The Confessor
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In Munich, a Jewish scholar is assassinated. In Venice, Mossad agent and art restorer Gabriel Allon receives the news, puts down his brushes, and leaves immediately. And at the Vatican, the new pope vows to uncover the truth about the church's response to the Holocaust-while a powerful cardinal plots his next move.

Now, as Allon follows a trail of secrets and unthinkable deeds, the lives of millions are changed forever-and the life of one man becomes expendable...

Gabriel Allon, Daniel Silva's protagonist in an interesting series about a Mossad spy who doubles as an art restorer, returns in a fascinating tale of Vatican complicity in the Holocaust. Author Silva, a political journalist turned espionage writer, has done his homework on some recently unearthed documents and written a fast-paced novel that will reawaken the discussion regarding whether the Catholic Church turned a blind eye to Nazi atrocities against Jews in occupied countries during World War II, and if so, why. Allon remains an enigmatic figure whose desire for revenge against the Leopard, the assassin who killed his wife and child, compels him to put down his paints and brushes and take arms against Israel's past and present enemies. The Confessor is a solidly plotted, well-crafted story that will appeal to fans of Allen Furst, John le Carr¨¦, and other standouts in the international espionage genre. --Jane Adams

Customer Reviews:

  • This could well be the truth, not fiction
    This was my second Daniel Silva novel and was riveted to it to the very end. Mr. Silva's research and writing style help to make ths subject of this book a spine tingling thriller, with no weak spots or dead ends. I was raised catholic and indeed wonder if half of what is illustrated in the book was true. That aside, I recommend this book to any serious reader who wants a high power book to enjoy. Once again, the most credible aspect of the book is the "humanity" that Mr. Silva has given to his characters. I can't wait to read "A Death in Vienna"....more info
  • Wonderful and moving thriller
    This is the second time that I've read Daniel Silva. He has written a wonderful book and I will certainly be reading more in this series. The characters are rich and he does a wonderful job of tying the loose ends together in a somewhat surprising and satisfying way.

    The protagonist Gabriel Allon is both an art restorer and an agent for the Mossad and the motif of making whole that which has been ravaged by the passage of time repeats itself in both capacities. The interplay between minor characters is quite entertaining as is the changes in focus between different groups and settings.

    Unlike many other books of the adventure/mystery genre I was moved to tears - the description of the (fictitious) struggle within the Catholic Church to confront its complicity in the Holocaust was handled beautifully in terms of writing style. On the other hand the sex scene between two terrorists was clumsy and poorly written. Not that terrorists can't have sex, after all where do little terrorists come from, but it just wasn't written that well - it serves to introduce another useful character but the introduction of Antonella Huber which was structured in a similar estate setting (w/o sex) was much more natural. Writing about sex can be difficult for some authors and Silva appears to be one of these.

    Recommended for mystery buffs who enjoy a series with recurring characters.

    ...more info
  • Intense Protagonist
    Gabriel Allon doesn't ruffle easily. As a full-time art restorer/Israeli agent, firing a few rounds at opposing assassins while swapping out brushes during detail work on the Bellini triptych in Venice's San Zaccaria Cathedral, is all in a day's work. As the son of German Jews incarcerated in Nazi death camps during WW2, this angel Gabriel has seen his share of the world's misery and for him, revenge is less than sweet.

    Author David Silva's series of spy thrillers featuring the Allon character begins with Gabriel's out-of-retirement comeback at the behest of "the old man" of the Mossad hall-of-fame, Ari Shamron, an agent whose early career included facilitating the capture of Gestapo leader Adolf Eichmann in Argentina. Silva infuses the relationship between these two Israelis with angst and reprobation---surely Gabriel easily assumes the posture of a reluctant spy while Shamron operates in an older rule-breaking style unappreciated by current Mossad directors. Silva succeeds in perpetuating the uneasy equilibrium between this older mentor and his peace-desiring creation throughout the Holocaust-themed sequence of adventures commencing with "The Kill Artist" and progressing through "The English Assassin", "The Confessor" and finishing with "A Death in Vienna", while revealing the mitigating circumstances of Gabriel's own life that formulate his restless need for self-understanding and retribution.

