The Kill Artist – 3 stars
The Kill Artist introduces us to Gabriel Allon, a retired secret agent as an art-restorer who repairs/restore classic arts to its original glory. But it was just his cover while he actually worked for the government. He had made many enemies in his life and one of them was Tariq who took his wife and child away from him forever. But after a long time, when a ruthless killing occurs at Paris with Tariq’s signature written all over, Gabriel has to come out of retirement and settle the store permanently.
Daniel Silva surely has written some moments and shines bright due to its surprisingly appealing characters. But it is a bit slow and the biggest problem is that the whole set up is too much traditional and cliché:
a hurt, retired hero coming back – check,
hero seeks revenge on villain – check,
a sexy, beautiful femme fatale secret agent by side – check,
appealing villain storyline – check,
unattainable romance storyline – check,
emotional twists and changes – check.
The book is so cliché that unless it had the smartly written characters, it would have sunk completely. The villainous characters – Yusef, Tariq become much closer than the hero Gabriel. The female sleuth Jacqueline is very very well written but one wonders: a model like Kate Moss suddenly works at a gallery and no one notices/recognizes?
All over this is an average above thriller with some memorable characters. The book could have come out much better because the final showdown seems a bit let down.