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Hi all,

I wanted to thank everyone who was there on Monday night. While our leader was in Iceland trying to see the Northern Lights and unfortunately the weather did not cooperate, went to see Whales and saw only Dolphins, wanted to go on a dog sled ride but only ice no snow but enjoyed the city anyway – we at C&B were in The Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva. I actually lead the discussion and enjoyed learning more about the author namely that he converted to Judaism as an adult, lives in DC with his CNN reporter wife and 2 kids. He was also a former CNN employee and producer for several news reality type shows before his writing career started in 1994. Another interesting fact which explains his references to the Holocaust – as of 1/09, he was appointed to a five year term on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

Daniel has written 12 Gabriel Allon novels, #13 The English Girl will be out sometime this year. The Rembrandt Affair was #10 in the series and the first Daniel Silva that many of us ever read. The majority of us really enjoyed the book with an average rating of 7.5, even receiving a 9.5. Both Dave and Jody have read all of Silva’s books and were able to fill in some information for the rest of us. They both commented on the maturity of Gabriel during the course of the series and how he is becoming more hands off of the actual action and more of a mentor than earlier in the series. Several people mentioned they enjoyed the history in the novel regarding the Swiss in relationship to the Nazi’s and something many of us did not know, several of the SS and Nazi fleeing to Argentina.

We discussed some of the characters in the novel which many are featured characters in the Gabriel Allon series. Dave was helpful in explaining how Ari Shamron, was the former head of The Office, Gabriel was offered the position but turned it down and now Uzi Navot is the new Head who seems to resent Gabriel. Dave also filled in about Gabriel’s first wife, death of his son and his relationship with his now wife, Chiara. Amy mentioned she would have liked knowing more about Chiara and many of us agreed. Lou really liked Lena Herzfeld, the girl whose father had the Rembrandt painting and escaped execution by the Nazi’s merely because of the color of her hair – blonde vs. dark like her sister.

We also discussed the many plots and sub plots in the novel – the painting, art theft (the 4th most lucrative form of criminal activity in the world), the Nazi’s, the stolen money, the various countries, “Saint” Martin, Iran and the nuclear bombs. Amy and Jeff found all of this a little too much and did not enjoy this book as much as others we have read. Judy and myself were both not sure we were going to like this book with the spy, espionage and NO SERIAL KILLERS OR GORY; however, we both loved the book. In fact I will probably now to read the series starting at the beginning, who know I would like a “guys” book so much!!

A dual slap reward was given to Saint Martin and his lovely wife Monique. Dave and Jody also both commented, how much they have learned about art restoration because of Silva’s books. Daniel has a neighbor who was an art restorer and gives him the information for his books as well as Daniel does a great deal of research and travels to the destinations for his books. Some of us were curious if all of the Gabriel Allon’s books have as many sub stories. Dave explained no, Moscow Rules (#8) and The Defector (#9) were primarily both just about the KGB. Jody told us she is fascinated by spies, intrigue and all of the political type subjects in Silva’s novels. Also it was mentioned that in The Rembrandt Affair as his other books, Daniel does mention real paintings by the artist but in this book, the one that was stolen was fake. All in all a great meeting and a great book and series.

I failed to mention Monday night, that C.J. Box will be at the Lo Do Tattered Cover, Wednesday March 13th at 7:30 p.m. to sign Breaking Point, another in the Joe Pickett series. This is specifically for you DAVE but DON’T TELL KERRY!!

Our next meeting is Monday, March 25th, to discuss The Leopard by Jo Nesbo, another in the Harry Hole series. Janice will be leading the discussion and Judy bringing refreshments and rumor is it could be Double Stuff Oreos Kerry! That is Judy will bring something as long as I remind Kerry to remind Judy to do so!!

Have a great month and see you in March,

Sharon

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