Portrait of an Unknown Woman - No. 22 in the Gabriel Allon series is especially satisfying.
If you have been a faithful reader of this long running and highly entertaining series featuring art restorer and legendary spy Gabriel Allon, get ready for a huge change. Allon has left the Israeli Intelligence Agency and is no longer working for "The Office". He has moved to Venice with his wife, Chiara, and their children and has returned to his roots as an art restorer. While hoping to relax and enjoy life, Allon finds himself investigating a major art forging enterprise that not only has been deceiving the fine art world but has left a trail of dead bodies. Allon creates an ingenious and dangerous plan to find out who is behind this highly lucrative scheme and also who is the forger who is able to recreate masterful works that have found their way into the collections of the uber-wealthy as well as leading museums.
Since author Daniel Silva has given Allon a major life change, it has resulted in Portrait of an Unknown Woman being especially fresh and exciting. While always enjoyable, this series has had some books that were more to my liking than others. As a lover of art, this book (#22) had me hooked. It is a work of pure fiction but the many cases of fraud and deception in the art world inspired the author to create a very realistic portrayal of a highly sophisticated criminal syndicate. This is a fast-moving book with excellent suspense and surprises. Given the new setting and Allon's lifestyle change, this book can serve as a good entry into the series if you've previously wanted to jump in but felt it would be too hard to start reading such a well-established series. Long-time fans will be smiling the whole time.
Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Mystery / Thriller.
Publication Date: July 19, 2022.
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