    Rather than review each of this series, individually, I chose "The Confessor" as the most intriguing of the above quartet (Silva has since added "The Prince of Fire" with "The Messenger" waiting in the wings). The characterizations in each of the novels do not necessarily build upon one another --- Allon doesn't grow from his experiences; he is a man on a string of missions which require his particular detached and deadly skill. If anything, Silva conveys to the reader the drive and persistence required to sustain such a lifestyle that consistently borders on the edge of danger and the havoc such an existence wrecks on Allon's already strained emotional stability.

    From novel to novel, Silva manages to fan the still glowing embers of duplicity, conspiracy and ulterior motives that involved all the major players in Europe during WW2 to the present day with regard to the dire events of the Holocaust. In "The Confessor", a connection to the Roman Catholic Church is explored so thoroughly, it leads to a possible assassination of a new pope. The plot moves along quickly with interesting European cities as a glamorous foil to the inner workings of shadowy groups with the intent on completing the Holocaust's failed mission. Throughout the series, Allon, not exactly a likeable character remains realistically aloof, understandably burdened by the past and the horrors he has witnessed.

    Bottom line: All the books in this series are recommended as fast and uncomplicated reads. However if you are looking to empathize with the main character and watch him unfold negatively or positively with each new mission, look elsewhere----Gabriel Allon epitomizes the perfect assassin---cold and cunning infused with enough grief for an entire misunderstood race. ...more info
  • The Vatican as evil empire
    While all of Silva's novels essentially have the same plot: a struggle between virtuous Israelis and evil Arabs, this one has the Vatican in its center. Silva, for all his disclaimers, knows as we all should that the Catholic Church is probably the most evil institution and the oldest evil institution in our history -- certainly the most evil after the Nazi SS.
    The Vatican and its personnel claim a spiritual power but their power is simply the power of evil domination over ignorant billions of people. The Vatican's collabortion with Hitler in the demise of Europe's Jews is controversial but clear: the Church had no interest in saving the Jews, whom it regarded as the enemies of the Church. And it was correct: the Jews have been hated by Christians for 2000 years because the Jews knew that the Christians had fabricated a Jesus who never existed: a divine son of God dying to save sinners. The real Jesus was an apocalyptic Jew who died defying Rome. The Jews have been uncomfortable for Christians from Paul of Tarsus to Adolf Hitler. Period....more info
  • A must read......if you're about to have root canal surgery......
    because this book is so bad that it'll take your mind away from it.

    Sacre bleu! Someone reported all my previous 3 negative reviews of Daniel Silva books and got them removed! Hmm, I wonder who that could be.

    I am rather annoyed at this because I spent quite a lot of time detailing why I didn't like one of the books, reasonably, I thought. Apparently, someone had decided that they did not follow the review guidelines. I used no profanities. OK, there were some spoilers, but not more than I usually read in other reviews. Not single worded, no phone numbers, no solicitations, etc. Maybe whoever it was just didn't like me negatively reviewing Silva. Well, the last time I checked, the 1st amendment still applies in this country.

    OK, so let me try to post another review of why I didn't like this book without violating any review guidelines, and I'm not going to spend 30 mins on it like last time.

    I thought the book was very poorly written and very boring. I struggled through 1/3 of the book but the author could not capture my attention and I decided not to continue to the end. I've read a couple of other Daniel Silva books, but neither one of them could change my mind that he is an author that I don't like. I can say that I don't like the book, can't I? I will not be buying any more of his books.
    ...more info
  • It's Not the DaVinci Code
    There's a lot wrong with this book. Chief among them is character development. In the editorial review written above, the author calls Gabriel Allon "enigmatic." I'll say! You can find nothing about this character's description, age, fears, passions (except for art restoration), what motivates him, whether he's strong, good, smart. Who IS this guy? Am I supposed to care about him and his cause?

    Silva seems to wrap other stories that were done better (The Day of the Jackal) around his "secret! finally exposed!": that Pope Pius XII was silent during much of the Holocaust, and that Nazi war criminals escaped after the war with the aid of the Roman Catholic Church. Ooooooo. That is SUCH a revelation.

    The other main problem I have with the book is the lack of action until most of the many, many characters are introduced. There are so many characters that I often had to page back in the book to see who someone was when they were later re-introduced into the narrative (Tiepolo, for instance). I don't think much action occurs until after you've read about 200 pages. And after that the action is spotty, not very exciting. There's no real tension built up at any point.

