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The Mark of the Assassin
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Product Description

Bestselling novelist Daniel Silva (author of The Unlikely Spy) draws upon his experience as a foreign correspondent and a Washington journalist in The Mark of the Assassin. Set in London, Cairo, Amsterdam, and Washington, the story line follows CIA case agent Michael Osbourne as he attempts to locate the terrorists who shot down an airliner off the coast of Long Island. Osbourne has two main antagonists: Delaroche, a KGB-trained expert assassin ordered to kill the handful of people who know the truth, including Osbourne, and the corrupt political culture of Washington, which ominously stymies him at every turn. There's a love story at the core of this book, as well as a brave attempt by Osbourne to reconcile a mystery in his past with a present he has not fully accepted. The prose is slick, and readers will find themselves racing through these pages as the body count grows and the conclusion nears. The Mark of the Assassin is a worthy effort from a rising star.

When a commercial airliner is blown out of the sky off the East Coast, the CIA scrambles to find the perpetrators. A body is discovered near the crash site with three bullets to the face: the calling card of a shadowy international assassin. Only agent Michael Osbourne has seen the markings before-on a woman he once loved.Now, it's personal for Osbourne. Consumed by his dark obsession with the assassin, he's willing to risk his family, his career, and his life-to settle a score...

Customer Reviews:

  • A damn good read!
    I enjoyed this book a great deal, even though I read it on a 747 flying out of Kennedy Airport towards London! This is Silva's second book, and the first to deal with the threat of international terrorism. It is quite topical in a sense, considering the fate of TWA600. It is an excellent thriller, fast paced, with well-developed characters. Clearly a good training for Silva, since his character development in his subsequent novels was outstanding. I do not agree with some other reviewers who state that the plot is not believable. I believe that it is all too believable. The story starts when an international airliner is downed by a missile fired from a terrorist on a boat. The terrorist kills his accomplice in a signature fashion, which comes to the attention of a CIA analyst, Michael Osborne, who has his own personal score to settle with the terrorist. And so we plunge into the intriguing and scary world of international terrorism, and the anti-terrorist efforts spearheaded by Osborne. Of course, there are some interesting sub-plots woven in as well, often dealing with the personal lives of the main players. It was a damn good read, and can I strongly recommend this book....more info
  • Too Many Phantom Stereotypes -- Otherwise OK
    Silva's new book is larded with "beautiful," incandescently "intelligent," and, of course, wealthy persons whose fortunes were either inherited or made effortlessly before the book started. Unfortunately, neither the world nor our government is run by these phantoms of character-by-the-number fiction; otherwise, for example, we would not be enmeshed in the current Balkan morass--either causing or suffering the death of so many thousands. Mark of the Assassin is, nevertheless, an OK read for the airport....more info
  • Fast paced, enjoyable characters, hard to put down
    My first Silva book but certainly not my last. I know he has a new one due out, can't wait! The only thing I didn't care for was how Delarouche could shoot anyone three times in the face with a 9mm weapon?...more info
  • Not up to par
    I have recently discovered Daniel Silva, I started with the Gabriel Allon series. I was disappointed in "The Mark of the Assasin", the issues were not resolved. They were left to hang for "The Marching Season"
    The Gabriel Allon books were a real joy to read. This one was just not up to par. ...more info
  • Unexpected Allon character prequel
    While not featuring as strong a protagonist as Silva's later books featuring Gabriel Allon, it does introduce characters that will be familiar to readers of Silva's Allon novels: the CIA's Adrian Carter, Mossad's Ari Shamron, and others.

