The Heist

Daniel Sil­va
  • Review
By – September 5, 2014

Like his pre­vi­ous two books, The Heist by Daniel Sil­va is both a crime mys­tery and an espi­onage thriller. The sto­ry begins with a mur­der inves­ti­ga­tion sur­round­ing a stolen paint­ing and becomes a quest to hunt down the hid­den assets of a Mid­dle East­ern ruler. Once again Sil­va’s hero, Gabriel Allon, dis­plays his many tal­ents as an art restor­er, inves­ti­ga­tor, and Israeli intel­li­gence operative.

The plot opens with Allon attempt­ing to save a friend from jail and embar­rass­ment, by agree­ing to recov­er a famous miss­ing paint­ing by Caravaggio.While on this search he dis­cov­ers mul­ti­ple mur­ders and a tie to a bru­tal Arab dic­ta­tor. Gabriel seeks the help of a Ger­man nat­u­ral­ized cit­i­zen, Jihan Nawaz, whose fam­i­ly was mas­sa­cred , in an attempt to thwart the Syr­i­an ruler.

Sil­va has cre­at­ed Gabriel Allon as a com­plex, believ­able, relat­able char­ac­ter who some­times mis­cal­cu­lates, makes mis­takes, and allows him­self to be haunt­ed by the loss of his loved ones. Although Sil­va writes the char­ac­ter with some flaws, over­all he is seen as an incred­i­bly gift­ed, smart, pas­sion­ate, and coura­geous person.

One of the most pow­er­ful scenes in the book is when Gabriel vis­its his first wife, Leah, who was scarred emo­tion­al­ly and phys­i­cal­ly by a ter­ror­ist bomb­ing. It is heart wrench­ing to read about Leah’s strug­gles with post- trau­mat­ic stress, psy­chot­ic depres­sion, and becom­ing a pris­on­er to the past. Once again Sil­va bril­liant­ly shows through very pow­er­ful words the cru­el­ty of terrorists. 

As with all the Gabriel Allon books there is com­men­tary about the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in the Mid­dle East and the impact it has on the Jew­ish State. Read­ers are remind­ed of the con­stant exis­ten­tial threat to Israel’s sur­vival with the civ­il wars in Egypt and Syr­ia, Al Qaeda’s re-emer­gence from Fal­lu­jah Iraq to East­ern Syr­ia, and a Hamas-Pales­tin­ian reunion on its bor­der. Gabriel ques­tions if Israel will ever be able to live peace­ful­ly with its Arab neighbors.

The Heist is not just a spy thriller but is also an art his­to­ry nov­el. The action packed plot line also allows read­ers to learn about famous paint­ings and artists. With Allon’s diverse cast of co-work­ers from Israel and Eng­land, Sil­va has woven a sto­ry with intrigue, insight, and suspense.

Relat­ed Content:


Read Elise Coop­er’s inter­view with Daniel Sil­va here.

Elise Coop­er lives in Los Ange­les and has writ­ten numer­ous nation­al secu­ri­ty arti­cles sup­port­ing Israel. She writes book reviews and Q and A’s for many dif­fer­ent out­lets includ­ing the Mil­i­tary Press. She has had the plea­sure to inter­view best­selling authors from many dif­fer­ent genres.

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