four-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
11-July-Aug-2004
By: 
Daniel Silva
user_rating: 
0

A-DeathViennaIn the third espionage thriller of Silva’s series, Venice-based art restorer and Mossad spy Gabriel Allon, the protagonist of The English Assassin and The Confessor, must exact justice against former Nazi war criminals. When he’s dispatched by an Israeli intelligence chief to explore a murderous bombing, he encounters untold procedural obstacles. Then, a Jewish concentration camp survivor who can identify a high-ranking Austrian official with a deadly past dies. Allon, whose mission takes him to Rome, Argentina, and America, must confront conspiracies that turn the case highly personal.
Putnam. 416 pages. $25.95.

Detroit Free Press 4 of 5 Stars
"A Death in Vienna isn’t just a masterfully constructed tale of memory and revenge, it demonstrates that thrillers can be more than entertainment." Lev Raphael

Orlando Sentinel 4 of 5 Stars
"[A Death in Vienna] on the guilt of survivors; how other nations, including the United States, were quick to help cover up the crimes of leading Nazis who might be of use to them; and how Austria resisted finding and exposing former top Nazis." Ann Hellmuth

Washington Post 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Silva is a skillful novelist who does justice to the often heartbreaking material without exploiting it. … [He] doesn’t say whether he will bring back Gabriel Allon, but if he does I hope he will use him to explore the evils of today’s world, which, if not always as clear-cut as those of the Holocaust, are no less real." Patrick Anderson

Critical Summary

A Death in Vienna completes Silva’s masterful trilogy about Holocaust war crimes. Critics agree that Allon, the son of a Holocaust survivor, is one of the genre’s most realistic and compelling characters. In this thriller, he’s determined to capture a Nazi murderer who tormented his mother 50 years ago. A Death in Vienna, besides offering serious and instructive entertainment, puts a human face on Holocaust war crimes and explores different nations’ collusion with Nazi Germany. One of the most chilling scenes involves Allon’s response to his mother’s account of her 1945 death march. The only unbelievable part? Allon, who goes unarmed, always escapes in the nick of time. Luckily, that means we might see more of him.

The Start of the Series

A-EnglishAssassin.epsThe English Assassin | Daniel Silva (2002): Though Gabriel Allon made his debut in Silva’s The Kill Artist, this is the acknowledged start of the unnamed "unfinished business of the Holocaust" trilogy. Allon must deal with echoes of Switzerland’s links to the Nazis when he travels to Zurich to restore a painting.