The English Assassin


Silva’s second thriller featuring Israeli spy- cum-London art restorer Gabriel Allon begins with the murder of a Swiss banker who had been hoarding masterpiece paintings stolen from Jews during World War II. Unfortunately, Silva’s plotting is as sophisticated as paint-by-numbers. How else to account for a yarn that trots out a Corsican fortune-teller to provide foreshadowing and various bad guys who inexplicably become allies at convenient moments? Allon is the only character whose actions and motivations make any sense, but even he is saddled with sloppily written descriptions like this one: ”…Gabriel’s eyes flickered about the room like searchlights.” While the novel’s high-adrenaline pacing suggests high gloss, the rest could use a retouch. C

The English Assassin
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