One of the few books it took me several attempts before I finally started reading it. And after I was thrilled with The Messenger, this one turned out to be average for me. Sad to say it, but I want to be honest with you. Sure, the way how Gabriel Allon did his work as a spy was fascinating, logical, and very well thought through, but the rest? Not what I thought it would be.

The Heist
by Daniel Silva
Gabriel Allon Series #14
Publisher Harper Collins on July 15, 2014
Genre Thriller
Pages 467
Format Hardcover
Source Library


Sometimes the best way to find a stolen masterpiece is to steal another one … Gabriel Allon, art restorer, and legendary spy is in Venice when he receives an urgent call from the Italian police. The art dealer Justin Isherwood has stumbled upon a chilling murder scene and is being held as a suspect. The dead man is a fallen spy with a secret – a trafficker in stolen artwork, sold to a mysterious collector. To save his friend, Gabriel must track down the world´s most iconic missing painting: Caravaggio´s Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence. Gabriel´s mission takes him on an exhilarating hunt from Marseilles and Corsica to Paris and Geneva, and, finally, to a private bank in Austria, where a dangerous man stands guard over the ill-gotten wealth of one of the world’s most brutal dictators …
Gabriel Allon is not in the mood to stop working on his current project but has no choice. He knows the man, who asks him to find a stolen masterpiece, only too well. Saying no would only mean new problems. Problems he doesn´t want. Even if that means that his last year as a restorer will be shortened and his wife might not be as excited about it as usual.

I got a ton of information about other spies I wasn´t interested in and the same happened with some of the art that was on display in this thriller. No doubt, Daniel Silva gives the reader an impressive lesson with that, but it was a bit to dry written for my taste. The author writes sometimes very long sentences, something I don´t live very much in a book. Though his style is kind of haunting and entertaining. At least over some pages, that is. But I missed the special something I had experienced while reading The Messenger. Good, between that one and this one, is some years between and obviously some things happened that are only little side-notes in this book. And I admit, that I clearly am missing something from the bigger picture the Allon-series already has if you read ALL the books of this series until the newest one, which I don´t have. But that shouldn´t affect my impression that much as it has.

Does that make sense at all?

What I liked very much was the way, how Gabriel thought his plan through. How he reacted when something unexpected happened. And I for sure HOPE, that the entire plot is pure fiction. Because if only a fraction of that, what Gabriel found out about a certain dictator, the world knows and hears often in the news, is true, my stomach twists and I am in a rage.

Gabriel Allon is about to take a job, he never really wanted. But the one who is currently doing it isn´t any good at it. And for him and others, it is quite clear that some things have to change to bring peace and freedom to his people. There is one scene, where it becomes absolutely clear to the reader, that sometimes a slight change in leadership and how to see and handle things, is the best to make a profound change in general. I could literally see both men in that office, talking about the situation. One in a formal suit, the other wearing jeans and a leather jacket. The power the one with the leather jacket was showing alone with his presence was immense.

I am not happy, that I couldn´t give this thriller a higher rating. And I am not sure if I will read all the other Gabriel Allon books ever. Sure, not every book in a series can be a hit, and maybe my expectations were too high. But sometimes you just have to take a step back and read other things before you try it again. Well, I´ll see how I will handle this series.

Happy reading

Daniel Silva
Daniel Silva ©Marco Grob

Daniel Silva is an award-winning New York Times bestseller author. He is best known for his long-running thriller series starring spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon. Silva´s books are critically acclaimed bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 30 languages. He got appointed into the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and lives with his wife, television journalist Jamie Gangel and their two children in Florida.



  1. I'm sorry to hear this wasn't a better read for you. My husband loves Silva's books. I read the first book in this series, and although I did enjoy it, I haven't felt the urge to continue the series yet.

    1. The first book I read by Daniel Silva, The Messenger, was great entertainment for me. But like you, I haven´t felt the urge to continue the series for quite some time. This was my second try, but I guess, I will read his other books and give them a chance. At least when the library has them. Thanks for commenting.


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