Thursday, February 03, 2005
"A Death in Vienna" by Daniel Silva
I listened to this audio book on the way to Nacogdoches and was hoping it would last long enough to see me back home as well, but it concluded about the time I passed by the airport. I enjoyed it enough so that I got another book by Mr. Silva when I went to the library on Monday. When I checked online, I discovered that he has written 7 books in 7 years, and 3 of them comprise what he calls "an accidental trilogy dealing with the unfinished business of the Holocaust." This book happens to be the third one in the series, but it stands up well on its own.
Gabriel Allon is an Israeli agent whose alter ego--Mario Delvecchio--is an art restorer working in Venice. When a deadly bomb destroys the Wartime Claims and Inquiries office in Vienna, Gabriel is sent to investigate. His questions lead him to discover a Nazi war criminal with ties to the Vatican and the CIA. Ultimately, he learns of a (real) German secret operation called Aktion 1005 that was a plan to conceal evidence of the Holocaust by excavating millions of decomposing corpses and burning the remains. The specially created SS unit was so successful that even today pseudo-scholars and anti-Semites argue that the Holocaust was greatly exaggerated since the remains of 6,000,000 Jews can't be produced.
Reviewers compare Silva to John LeCarre and Graham Greene for his intelligently-wrought thrillers with important lessons to be learned and vital history to be remembered.
The capital "I" is a rubber stamp. I used Ranger's Archival Jet Black ink to stamp it, and it came out nice and crisp on the acrylic painted page. The picture on the opposite page shows a street scene in Vienna that I found online. The original picture was sepia-toned, but when I printed it out, it looked like a red negative because my printer had run out of black ink. But after I printed it out correctly, I decided to use the funky one after all. I sprayed the print with Krylon Workable Fixative and then wrote the title with black gouache and a # 2.5 Tape nib. The author's name was written with a # 6 Mitchell nib. I used a Uniball Vision micro pen for the text.