    By itself, it's a solid if unspectacular thriller. But for fans of the Allon series, it has the added delightful dimension of providing backstory to several continuing characters....more info
  • Want a good read like The Unlikely Spy? It's not here.
    I was expecting a good spy novel like Silva's previous The Unlikely Spy, but it definitely wasn't in this book. The Mark of the Assassin is not much more than a cheap knock-off of a Tom Clancy novel -- it even has a whole lot of stock stereotypical characters (the traitor, the love interest, the religiously ferverant crazy person). And if dumb action, stock characters, and impossible situations won't sell this book, why not stick in a whole lot of gratuitous sex? This book is a let down and I'm not look forward to Silva's new book....more info
  • Good summer read!
    My first time reading Silva, I found "Mark" to be a quick and entertaining summer read. The action was compelling and his decsriptions of locations (having been to most) were dead-on. The ending seemed a little rushed and predictable - but most of this genre do. "Mark" is a page turner like early Clancy; lets hope his future work don't begin to bloat with extraneous detail as Clancy's has....more info
  • Who did it? You won't know even at the end of the book.
    The book is filled with vulgar language -- and I assume that the reason was to make the characters sound tough. What happened to showing a tough character rather than telling his threats in language that loses its force by overuse? "F" this, and "F" that, and "F" everything else becomes a cliche' within a couple of chapters.

    I generally read a book in a day or two, but the convoluted pathways made this one tedius and time consuming. Frequently, I set it aside to watch TV.

    I was very disappointed because the author did not identify the Director. A sequel is great, but to lead someone through a complicated story, and not answer the most significant question, is not.

    Perhaps he reveals the identity of the Director in his next book. I won't know because I won't read it.

    The story elements -- suspense, interconnecting events, some of the characters -- make this a fairly good book. Political thrillers have a strong audience. For me, this was just a 3 star book....more info

  • Daniel Silva scores again
    Silva is a compelling writer and his books read like a swift river flowing to the sea. It is always a page turner. His characters are real and he blends enough current and past event to make it a reality....more info
  • Good, but not Day of the Jackal
    While this is a great book, "Day of the Jackal" is still far better. Good character development, slightly predictable plot line, but a great page turner ending....more info
  • Fails to Leave a Mark
    Some writers run aground as there careers progress, while others find greater depths. Having discovered Silva's writing through "The Dead Artist" and "The English Assassin," I've come to expect subtlety and nuance, with sympathetic characters. Silva is one of my new favorite authors.

    Going back to read "The Mark of the Assassin," for me, was a disappointment. While Silva's concepts and characters match those of his later books, he seems less focused here. We watch political maneuverings, clandestine meetings, brutal attacks, yet never really doubt what's going on. We see little of the main characters within the first hundred pages, and when Michael Osbourne and his wife do take center stage, they are puppets in a less than credible play.

    The writing is fine. Dialogue moves along. But the improbabilities and coincidences begin to mount quickly. Even as the pace picks up in the last quarter of the book, I found myself doubting the scenes. One example: the KGB trained, world-renowned assassin moves in for the kill by taking the disguise of a bicycle courier(even getting multiple piercings to look the part), but as soon as our erstwhile hero sees him from a distance, the cover is blown. Ah, too bad--all that effort for nothing.

    For a fast-paced story and streamlined writing, "The Mark of the Assassin" surpasses many second-rate novels. Clearly, though, with only his second book, Silva was fine-tuning his storytelling, and I had a difficult time getting lost in this tale. Having been spoiled by his newer, richer work, I finished this one with barely a mark....more info

  • Fast-Paced But Unemotional
    This is a good thriller in that I read through the whole thing fairly quickly, and the use of setting was interesting because it kept changing around from France to Amsterdam and such. But it was hard to have any feelings for either of the main characters. I suppose it's good to have some detachment in an assassination novel, but here it was perhaps too extreme.
    ...more info
  • The most enjoyable book I read so far this year.
    weeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...more info
  • Left Wing Ryan
    If you are growing tired of the ideological bent of Tom Clancy and Jack Ryan, meet Daniel Silva. This book is something you might have gotten to read if Tom Clancy had been a liberal.

    A mole assassin is left stranded in deep cover by the end of the Cold War. He goes into business for himself and is ultimately hired by the military-industrial complex to shoot down a passenger jet and blame it on the Palestinians. The real object of the exercise is to get America to deploy a missile defense system and re-elect a right wing President.

    A resourceful CIA analyst is thrown into the fray and disrupts the bad guys' plans after a lot of good people (including his own wife) have been killed, wounded or otherwise put in harm's way.
    If this sounds familiar, it should. It is a variation of the plot of Clancy's Patriot Games, brought out of Ireland and set on the post 9/11 international stage.

