‘The Heist’ is Daniel Silva’s 14th Gabriel Allon novel and once again begins with Gabriel, master art restorer and Israeli spy, restoring a work of art.
Gabriel is in Venice restoring a Veronese alterpiece in the Church of San Sebastiano while his wife Chiara, heavily pregnant with twins, is working for her father in Venice’s ancient Ghetto. Then Gabriel receives a visit from General Ferrari, the one-eyed leader of the Italian police’s art squad.
An ex British spy has been murdered at his luxurious home in Lake Como. It has been found that Bradshaw (the murdered man) has been trafficking in stolen art work. Ferrari convinces Gabriel to help him by threatening to charge Gabriel’s long term friend – Julian Isherwood (the finder of Bradshaw’s body) with murder. Ferrari is hoping that Gabriel can find out who is buying the artwork, and track down a Caravaggio painting that has been missing for decades.
Gabriel decides that the best way to track the art collector is to steal and sell another masterpiece – Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.
When Gabriel identifies the collector, the game changes completely. Works of art are being used as a way for the Syrian dictator and his family to hide vast sums of money and funnel it out of the country. Gabriel and his team set up a scheme to redirect billions of dollars from hidden accounts – a small portion of a hidden fortune.
But things don’t go quite as planned.
It was nice to see Gabriel and his team back together again. As Gabriel gets closer to taking his position as head of Israeli intelligence, tensions are rising in the office and Gabriel is working to reach a truce with the current head.
I really enjoyed this book while I was reading it, but unfortunately found it fairly forgettable once I was finished.
The crisis in Syria is a current issue, but I’m much more concerned about the humanitarian crisis that has been created rather than tracing hidden billions that has little chance of getting back to the people. In the story, Israeli intelligence were involved before the art collector was even identified which I found a bit difficult to believe.
The book was enjoyable, it just didn’t match with the directions in which I am currently thinking.
Book Published 2014