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The Heist    by Daniel Silva order for
by Daniel Silva
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Bestselling author Daniel Silva never lets us down. With sixteen thrillers to his name, he has produced another that will keep you reading far into the night The Heist. It could easily be the book of the summer.

Art restorer Gabriel Allon is working in Venice repairing an altarpiece by Veronese when he is approached to find a missing masterpiece Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence, painted by Carravaggio and considered one of the finest works of art in the world - and probably the last one by Carravaggio before his death. Did I mention that Allon is also a spy? Although with his second wife pregnant with twins, he prefers to continue with his restoration work as it proves to be less dangerous.

Fans of Silva (count me among them) remember that his first wife and little boy were killed by a bomb in a previous book. That tragedy has haunted him for years. Then he met his young second wife and life began to be worth living again.

Turns out a British spy has been murdered in Lake Como. Investigating opens the doors to far more than murder. Allon travels to Paris and London on the trail of the killers and so much more. Silva takes advantage of his pulpit to address some of the real woes in our world today and does it well. Makes one think. But this does not diminish the suspense and tension that he builds into his plot.

Allon's search takes him deeply into art theft that plagues museums, art galleries and private collectors. Huge amounts of money are spent on stolen art to supply those private collectors the thrill of owning something no one else does. It also removes the art from the public eye because the collector cannot display his stolen works.

As well as Paris and London, Allon must go to Marseilles and Corsica, ending in a small bank in Austria where he comes up against one of the world's most brutal dictators. In The Heist, Allon comes up against far more than he anticipated. Perilous and suspenseful, this novel will meet any of the criteria you expect from such a talented author.

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