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Daniel Silva's "The Collector"

The Collector is the 23rd installment in Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series, and it serves as a perfect entry point even for newcomers. As someone who dove into the series with this book, I found no issue in learning more about Allon.


Gabriel Allon, the protagonist, is a retired, esteemed spy for the Israeli government and an art expert. Now settled with his family in Venice, Allon’s quiet life is disrupted when Italian authorities seek his expertise to track down a stolen Vermeer masterpiece. Despite the Venetian setting suggested by the cover, the story’s action largely unfolds elsewhere.


Allon’s pursuit of the Vermeer soon entangles him with a captivating young thief, a woman who appears to steal purely for the thrill. As the plot progresses, it becomes clear that the stolen painting is merely a pawn in a larger international plot orchestrated by the Russians.


Silva expertly weaves together themes of art, espionage, and geopolitical intrigue, crafting a suspenseful narrative that keeps readers on edge. The novel’s incorporation of current events, such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, climate change issues, and the intricacies of Russian political maneuvers, lends a contemporary feel, though it may also limit its long-term relevance.


The book constantly shifts, keeping readers guessing and turning pages at a rapid pace.



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