    The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons are much better books on similar subjects (not WWII or the Holocaust but evil within the Vatican). If you've read them and are looking for more on the same or similar subjects, I'd advise, keep looking....more info

  • Brilliant and gripping
    As always, author Daniel Silva has crafted a compelling story in THE CONFESSOR, bravely tackling a topic that is bound to be controversial.

    THE CONFESSOR again displays the careful and scholarly research that Silva's works always evidence. While the book is fiction, it is completely fact-based.

    Here, he has constructed a fictional tale revolving around a significant contrast. He distinguishes between the phony assistance that the Vatican pretended to the world to be giving, albeit passively, to the Jews of Europe during World War II and the active, but hidden, way in which the Church actually supported the Nazis.

    He examines the scholarly evidence in this murder mystery set in the present day. His story is gripping and compelling, so much so that a reader cannot wait to turn the next page.

    THE CONFESSOR proves that Daniel Silva must be included in any current list of that group of leading authors of thrillers....more info

  • A Great Thriller
    This book certainly lives up to its genre. The story is as fresh as current headlines concerning Jewish and Catholic relations and what happened during the Holocaust. Author Silva has written a timely novel and one that delves deeper into the psyche of his main character art restorer and secret Israeli angent, Gabriel Allon. Silva does an excellent job of creating three dimensional characters that become easy to root for. My only negative about the book is the pace of plotting. Mr. Silva moves it along so quickly that at times it becomes choppy and a little over the top. That does not detract from an overall good effort....more info
  • Bitter History
    The shadowy role of the Vatican in the Holocaust has long been a subject of controversy. Here, Daniel Silva takes the issue head on, spinning a fictional yet wholly believable indictment of the Church's complicity with the Nazis, if not as a direct participant, at least in looking the other way while atrocities were committed across Eastern Europe.

    Back is Gabriel Allon, the sometime art restorer and full time assassin of the Israeli Mossad. Allon's current assignment - restoration of the Bellini altarpiece at Venice's San Zaccaria Cathedral - is interrupted to investigate and avenge the murder of longtime friend and Mossad colleague Benjamin Stern. Stern, it turns out, was deep into research that uncovers incriminating evidence of Vatican activity during the Holocaust and in aiding the escape to South America of Nazi war criminals. As always, Silva's Allon is a compelling lead character, while the relevant history is well researched and credible. The plot is thick with conspiracy and secret organizations, similar in that regard to "DaVinci Code". And like "DaVinci", the premise is not complementary of the Roman Catholic Church. Silva's tale unapologetically builds a case that condemns Pope Pius XII for Nazi sympathies during the war, while criticizing his successors for refusing repeated requests to unlock secret Vatican documents regarding the Church's dealings during WWII. While the thinly velied implications of subject matter may offend some, most should find "The Confessor" a suspenseful and entertaining illumination of a not particularly proud period of western civilization.
    ...more info
  • Couldn't put it down
    I read this like one of my favorite John Grisham novels, read it in the space of 24 hours. So it's a quick and easy read, great book to read on the airplane. Daniel Silva tells a good story, keeps you hanging on for more clues to the crime. The story begins with a murder in Munich of a jewish professor, Beni Shamron, son of Ari Shamron, an Israeli spy chief of sorts. The assassin is sadistic, yet over this murder victim and many others, manages to give them last rites while they are still conscious, reciting in Latin that he absolves them of their sins in the name of the Trinity. I don't know how to spell it, but, OOOO. Come to find out there is a secret sect within the Vatican mixed up in this, yet the current, Italian Pope is secretly trying to clean house of these horrific types of clergy. Come to find out, there were other mysterious murders of two simple, parish priests and a nun in Italy previous to this murder. Enter Gabriel Allon, an Israeli spy, trained assassin, who is an art restorer by trade, employed in Venice, intent on finding the killer of his friend. At first I didn't think this book would be as good as A Death in Vienna, but was I surprised. So far, for Daniel Silva's New York Times best sellers, I love them all!...more info
  • Adequate Airplane Book, Not Top-Notch Fictional History

    There is a great deal of potential in fictional history books, such as the Da Vinci Code, and there is no more exciting topic for such books than the cross-over between espionage, religious conspiracy, and genocide.

    Unfortunately, while this book is adequate to an airplane ride, it is not as good as the author's stunningly good earlier work, "The Unlikely Spy", and it is disappointing in terms of its coverage of the Israeli Mossad, the Catholic Church (for a better non-fiction read, see "The Keys of This Blood"), and its over-all lack of critical detail.

