Art restorer and sometime spy Gabriel Allon is asked to visit Zurich, to clean the work of an Old Master for a millionaire banker. But when he gets there he finds the corpse of his client in a pool of blood beneath the masterpiece, and discovers that a secret collection of priceless paintings - stolen by Nazis in the war - is missing. With the ...
Art restorer and sometime spy Gabriel Allon is asked to visit Zurich, to clean the work of an Old Master for a millionaire banker. But when he gets there he finds the corpse of his client in a pool of blood beneath the masterpiece, and discovers that a secret collection of priceless paintings - stolen by Nazis in the war - is missing. With the Swiss authorities trying to pin the murder on Allon and a powerful cabal determined to make sure this wartime secret remains buried, the art restorer must use all his former spy skills to find out the truth. And with an assassin that he helped to train also on the loose, Allon will need all his wits just to stay alive.
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Publishers Weekly, 2002-01-14 Switzerland's shameful behavior in WWII provides the backdrop for this superbly crafted thriller that puts Silva at the forefront of his generation of foreign intrigue specialists. Here, the former CNN correspondent also appears to have settled on a main character to propel his promising line Gabriel Allon, the art restorer and Israeli hit man who starred in last year's acclaimed The Kill Artist. Just a few pages into this sequel, Allon finds himself the apparent victim of a double cross. When he arrives to restore a Raphael owned by reclusive Swiss banker Augustus Rolfe, Allon not only discovers the banker dead but finds himself the number one suspect. The charge doesn't stick, however, and when he is released from custody, he vows to find out who tried to frame him. His first stop is Rolfe's daughter, Anna, one of the world's top violinists and a woman haunted by her family's heritage of wartime greed and cruelty. Allon catches the attention of Switzerland's secretive power structure, which intends to stymie any further investigation into Rolfe's murder and the theft of his suspiciously acquired art collection. The so-called Council of Rutli contracts with a shadowy hit man, known only as the Englishman, to eliminate Allon and anyone else who threatens to expose Switzerland's past. The action unfolds in tightly focused scenes played out across a spectrum of European capitals and more pastoral settings. As a historical framework, the secrets of the Bahnhofstrasse are well-trod territory, yet Silva's sophisticated treatment polished prose, an edgy mood, convincing research gives his plot a crisp, almost urgent quality. Agent, Esther Newberg of ICM. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 national advertising campaign. (Mar. 4) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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