Reviews for Portrait Of An Unknown Woman

by Daniel Silva

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Silvas latest Gabriel Allon novel is a bit of a throwbackin the best possible way.One-time assassin and legendary spymaster Gabriel Allon has finally retired. After saying farewell to his friends and colleagues in Israel, he moves with his wife, Chiara, and their two young children to a piano nobile overlooking Venices Grand Canal. His plan is to return to the workshop where he learned to restore paintings as an employeebut only after he spends several weeks recovering from the bullet wound that left him dead for several minutes in The Cellist(2021). Of course, no one expects Gabriel to entirely withdraw from the field, and, sure enough, a call from his friend and occasional asset Julian Isherwood sends him racing around the globe on the trail of art forgers who are willing to kill to protect their extremely lucrative enterprise. Silva provides plenty of thrills and, as usual, offers a glimpse into the lifestyles of the outrageously wealthy. In the early books in this series, it was Gabriels work as an art restorer that set him apart from other action heroes, and his return to that world is the most rewarding part of this installment. It is true that, at this point in his storied career, Gabriel has become a nearly mythic figure. And Silva is counting on a lot of loveand willing suspension of disbeliefwhen Gabriel whips up four old master canvases that fool the worlds leading art experts as a lure for the syndicate selling fake paintings. That said, as Silva explains in an authors note, the art market is rife with secrecy, subterfuge, and wishful thinking, in no small part because it is almost entirely unregulated. And, if anyone can crank out a Titian, a Tintoretto, a Gentileschi, and a Veronese in a matter of days, its Gabriel Allon. The authors longtime fans may breathe a sigh of relief that this entry is relatively free of politics and the pandemic is nowhere in sight. A smart summer escape. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.