Portrait of an Unknown Woman - Daniel Silva

Portrait of an Unknown Woman

By Daniel Silva

  • Release Date: 2022-07-19
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Our rating: 5/5 stars

4 Score: 4 (From 1,284 Ratings)

Read Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Daniel Silva book description and reviews

Portrait of an Unknown Woman Daniel Silva

In a spellbinding new masterpiece by #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva, Gabriel Allon undertakes a high-stakes search for the greatest art forger who ever lived

Legendary spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon has at long last severed ties with Israeli intelligence and settled quietly in Venice, the only place where he has ever truly known peace. His beautiful wife, Chiara, has taken over the day-to-day management of the Tiepolo Restoration Company, and their two young children are discreetly enrolled in a neighborhood scuola elementare. For his part, Gabriel spends his days wandering the streets and canals of the watery city, bidding farewell to the demons of his tragic, violent past.

But when the eccentric London art dealer Julian Isherwood asks Gabriel to investigate the circumstances surrounding the rediscovery and lucrative sale of a centuries-old painting, he is drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse where nothing is as it seems.

Gabriel soon discovers that the work in question, a portrait of an unidentified woman attributed to Sir Anthony van Dyck, is almost certainly a fiendishly clever fake. To find the mysterious figure who painted it—and uncover a multibillion-dollar fraud at the pinnacle of the art world—Gabriel conceives one of the most elaborate deceptions of his career. If it is to succeed, he must become the very mirror image of the man he seeks: the greatest art forger the world has ever known.

Stylish, sophisticated, and ingeniously plotted, Portrait of an Unknown Woman is a wildly entertaining journey through the dark side of the art world—a place where unscrupulous dealers routinely deceive their customers and deep-pocketed investors treat great paintings as though they were just another asset class to be bought and sold at a profit. From its elegant opening to the shocking twists of its climax, the novel is a tour de force of storytelling and one of the finest pieces of heist fiction ever written. And it is still more proof that, when it comes to international intrigue and suspense, Daniel Silva has no equal.

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  • This one is a fake.

    By Lareding
    It can’t have been written by Silva. It’s mostly full of words about how stylish clothing, cars and places. There’s very little story here. You were once a great author. What happened??? That’s the real mystery.
  • Decent read

    By TerryS4846
    The author has extended his Allon franchise into the character’s retirement with a pretty implausible plot line . Nevertheless it was a decent beach type read. I am still exasperated by the way the author lards up the word count in every book by repeating verbatim long descriptions of characters and events from previous novels. It’s lazy and disrespectful to the readers. Mr Silva must have a software program that fills in half the book before he even starts!
  • I have a bone to pick with the author

    By bill.george
    I was happily reading two other books when I was notified my pre-order of “An Unknown Woman” was available for download. I have read all of the Gabriel Allon novels, and could not resist opening this one. Now I can’t put it down because the story, the characters, and the atmosphere of the book are preventing me from doing so; they are just too good and too absorbing. I am 71 and I am encouraged to believe that there will be more books in this series, since Mr. Silva is a good deal younger than I, and his imagination seems inexhaustible. I don’t want to think about a time when I might not have a Daniel Silva novel at hand.
  • Portrait of an Unknown Woman

    By Tinsler
    A dedicated reader of Daniel Silva, I found this read to be lacking in grabbing my attention until the very end. So it was a difficult read for me. I wanted to put It down several times, and move on to something more interesting.
  • portrait of an unknown woman

    By CreekNine
    another brilliant story by Daniel Silva. thanks for giving us a great read. Bill
  • Disappointed

    By Bookworm1963
    Never thought I would find a Silva book boring, but this one was. His last 2 have been disappointing. All words and no heart. What happened?
  • Very Good first half

    By C@1998
    Renowned Israeli spy master Gabriel Allon is recently retired and living in Venice with his family. On Chiara’s orders, he is enjoying an intermezzo from work, both from the spycraft and the restoration business he is an employee of now. Unfortunately, the rest is short-lived. Julian Isherwood has sold a painting to an American investor that has questionable origins, if a French woman, who contacted him upon knowing of the painting’s sale, is to be believed. If the painting is exposed as a forgery, Julian will be ruined personally and professionally. However, the fallout won’t stop there, for the art world is small and intricate. Julian asks Gabriel Allon to investigate who is behind the painting’s resurgence, who stands to profit, and who has gone to such lengths to stage a car accident to remove an unwanted witness from raising valid questions. Portrait of an Unknown Woman turned out to be a mixed bag. The first half was laugh-out-loud funny and a breeze to read. Silva has found a turn of phrase that I love, with well constructed literary images lacking in his earlier novels. I thought up to that point that it was a return to top form by the author after the last two duds. Silva kept the usual padding to a minimum, and the pace was on par with the action. However, the second half of the book was extremely dense, as it delved into the intricacies of a Ponzi scheme hedge fund that used forged paintings as collaterals to secure massive loans with which it paid dividends to its investors. It wasn’t the same level of boring as the financial discussion turned out in The Cellist, but it was dense enough. I guessed the culprit since his first appearance, though, fortunately, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of this novel. I’m starting to wonder if this franchise has run its course. Since Silva found new political leanings, he avoids the kind of foreign policy criticism and sure fire commentaries about American administrations that made this series wildly successful. I used to look forward to reading each new installment, waiting for Silva to anticipate world events and make his incisive analyses of the implications for countries the world over, and the Middle East in particular, but that is no longer the case. The world has turned vastly unpredictable, and Silva quite the opposite. Gabriel Allon used to be formidable, now he has been reduced to playing a standard detective with great connections in the criminal and the spy world alike, at least that has been the case in the last three installments. I’m not sure that Allon being retired is good for this franchise; let’s hope I’m wrong and Silva finds his footing once more. Overall, Portrait of an Unknown Woman has some pluses and minuses in its ledger. The first half is extremely good, while the second half becomes increasingly dense.
  • Great read

    By fghgfdk
    Good read from start to finish.
  • The Gabriel we all fell in love with

    By CeeStor
    Thank you Mr. Silva for restoring Gabriel to us as the artist and restorer we first fell in love with in The Kill Artist. It was wonderful to once again be engrossed in the art world and to have our horizons broadened. Really enjoyed, one of the best Allon books IMO.
  • Portrait Of An Unknown Woman

    By southpaw Center
    Boring story. This is the third terrible novel in a row for Daniel Silva. The first was a weak attempt to exonerate the Jews for the killing of Jesus, which is in conflict with The Bible. The next was a political story, designed to shred President Trump and is a poor excuse for a novel. The most recent one is an attempt to start a new series of a changed life for Allon and is not worth reading. It’s too bad because his earlier novels were outstanding. I won’t delve into his future stories.

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