they've gone downhill since. Now that Silva has gotten these Holocaust novels out of his system, hopefully he can go back and write something with more thrilling suspense like "The English Assassin" or "The Kill Artist", which in my opinion is his best Gabriel Allon novel....more info
- Israel wins again
Daniel Silva has written another great escapade for Gabriel Allon. The plot is realistic. One would hope that the Israeli intelligence group is not so ego-driven as Daniel portrays it; however, if it is then its victories are even more amazing. One can only hope that Daniel keeps writing for a long time....more info
- Gabriel Allon is the man!!
I have gained a an ever increasing respect for Holocaust survivors. I do not believe anyone can ever really begin to imagine the horrors of this period in history. Gabriel Allon learned of this first hand upon reading a manuscript, written by his mother, who was a physical survivor. The monstor who stripped her of everything except her moral courage is alive and Gabriel must bring him to justice.
Another great read from Daniel Silva. 5 stars....more info
- A Competent Job
"A Death in Vienna," its author Daniel Silva has written,"completes a cycle of three novels dealing with the unfinished business of the holocaust." In doing so, Silva has crafted a tight, fast-moving, well-grounded spy novel. In knowledgeable circles,this author's work is reputed to be accurate on the spycraft, and to be informed on the procedures of Israel's spy agency, Mossad; and America's, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
This novel centers on Gabriel Allon, Israeli son of a holocaust survivor, raised on a kibbutz, widely considered an excellent art restorer, secretly an Israeli spy/hitman. There's been a fatal bombing in Vienna, at an office similar to that of famed holocaust survivor/Nazi investigator Elie Wiesel. Allon speaks a native Berliner's German, learned at the knee of his mother, a holocaust survivor, and he knows Vienna, from previous operations there, so the Israeli secret service sends him back. He's not welcome back, as a result of those previous operations -- despite the fact that spies have traditionally been thick on the ground in that city for most of the 20th century. But there he is, looking into the office's last case. This brings him to Rome, where he investigates the Vatican's checkered role in the holocaust, and the aftermath of World War II; and to Latin America, where many fugitive Nazis settled. He soon realizes this case will reach out to touch him personally, through his late mother.
The author's characters are individuated and well-drawn, and his writing is resonant. He's witty and terse, too. At one point he writes, discussing a CIA safe house:" the safe house is located in a corner of the Virginia horse country where wealth and privilege meet the hard reality of rural southern life." It's no wonder he's considered one of the more competent spy novelists working today. ...more info
- Another fabulous Silva book!
I have read all of Silva's books so far - and I love each one. He is an excellent writer. He makes it difficult to read other authors after reading one of his books!...more info
- The Hitman's Consolation
The book's hero is a former Israeli assassin presented by the author (pp. 269-70) as having led the Mossad operation to murder the Palestinian leader Khalil al-Wazir (nom de guerre Abu Jihad), which transpired in the country of Tunisia on April 16, 1988, in the presence of his wife and children. I wonder how many people reading the book assume this was a fictional event, part of the background story of the obviously fictional protagonist. Gabriel, our hero, seems to have completed that assignment with the usual Israeli efficiency - except for one thing. He stopped for a few seconds to "console" the wife and children of the man he had just murdered. I doubt the average reader will trouble his imagination by questioning how such a murder of a Palestinian could be justified. For Gabriel is seen as a "good" assassin. He condescended to console the wife and children. I was reminded for some reason of Golda Meir's statement ""I can forgive you [i.e. Arabs] for killing my boys, but I can never forgive you for making our boys kill yours." What a terrible tragedy for the Israelis, that despite all their natural goodness, they are forced, just forced, to murder Palestinians. Look, their assassin stopped to console the Palestinian's wife and children!
I read `A Death in Vienna' because a friend had recommended the author Daniel Silva. I chose this particular title randomly from several sitting on the shelf. My friend told me the hero's name is Gabriel Allon, and that he is an art restorer. Rather early in the book, I was tempted to stop reading. After a bombing in Vienna, the hero's Mossad superior refers to statements claiming responsibility as "the usual drivel about the plight of the Palestinians and the destruction of the Zionist entity" (p.22). But I didn't stop reading; I soldiered on to the end.
Is this book for you, or not for you? If you are among those willing to regard the plight of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis' as so much "drivel", then this book may be right up your alley. There's plenty of good times to be had, watching as the former Nazi is captured and brought back to Israel for punishment. It's true that the action is plodding and the suspense non-existent, but as one gentile reviewer said here on Amazon, "So sad, so sad. While reading this book, I cried and prayed for the Jewish people - 5 stars". Precisely one of the author's goals, I am quite sure.
If on the other hand, you are one who is aware of and disturbed by the plight of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis, then you may find the novel's glorification of the Mossad hit man to be, well, not something you can easily warm up to.
- A STELLAR VOICE PERFORMANCE
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.
- Gail Cooke ...more info
- Not one of my favorites
This is the first time that I have read this author, and I think that it will be the last...this book for the most part was very boring and I could not wait to finish the thing..most of the words that he uses in this book are very hard to pronounce, and he does not give a lot of feedback to his characters, this is something that would be very helpful to someone, such as myself that has never read his books. I did not feel compelled to care about these characters in this book in the least....some action, but very little....I do not care to read another of this authors books.....if you must read, I suggest you look for earlier works, so that you are not left out in the cold as to who these ppl are in the book!!!!...more info
- An another outstanding effort
Daniel Silva is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Without giving the story away, Mr. Silva writes in a prose that is so clear that you feel like you have been transported to Italy, and have become a witness to the story. In short this is a must read suspense novel that the reader will find is well-plotted and well-written story. ...more info