Customer Reviews for

The English Assassin (Gabriel Allon Series #2)

Average Rating 4
( 166 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

learn history and current events while enjoying a terrific spy story

A very enjoyable read: well-framed action with the right amount of tension, interesting surprises, memorable characters, believable dialog. At the same time the book provides a primer in Swiss banking's profitable collaberation with Nazi Germany. There's also something...
A very enjoyable read: well-framed action with the right amount of tension, interesting surprises, memorable characters, believable dialog. At the same time the book provides a primer in Swiss banking's profitable collaberation with Nazi Germany. There's also something for those with an interest in Renaissance art, which is an integral addition that enriches the persona of Silva's fascinating protagonist. I liked Silva's writing so much that I bought all of his "Gabriel Allon" books and read them in the order they were written. (This one is #2) Every one of them was a page turner, and each provided a well-turned lesson in either middle east conflicts, radical Islamic enroads in Europe, Vatican history and politics, or WWII Europe's connection or reaction to Nazi Germany.

posted by llij on March 9, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Passable writing, predictable plot

I readily admit having a chip on my shoulder with Daniel Silva after reading the deplorable 'Unlikely Spy.' It's not that he's a bad prose writer -- it's simply that he mistakes cruelty for tragedy; he thinks he'll move a reader by killing off sympathetic characters, b...
I readily admit having a chip on my shoulder with Daniel Silva after reading the deplorable 'Unlikely Spy.' It's not that he's a bad prose writer -- it's simply that he mistakes cruelty for tragedy; he thinks he'll move a reader by killing off sympathetic characters, but only succeeds in making his stories ugly. With that in mind, I read 'The English Assassin.' His writing is fine, his characters are better played out than in 'Unlikely Spy' but the plot... oy! It's just so trivial. We've been here before in stories like 'The Fourth Protocol' and 'The Train.' The WWII terrain is rich with drama and romance; what it requires is originality of thought. Silva's just not the guy to do it.

posted by Anonymous on February 7, 2002

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    ?

    Whats hypnotic mean?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2013

    Hypnotic.

    The action draws you in. You become part of it and the rest of your world stops...until the next novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Truly an engaging and delightful read

    The English Assassin was the current selection for my bookclub. I love mysteries but usually find the first 30 to 50 pages a slower read while the writer sets up the story. Not so with this book. I could hardly put it down. I was late to work after lunch becuase I couldn't stop reading. If you like mysteries, I think you should add Daniel Silva to your must read list.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Silva Very Good.

    International Intrigue.. good stuff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2011

    It was okay...missing a connection to the characters.

    I would give it 3.5 stars but the option isn't available. I didn't really connect with the characters which is why I wouldn't go higher in rating it. I really didn't care what happened to any of them except Gabriel. Anyway, I liked the ending and what the English Assassin did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2002

    Not bad--but not a classic!

    Daniel Silva and ¿The English Assassin¿ are have been noted as ¿in the style of Robert Ludlum.¿ Indeed, ¿The English Assassin¿ is ¿shades of Ludlum.¿ It is fast paced, involves an international super special governmental agent (this time, an Israeli agent cum art restorer), and is bedded in a grander than life consipiracy (did anyone mention Robert Ludlum!!!) in which, like the definition of a grand epic hero, the whole world depends upon his--and his alone--actions to rid us of such Evil. (In this case, it¿s the Swiss cover-up, involvement, and dishonesty, with their complicity with the Nazis during World War II.). That said (and cleared), ¿The English Assassin¿ is actually worth the read. It is exciting and Silva gives us a decent ¿arts and humanities¿ lesson as the central character, one late-40ish Gideon Allon who is enlisted by the Israeli government to mount a very clandestine inquiry into uncovering much about the Swiss involvement with their nasty Nazy neighbors. Untold numbers of valuable paintings, from Old Masters to ¿moderns¿ were ¿confiscated¿ and then deposited in Swiss banks in exchange, sometimes, for currency to help the Nazis; in other situations, the paintings--not to mention other treasures and money--were simply deposited in numbered accounts in which they reside today, unclaimed, beneath the streets of Zurich! Allon is sent to ¿restore¿ an Old Master (a Raphael)and finds the owner, powerful banker Augustus Rolfe, murdered. Before Allon can get out of Switzerland, he is arrested as a suspect and from there on, the plot really thickens! Allon becomes involved (yes) with Rolfe¿s daughter, who just happens to be an incredibly beautiful young woman and, of course, the world¿s greatest living violinist. ¿Penzler¿s Pick¿ notes that ¿Daniel Silva, author of several previous thrillers, delivers a classic novel of multiple secrets and myriad betrayals.¿ I am not sure how many ¿classic novels¿ this Penzler has read, but ¿classic¿ is NOT a descriptive to be assigned to ¿The English Assassin.¿ Discerning readers of this genre will be a bit disappointed, if they expect such.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2002

    3 1/2 Stars -- Good But Not Up To Par For Silva!

    The English Assassin has a lot of good things working for it -- a fast-paced plot, lots of action, decently developed characters, and an interesting historical perspective about the Swiss-Nazi relationship during WWII. I found that I could not put the book down throughout the first half. However, I felt that the second half dragged somewhat and the ending, while still filled with action, left me feeling a bit dissatisfied. This is due to its containing few surprises and being somewhat predictable. Further, Silva's conclusion left some 'threads too loosely tied' for my taste. Perhaps this is because he plans to continue his main character, Gabriel Allon, and his secondary characters, Ari Shamron and Julian Isherwood, all of whom were in Silva's The Kill Artist, in future books. While I continue to like these characters, I think that knowing that he plans to use them in other books detracted from the suspense of the ending. With this said, The English Assassin was an entertaining read and one that I, overall, think you would enjoy. It's just that if you have read Silva's other books, as I have, you might feel that his latest effort isn't among the strongest of his works.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2011

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    Posted November 30, 2012

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    Posted September 29, 2011

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    Posted August 17, 2010

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    Posted December 29, 2010

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    Posted June 30, 2010

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    Posted September 16, 2013

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    Posted November 26, 2010

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    Posted April 20, 2011

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    Posted January 28, 2010

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    Posted August 23, 2010

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    Posted July 31, 2011

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