    Silva did much better with The English Assassin. This is basic fluff....more info

  • a good thriller
    i've read it twice, it gets better with each reading!...more info
  • all the atributes
    This thriller carrys all the key situations. Politics, assassins,
    CIA, and Lawyers. I am now on my third book by this author and will enjoy all his writings. I also enjoy the fact of the killer being a accomplished artist with fine tastes. All fiction eminates fact in my book. Could it be true....more info
  • Worth reading if you're running out of fresh material.
    I read the Unlikely Spy and really enjoyed it. I was therefore thrilled to see a new Silva book in the paperback rack. Unfortunately, Mark of the Assassin doesn't quite live up to the standard set by its predecessor. It does read fast, which I like, but there just didn't seem enough substance to it. I see that they're already coming out with the sequal pitting our hero against his nemesis yet I feel no sense of urgencey to run out and buy it....more info
  • A Decent Read
    As a fan of Daniel Silva, I would have to say this book is not quite up to the par set by the Gabriel Allon books and "The Unlikely Spy". That said, Mr. Silva has written an intriguing work set with the all-too-real world of terrorism as backdrop. Michael Osborne is a C.I.A. analyst who works in a relatively safe world after beginning his career as a field agent. When an airliner is shot down off the coast of New York, Michael begins to take interest when the murderer is found dead, his body bearing the marks of an unknown killer with whom Michael has a past. As Michael begins to investigate, he finds that the conspiracy is world-wide and there is more to the tragedy than it first appeared. A decent read....more info
  • Sophomore effort disappoints.
    I'm sorry, but while THE UNLIKELY SPY was a terrific WW II thriller, complete with a compelling plot and memorable characters, MARK OF THE ASSASSIN seems to have been written by another writer altogether. The characters are stick-thin and the plot is entirely forgetable. I frankly had to force myself to finish it. A major disappoinment....more info
  • One of the Best Recent Spy Thrillers
    Silva's book isn't perfect, but it's a darn good read nonetheless. His writing is far better than most spy thriller writers and is peppered with exotic European locales and interesting characters. This is a thriller for those who snooze through all the techno mumbo-jumbo of Clancy's books and their ilk. This is more of a character-driven thriller in the tradition of the better Robert Ludlum books. Excitement without the special effects. There are, of course, a few overused plot devices in this one, but all in all it's quite a fun read....more info
  • The protagonist and antagonist are in a deadly game of hide and seek with the world as their playground
    Over Long Island a jetliner is blown out of the skies with a Stinger missile - the body of a Palestinian terrorist is found in a Boston Whaler with three bullet holes to the face - other high profile political victims have been found throughout the world with this same mark - a young woman loved by the protagonist was found years before with this same mark - so was the jetliner blown out of the sky by an Islamist terrorist or was there a more sinister plot in place . . .

    This novel was a well paced, exciting and revealing story of international intrigue. I was there with CIA agent, Michael Osbourne, as he followed clues to major cities to learn the identity of this mysterious assassin. Of course he not only had the dangers from external sources but had to be concerned about double crosses within his own organization and those where his wife worked as a high priced attorney. Gad, so may opportunities to windup six feet under.

    This was my ninth novel by Daniel Silva and was not quite up to the level of The Messenger, The Confessor, and The Secret Servant which were published after this novel. There were some minor problems with some of the characters, but not enough to slow down my enjoyment of this great story. That being said, I do have to take exception to the ending which I did not like. Bad people have to be punished.

