Excerpt from The Messenger by Daniel Silva, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Messenger

by Daniel Silva

The Messenger by Daniel Silva
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2006, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2007, 500 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


He spent a few moments cleaning his palette and brushes, then went into the kitchen. Shamron sat down at the small table and waited for Gabriel to turn his back before hurriedly lighting one of his foul-smelling Turkish cigarettes. Gabriel, hearing the familiar click-click of Shamron’s old Zippo lighter, pointed toward the Rubens in exasperation, but Shamron made a dismissive gesture and defiantly raised the cigarette to his lips. A comfortable silence settled between them while Gabriel poured bottled water into the teakettle and spooned coffee into the French press. Shamron was content to listen to the wind moving in the eucalyptus trees outside in the garden. Devoutly secular, he marked the passage of time not by the Jewish festivals but by the rhythms of the land—the day the rains came, the day the wildflowers exploded in the Galilee, the day the cool winds returned. Gabriel could read his thoughts. Another autumn, and we’re still here. The covenant had not been revoked.

“The prime minister wants an answer.” Shamron’s gaze still was focused on the tangled little garden. “He’s a patient man, but he won’t wait forever.”

“I told you that I’d give him an answer when I was finished with the painting.”

Shamron looked at Gabriel. “Does your arrogance know no bounds? The prime minister of the State of Israel wants you to be chief of Special Operations, and you put him off over some five-hundred year-old piece of canvas.”

“Four hundred.”

Gabriel carried the coffee to the table and poured two cups. Shamron scooped sugar into his and gave it a single violent stir.

“You said yourself the painting is nearly finished. What is your answer going to be?”

“I haven’t decided.”

“May I offer you a piece of helpful advice?”

“And if I don’t want your advice?”

“I’d give it to you anyway.” Shamron squeezed the life out of his cigarette butt. “You should accept the prime minister’s offer before he makes it to someone else.”

“Nothing would make me happier.”

“Really? And what will you do with yourself?” Greeted by silence, Shamron pressed on. “Allow me to paint a picture for you, Gabriel. I’ll do the best I can. I’m not gifted like you. I don’t come from a great German-Jewish intellectual family. I’m just a poor Polish Jew whose father sold pots from the back of a handcart.”

Shamron’s murderous Polish accent had grown thicker. Gabriel couldn’t help but smile. He knew that whenever Shamron played the downtrodden Jew from Lvov, something entertaining was certain to follow.

“You have nowhere else to go, Gabriel. You said it yourself when we offered you the job the first time. What will you do when you’re finished with this Rubens of yours? Do you have any more work lined up?” Shamron’s pause was theatrical in nature, for he knew the answer was no. “You can’t go back to Europe until you’re officially cleared in the bombing of the Gare de Lyon. Julian might send you another painting, but eventually that will end, too, because the packing and shipping costs will cut into his already tenuous bottom line. Do you see my point, Gabriel?”

“I see it very clearly. You’re trying to use my unfortunate situation as a means of blackmailing me into taking Operations.”

“Blackmail? No, Gabriel. I know the meaning of blackmail, and God knows I’ve been known to use it when it suits my needs. But this is not blackmail. I’m trying to help you.”

“Help?”

“Tell me something, Gabriel: What do you plan to do for money?”

Excerpted from The Messenger, Copyright © 2006 Danile Silva. Reproduced with permission of the publishers, Penguin Putnam. Reproduction prohibited. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Midwinter Break
    Midwinter Break
    by Bernard MacLaverty
    Northern Ireland's Bernard MacLaverty is the author of five novels and multiple short story ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ninth Hour
    The Ninth Hour
    by Alice McDermott
    In a pivotal scene in The Ninth Hour, young Sally encounters an increasingly loathsome series of ...
  • Book Jacket: Rebellion
    Rebellion
    by Molly Patterson
    Rebellion overlays the stories of four women, spanning a century and the globe in their wide ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford

    Inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Twelve-Mile Straight
    by Eleanor Henderson

    An audacious epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If the Creek Don't Rise

If the Creek Don't Rise

A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y Can't M A S P O O A S E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.