Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Book Review: "The Rembrandt Affair" by Daniel Silva

I bought this book to read on the airplane during a recent trip.  It was absolutely perfect airplane reading!  I was hooked by the opening line: By coincidence it was Timothy Peel who first learned that the stranger had returned to Cornwall. 

At first the story appeared to be an intriguing mystery having to do with a murder and a stolen masterpiece. The only person who is likely to be able to find the painting and solve the murder mystery is Gabriel Allon, a "retired" Mossad assassin who has retreated to Cornwall with his beautiful wife to live quietly and mourn the loss of their child. Once Allon starts peeling back the layers of the mystery, he uncovers a gigantic fortune that was originally amassed during the Holocaust by an SS officer who stole valuables from Jews as they were being sent to the camps.  The entire fortune was stolen from the Nazi after the war in an absolutely brilliant manner.  The current "owner" of the fortune will stop at nothing to continue to hide the origin of his wealth.

In addition to murder, mayhem, explosions and countless close calls, there are a lot of interesting historical details and fascinating information about the art world, particularly art restoration.  It's always fun to learn something while being so well entertained. 

Silva is an excellent writer. Allon is a classic thriller hero. The tension in the story never lets up, and the plot has plenty of twists and surprises. This was a super read in its genre!

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