Gabriel Allon, the protagonist in the new Daniel Silva title The Rembrandt Affair, has just one desire in life: to spend time with his lovely wife Chiara. It isn't such a lofty goal, but circumstances always seem to conspire to derail his plans. Allon, now working as an art restorer, is retired from the Israeli intelligence, but he keeps getting pushed back into service. When an art dealer from London comes to Allon and asks for his help, the former agent finds he's back in action and chasing the mystery of a lost Rembrandt painting from England to the Netherlands to Argentina in a dangerous game with lawless men who are willing to do anything for wealth.
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The Denver Post says Silva has reached "the pinnacle of world-class spy thriller writing," while The Dallas Morning News calls him "the gold standard" of espionage. But given Silva's singular background - graduate school studies in international relations, years living in Washington, D.C., and a stint as a United Press International reporter covering the Middle East Ñ along with his tension-filled plots and fluid, polished writing style, such lofty compliments are to be expected. 2 p.m. Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit www.murderbooks.com. Free.
Sun., July 25, 2 p.m., 2010