    One small example: intelligence professionals do not throw radios (usually with embedded encryption) into the ocean because their subordinates have annoyed them. This was just one of several details that were off-putting, and that made it clear the author was rushing a book out and not doing the homework--nor being held accountable by the publisher for being serious....more info

  • Gabriel Allon goes to Vatican: another great book by Silva
    I have listened to the audio version of the book (using and found it as entertaining as the rest of Gabriel Allon series. The plot is exciting and dynamic throughout the book. In the book, Mossad investigates the murder of one of its covert agents, and walks into a power struggle between the newly selected Pope and a secret Catholic society opposed to him. Although the story takes place in recent years, it is set against the background of the events of World War II, the Holocaust and the role of the Catholic Church in it. The plot is vivid and imaginative (if not somewhat improbable at times), but ultimately it kept me entertained to the last page. Some turns of the events could be predicted if you're familiar with the rest of Silva's books, but that was not a major issue. If you enjoy political intrigue, espionage, and Europe's 20th century history, you will also enjoy this book....more info
  • I confess -- this is a great book!
    This book is chronologically the third in the Gabriel Allon series.

    Chronological Order:
    1. The Kill Artist
    2. The English Assassin
    3. The Confessor
    4. Death in Venice
    5. Prince of Fire
    6. The Messenger (forthcoming)

    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 telling him (truly) that his old friend and fellow erstwhile assassin team member Benjamin Stern was killed by a professional assassin who calls himself The Leopard. Gabriel investigates to find out why Stern was killed.

    Stern was killed to stop his investigations about the Catholic Church's activities during World War II. Most people know that the Church certainly did not do enough to help prevent or lessen the awful toll of the Holocaust. What they did do, and Silva relates his sources in an epilogue at the end, is shocking and horrifying.

    I found some uncomfortable similarities between this book and *The Da Vinci Code;* however, considering the copyright date, it is unlikely that Silva had read the latter when he wrote this one. Here, Gabriel has to find a very, very blonde (though not quite albino) assassin working for a conservative Catholic group who are plotting to take over the Vatican by killing people and are covering up a horrifying secret about the Church. Hmmm. Again however, *The Confessor* is certainly better written than *The Da Vinci Code,* and the revealed secrets are more horrifying because they are demonstrably true.

    Also again, I reiterate what I have said in other reviews of Silva's books: that these are fantastic, wonderful books, somewhat like John Le Carre's work. Le Carre focused on character, deep character, to the detriment of plot. Though Silva definitely creates deep, beautiful characters, (and I refer to *all* of them, even the antagonists, who are fully drawn and capable of surprising humanity and choice,) his plot machinations twist and turn so much that they writhe.

    TK Kenyon
    Author of Rabid: A Novel and Callous: A Novel...more info
  • A thriller all the way to the very last page.
    This is the third book in a series and Silva finally has done everything right even including a good ending. It not only has many twists and turns but has some great surprises; many of them just when you think you have it all figured out. Each layer as it is uncovered brings more questions than answers but art restorer and sometimes spy, Gabriel Allon keeps searching for the answer to who killed his childhood friend and more important why?

    I thought I was well versed on the holocaust but the way Silva interspersed this history as the plot unfolds made it clear how it all happened. It was like there were two stories playing out as I was reading. A must read for anyone that is looking for a book that just can't be put aside until the last page has been flipped.

    Author of al-Qaeda Strikes Again...more info
  • Another great effort by Silva!
    I read the English Assassin a few months ago (loved it) and just finished this one. It is an interesting follow-up, with a wonderful plot. It is an intelligent, compelling read, with great characters. It was definitely worth the money!...more info
  • What is this?
    It's not so much about spying as it is about redemption. Religion takes a back seat to politics and human ethics. Hatred alone doesn't cut it. Forgiveness was the the front burner issue. Crux Vera, the Holocaust, Nazi Germany,the Pope, assassins and lost lovers were plots and sub-plots fitted nicely together in this well written story.

    I'm the author of the psychological drama KISSING FREUD, the action adventure DUBROVNIK and Marilyn Monroe returns in IT'S ALL MAKE BELIEVE, ISN'T IT? Marilyn Monroe Returns. Please preview my books here on or on my secure site info
  • Allon series keeps getting better
    What an amazing read. Compelling from start to finish.