    Author al-Qaeda Strikes Again...more info
  • The Left's Tom Clancy
    Let's see, a stupid Republican US Chief Executive who is a patsy for his right-wing handlers, a psycho born-again Christian defense contractor who (God forbid) gets on his knees to pray, a crusading left-wing journalist and the token liberal attorney from a conservative Washington law firm - - can you say "caricature"? Throw in some female careerist infertility and you have the makings of yet another Silva thriller. Can't say I got beyond page 100 in this one. I like a good spy thriller like the next gal, but the stereotypes are over the top on this one, which sent me to the in-flight magazine in the seat pocket in front of me....more info
  • Love of Conspiracy
    First off, this is an interesting book and well worth reading,
    but for the conspiracy buff, this would have to be a "5 star"
    rating. The author sketches, over the length of this story,
    such a conspiracy that could only exist in the minds of the
    most imaginative of us. He presents a secret organization composed of capitalists, communists, drug lords, terrorists,
    intelligence organizations from both East and West, Arabs,
    Israelis and such historically opposed groups as to defy
    belief, and he wants us to believe all of these opposing
    forces and beliefs get together as one, all for the purpose
    of pursuing actions that will benefit all of them.
    A bit of belief has to be suspended in order for the reader
    to accept this premise.
    But the writing is so well done, and the characters so interesting, it is possible to do so.
    The story starts out with the downing of a crowded US airliner
    over the Atlantic shortly after takeoff, and it takes off from
    there with killings so wide-spread and among such a diverse group of people, they are hard to follow. Except for the participants of course.
    The hero is a CIA man, and he recognizes quickly the mark of
    an assassin he has encountered before, and he begins a dogged
    search for that person, and along the way has to deal with many
    more deaths, which, even to him, sometimes seem unconnected.
    But this is an interesting story, and it will certainly be
    stimulating to many.
    As said above, conspiracy buffs will salivate over this one.
    But the rest of us can still enjoy a good, entertaining story....more info
  • Great
    I thought this book was great for fast moving adreline rush people like me. He really made his characters seem so real. one thing i didn't like about it though was that he didn't really explain how the gov't fit in to it all...more info
  • Suspenseful novel with great characters!
    This book was great! Sliva really boosted his career with this one. He has the best characterization outside of Stephen King and his plot was tantilizing! "The Mark of the Assassin" is a must read for anyone who likes a good espionage/political novel....more info
  • Contrived, old-fashioned, lucky protagonists
    Not a very believable thriller, the field agent who only did research now can take out terrorists with a gun? And without combat training, he continues to survive assassination attempts? I found the dialogue repetitive and old-fashioned...who writes "he would have called his wife, but he didn't want to quarrel with her"? On top of that, there seemed to be a big focus on smoking (maybe Silva has a product placement contract w/Benson & Hedges and Marlboro?). I didn't care about the characters at the end and felt as if this was too easily a movie where everything conveniently happens in the protagonist's favor. Vince Flynn's writing is much tighter and more thrilling, and his characters have much more depth. ...more info
  • Duplicity at the top
    It's hard to say where plot material originates, but possibly with Ludlum. Gayle Lynds' "Masquerade," which seems to predate this novel by a couple years, also deals with an international assassin for hire. Her sequel, "The Coil," has a similar shadowy international group. I am still waiting for her next novel.

    The early parts of this novel by Silva seem a little fragmented and superficial, with some parts a little peripheral to the main plot. It comes together better as the novel progresses. There is the shadowy international group of people with money and influence who are willing to use assassination to disrupt the peace - in war and disorder there is profit. There is a CIA employee and his wife, a lawyer for a Washington firm, who seem to be the white hats. There are newspaper reporters, intelligence agents, and politicans. Everyone has their own agenda, and you can't really trust anyone. Double crosses abound, and some people are not entirely what you think they are.

    Of course there is the assassin, trained to kill since he was a teenager. A man without a known face, planted by the Soviet Union under deep cover, and eventually going independent, taking assignments through his handler. He is a cold blooded killer willing to kill anyone who can identify him, and he has his money well concealed. He has many identities, and is fluent in many languages. He looks forward to retirement after this "last job," and there is no trust between the assassin and his employers. If a painter moves into your neighborhood (landscapes and portraits), and he leads a quiet life, has a taste for moderate priced wine, and does his own shopping and cooking, well...

    It's hard to say if there is a winner in this novel. There is a lot of collateral damage. The white hats seem to prevail to a point, but the real black hats cover their tracks by killing potential witnesses. There are always sacrificial goats. Some of the real criminals walk away whole, and the world is left a little less safe....more info