Featured Review: ‘The Collector’ by Daniel Silva


Gabriel Allon, the once wayward son of Israeli intelligence, is back and better than ever in this riveting, no-holds-barred thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva.

It was supposed to be a hunt to track down one of the world’s most valuable missing paintings. That’s the premise that kicks off Silva’s twenty-third Allon novel, with our beloved hero being yet again called back to action by General Cesare Ferrari, the manipulative commander of the Italian Art Squad. This time around, Ferrari explains to Gabriel that the Italian police have made a startling discovery in the villa of murdered South African shipping tycoon Lukas van Damme, an art collector with exceedingly deep pockets. Inside Damme’s home, a secret vault housing a collection of works has been found, and along with it, an empty frame and stretcher. According to Ferrari, the dimensions of said empty frame match those of The Concert by Johannes Vermeer, one of thirteen works of art that were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston back in March 1990.

Still one of the world’s most sought-after art restores, the chance to recover such a famous painting from the biggest art heist in the world is enough to convince Gabriel—who is enjoying his retirement from the Office and currently living with his beautiful wife Chiara and their two children in Venice—to chase down a lead on the northern coast of Denmark. It’s here that Gabriel meets Ingrid Johansen, a freelance cybersecurity expert by day, who also happens to be a renowned thief and brilliant computer hacker. Soon thereafter, Allon realizes that Ingrid is harboring explosive secrets, and together, the two characters begin to connect the dots, revealing a much larger conspiracy.

As the truth begins to emerge, so too does a deadly wave of scenarios that, should Gabriel not be able to prevent, could soon lead to a nuclear war between Russia and the United States. With the clock ticking and World War III on the line, it’s once again up to the great Gabriel Allon to save the day before it’s too late.

As timely as next week’s headlines, Silva’s latest touches on everything from the war in Ukraine to the tensions inside Russia, as well as the friction between Moscow and the West. All told in typical Silva fashion, the story starts out slow before rapidly building to a rising crescendo that’ll leave even the most veteran readers stunned. That style, the constant pulling away of new layers, slowly revealing more of the truth with each turning page, is something Silva’s fans have to expect. A mystery wrapped in a thriller. But what really gives this one a shot in the arm is the introduction of Ingrid Johansen, as compelling a character as Silva has ever created, and how her presence ultimately helps the story transition from just a search for a missing painting to Gabriel’s attempt to stop a nuclear war. That’s not to say that the painting in question is forgotten about. Readers can rest assured that in time, all things will be revealed, coming together in a way that only Daniel Silva can pull off. Truly, he’s outdone himself yet again. And with his series now twenty-three books long, Silva continues to blaze right through unchartered waters. Never before have we seen such a series continue to thrive over the course of twenty-plus years. But there’s a reason why Silva is rightfully regarded by many as the greatest spy novelist of all time. Just when you think he’s peaked or covered every threat there is to touch on, he finds a new gear and soars to new heights. And when it’s all said and done, The Collector will go down as one of his greatest masterpieces yet.

Tightly plotted and packed with heart-pounding twists and turns, Daniel Silva reminds readers that there’s no other series in print today quite like his own . . . and frankly, he’s never been better. The Collector is one of this summer’s biggest blockbusters. Whatever you do, don’t miss it.

Book Details

Author: Daniel Silva
Series: Gabriel #23
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0062834878
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: July 18, 2023
Real Book Spy Rating: 9.75/10



Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and is building a growing community on Twitch. His debut thriller, FIELDS OF FIRE, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Jack Carr says “will leave you speechless and begging for more,” is now available. His second novel, LETHAL RANGE, comes out on August 8th. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. And to take part in free, exclusive BOOK CLUBS each month, join The Real Book Spy on Discord.




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