    Professor Benjamin Stern is found dead in his Munich apartment. He also happens to be a former Israeli intelligence operative and close friend of Gabriel Allon, a part time Mossad agent, part time world class art restorer.

    From there, some questions about the Catholic church's role in the Holocaust are brought into the light. Great reading throughout with a lot of historical information.

    I was kind of disappointed by the endings in the Kill Artist and the English Assassin, but this did not disappoint. Definitely Silva's best work to date. Can't wait to start a Death in Vienna....more info
  • Silva triumphs again!
    Reviewers claim "The Confessor" is Daniel Silva's "best." Could be. The author of the very successful "The English Assassin" has a well-timed book that also involves the Church (did somebody say "The Da Vinci Code"?) and whispered (perhaps actual) conspiracies.

    Silva's "art restorer" Gabriel Allon is called into play once again. We know Allon well from "Assassin" and here he is, once again, "recalled into service." The Mossad agent is the perfect man for this job. Again, combining the fine arts, religious concatenations, and 21st century conspiracies, Silva makes his latest well worth the read. In this one, three central personalities figure in: Allon, the writer Benjamin Stern (or rather the life of Stern!), and the newly-elected Pope Paul VII.

    It is difficult to find a more mesmerizing theme today than that of the Church's "conspiracies." That said, of course, Silva's book is not entirely devoted to such a story line. In addition, the book is a Rand-McNally of Europe, as the characters bounce back and forth and across Europe's most exiting easels, and Allon is determined, that again, h e is not to be framed, chiseled, buffed into submission.

    Excitement abounds (not to mention quite a few humanities/fine arts lessons). Highly recommended! ( info

  • I absolve you of your sins In The Name of The Father . . .
    Another excellent read by Daniel Silva. It is difficult to find a Darth Vader-like villain with the death of Communism for the likes of Len Deighton, Robert Ludlum and Nelson DeMille. Silva keeps the "sins of the secret society" alive with his pursuit of the 'largest mass murderers' in the history of the world.

    Here the Vatican is in the cross hairs of Mr. Silva's writing, particularly the complicity of the WWII Pope Pius 12 in turning not the other cheek but a blind eye toward the extermination policies of Eichmann and Goebbles and Der Fuhrer. Did the Vatican know? Did they do more than know? And what was the role of the secret organization crux vera? Dr. Stern was working on a book about the use of Catholic convents and churches to hide escaping Jews from the extermination policies of the Reich, Gabriel is told, 'not much of a reason to get himself killed' Gabriel muses.

    These are the issues that haunt Silva's reluctant hero, Gabriel, almost like the Archangel Gabriel, surely not a coincidence, as he comes out of hiding to investigate the murder of lifetime friend Bennie Stern in Munich. The ancient Landlady of Bennie's apartment, Frau Ratzinger, gives Gabriel a prescription for a pair of Bennie's glasses and that, along with a telephone number for a British 'tell-all' tabloid journalist is all Gabriel has to start with.

    Gabriel reminds me of the only good line in Godfather III, where Don Corleone says "everytime I try to leave they pull me back in." And like that Gabriel wants to be left alone to do the restoration work of his favorite Bellinis in his favorite city, Venice. He wants so much to be left alone that he refuses to talk to his coworkers and works behind a shroud high above the damp church floor, on a scaffold. But Shamron the aging predator knows where to find him and sends him to Munich "where it all started" we are reminded. The reference is not to the book nor teaching of Bennie Stern but to Chancellor Hitler.

    The plotting is riveting; the action taut. A great, great thriller, one of Silva's best. Couldn't put it down. 5 stars. Larry Scantlebury. ...more info
  • Reviews by Nan Kilar and Bobby Miller
    In Munich, Professor Benjamin Stern, a Jewish scholar, is assassinated. In Rome, Pietro Lucchesi is elected pope and reluctantly assumes the office as Pope Paul VII. In Venice, Mario Delvecchio (real name Gabriel), an art restorer (real job assassin), is working on a Bellini restoration project.

    Gabriel is a loner, doesn't associate with others on the restoration team, and has been described as Osama bin Laden himself. He's given false ID by the Israeli Mossad and sent to Munich as Benjamin's stepbrother to search his apartment to find any evidence of his association with the `Office'.

