‘A Death In Vienna’ is the 4th book in Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series, and I think I’m enjoying this series more with each book that I read.
Once again, Gabriel Allon is living his quiet other life as master art restorer Mario Delvecchio. He is restoring a Bellini altarpiece in Vienna and living with his girlfriend Chiara. But the quiet life never seems to last for Gabriel. When the Vienna office of ‘Wartime Claims and Inquiries’ (an organisation responsible for tracking down outstanding Holocaust issues) is blown up, Gabriel’s friend Eli Lavon is nearly killed and two of his staff are killed. Gabriel is called back to service as an Israeli spy to track down the killer and the reason for the bombing.
While visiting Eli Lavon in hospital, Gabriel is approached by an old man named Max Klein who believes that the prosperous Viennese businessman Ludwig Vogel is in fact SS Sturmbannführer Erich Radek who was responsible for disposing of murdered bodies during WWII. The Wartime Claims office was bombed after Klein alerted Lavon of his suspicions.
Gabriel focuses on trying to prove Klein’s suspicions. His investigations take him to the Vatican and to South America where he discovers not only Vatican priests, but also the CIA have been responsible for helping to cover up the identities of Nazi war criminals. The investigation also takes Gabriel into his own past and his mother’s time at Birkenau during the war.
This book really delves into the horrors of the Nazi death camps during WWII where people’s survival was dependant on luck and the whims of those who ran the camps. So many people were killed that body disposal became a major issue.
The plot of this book was extremely realistic and the retelling of history was absolutely chilling. I’ve already read the next in the series – ‘Prince of Fire’, so will be continuing with book 6 – ‘The Messenger’.
Book Published 2004