Sent to Vienna to authenticate a painting, art restorer and occasional spy Gabriel Allon sets out to uncover the truth about a photograph of an unnamed man who had brutalized his mother during the final days of World War II, during the Death March from Auschwitz, a quest that could unravel an evil with profound repercussions in the present. 175,000 first printing.
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Gabriel Allon hasn't been back to Vienna since his wife and child died there in a terrorist bombing. But when his mentor in the Israeli intelligence agency dispatches him to the Austrian capitol to investigate a murderous explosion at the Wartime Claims and Inquiry Office, his presence alerts the attention of police officials who have reasons to stand in the way of his investigation. When a concentration camp survivor is killed who could link the father of Austria's next chancellor to Nazi atrocities and an ongoing coverup by the Catholic Church, Allon discovers another connection to the conspiracy, this one closer to his own past than he could ever have imagined. This is the third of Silva's thrillers featuring Allon, the art restorer who's also a spy (The Confessor and The English Assassin are the first two). In an endnote, the author calls them a "completed cycle dealing with the unfinished business of the Holocaust." Allon is such a compelling hero that one hopes Silva, a skilled craftsman and a terrific story-teller, will bring him back in another series. --Jane AdamsFrom the Inside Flap:
Art restorer and sometime spy Gabriel Allon is sent to Vienna to authenticate a painting, but the real object of his search becomes something else entirely: to find out the truth about the photograph that has turned his world upside down. It is the face of the unnamed man who brutalized his mother in the last days of World War II, during the Death March from Auschwitz. But is it really the same one? If so, who is he? How did he escape punishment? Where is he now?
Fueled by an intensity he has not felt in years, Allon cautiously begins to investigate, but the more layers he strips away, the greater the evil that is revealed, a web stretching across sixty years and thousands of lives. Soon, the quest for one monster becomes the quest for many. And the monsters are stirring . . .
Filled with sharply etched characters and prose, and a plot of astonishing intricacy, this is an uncommonly intelligent thriller by one of our very best writers.
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