    In Switzerland, Crux Vera, a secret society comprised of rich and powerful men throughout Europe, the group that was responsible for Benjamin's death, meets for a conference. The three guys that run Crux Vera are: Cardinal Brindisi, second in the papal hierarchy and leader of this merry band of crooks; Carlo Casagrande, head of security and operations for the group; and Robert Pucci, the finance man for the group.

    During WWII, Pope Pius XII had done nothing to prevent the deportation and elimination of Jews. The new pope wants to resume the program of reconciliation with the Jews his predecessor started before his sudden and mysterious heart attack. Crux Vera will do all it can to prevent the new Pope from opening these dark doors again. They spread the rumor Gabriel is out to assassinate the Pope. One of them hires the assassin known as the Leopard for a special job. Assassin vs. assassin?

    This contemporary story set in central Europe. There are a lot of characters in the book, but it's never hard to keep them straight. The bad guys that run Crux Vera are ruthless and phony when representing the Church. Not everyone is delighted with the new Pope and want to get rid of him (how Christian). Money can buy any office or deed. Lies and deceit are a way of life for these men. Gabriel figures out what's really going on and being covered up...why Benjamin was murdered, what Crux Vera is covering up... and takes action. Mr. Silva writes intriguing stories that are very interesting to read. There's enough action; you won't be bored....more info
  • Gaberial Allon Rules
    I loved this book, I couldn't put it down, I was really surprised that is only took me 3 days to read it from cover to cover. I was hooked from beginning to end, it was filled with action and suspense. This is a must read if you love spy books. But I do suggest that you read "The Engilsh Assassin" first also by the same author...more info
  • Engrossing
    This book by Daniel Silva is among the most engrossing you are
    apt to read for awhile. His hero, the art-restorer Gabriel Allon, who still does the occasional very secret job for the
    Israeli Secret Service, learns that one of his best friends
    was murdered while working on a top-secret book.
    The search for the truth quickly becomes quite complex, as this
    talented spy searches for answers, and he is directed to an obscure convent along one of Italy's northern lakes, where the
    answers to his questions are really suspicious non-answers.
    His quest send him to locales through Germany and Italy, as well
    as into France and other places, and the tension mounts as Gabriel has to shoot his way out of a couple tight spots, and he
    begins to wonder just who his enemies are.
    Some of the highest leaders of the Roman Catholic church have
    parts to play here, as the search begins to focus on WWII and
    the part the church played in the Nazi's attempts to eliminate
    the Jewish population of Europe.
    Whether the premise, of Catholic indifference to the plight of
    the Jews in WWII Europe, is accepted or not, the story is very
    fascinating, and this author does a magnificant job detailing
    possible scenarios, and his characters are believeable to the
    point of the reader worrying and caring about some of them,
    and hoping for the worst for some others.
    Silva creates both characters and places that are easily visualized, and we do feel we are working along with these people as they are shot at, race around back streets of German
    and Italian cities, and meet with mysterious figures.
    The atmosphere the author creates cannot be beat, and this book
    will end too fast for most readers.
    Grab this one as soon as you can....more info
  • Excellent Book!
    The Confessor kept you captivated and provided a never ending urge to read on. It was a very enjoyable read!...more info
  • Love Daniel Silva's books
    Very exciting story and well written. I just love the Gabriel Alon stories. I can't focus my eyes long enough to read books anymore, and so I get audio books and listen to them when I am driving. Well read, so I hated it when I had to stop....more info
  • Thriller writing doesn't get any better than this
    Daniel Silva is one of the best thriller writers currently working. His novels have it all- well fleshed out characters, exotic locations, nasty villains, and topically relevant pulse racing plots. This latest is no exception.
    A writer, Benjamin Stern is killed in his Munich apartment. The murder is made to look racially motivated in that Stern is Jewish. Gabriel Allon, Israeli Mossad agent and art restorer is called from his job in Venice to look into the death. It is soon discovered that the killer is an assassin for hire-- the same who might have been responsible for the death of Allon's young son and putting his wife into a comatose state. As Allon goes after the killer, he discovers that the reason Benjamin was killed is a plot that could severely discredit the Catholic religion.
    This is the second book published recently that deals with a secret society of the Catholic hierarchy that could place it into peril (with THE DaVINCI CODE by Dan Brown being the other). However, THE CONFESSOR is a much tighter work with the thriller elements more skillfully handled. Gabriel Allon is a compelling character with much human frailties, yet remains a mysterious loner to outsiders. Thriller writing does not get any bettor than this....more info