• Portrait of an Unknown Woman

  • A Novel (Gabriel Allon)
  • By: Daniel Silva
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (2,030 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

#1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva delivers another stunning thriller in his latest action-packed tale of high stakes international intrigue.

Internationally bestselling author Daniel Silva has entertained listeners with twenty-one thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring the "much-loved Gabriel Allon" (Booklist) and ingenious plots that have taken him around the globe and back—from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. 

Now, this master novelist who "tells his story with zest, wit and superb timing, and engineers enough surprises to startle even the most attentive reader" (Wall Street Journal) continues his remarkable success with this latest blockbuster. A powerhouse novel showcasing the outstanding narrative skills, brilliant imagination, and deep knowledge of emerging global threats that are the hallmarks of his "expertly crafted" (Bob Woodward) works, Silva's latest is a must-listen for both his multitudes of loyal fans and growing legions of converts.

©2022 Daniel Silva (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Portrait of an Unknown Woman

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in

Portrait of an Unknown Woman is book number 22 in the unputdownable Gabriel Allon series of action and espionage thrillers flawlessly written by the award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva.

Mr. Silva is one of the best writers out there! His books are nothing short of excellent and Portrait of an Unknown Woman is just as good as the others.

What starts with a mysterious letter received by a series veteran quickly evolves into another globetrotting adventure featuring our favorite characters.

I will not talk about the actual story because I don’t want to spoil the surprises for any listener, but I can say that the writing is excellent, at times even poetic, the characters feel real, alive, and are impeccably portrayed, while the plot is very well thought out and executed with a flourish.

American actor, multiple award-winning narrator, writer, film director, and audiobooks Industry living legend Edoardo Ballerini returns for a second consecutive year to this gripping universe and delivers another exquisitely performed audio production! He is definitely one of my all-time favorite narrators and everything that has Mr. Ballerini‘s name on it is of the highest quality, but when you pair his considerable talent with the flowing writing of Mr. Silva, you get on your hands, or in your ears, a story that you will not be able to put down until it actually ends.

Edoardo Ballerini does a fantastic job in bringing to life our beloved characters, the locations, the intense action scenes, the story, and the exquisite writing!

If you appreciate beautiful writing, well-developed characters, complex plots, and gorgeous narration, you will love Portrait of an Unknown Woman and all the other thrilling entries in the highly entertaining Gabriel Allon series.

I hope that you found this review interesting, please consider giving it a helpful vote below if you did. Wishing everyone all the best, take care, stay safe and don’t forget, always listen with your heart!

64 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Even more woke!

I had truly enjoyed the first 19 Gabriel Allon books but unfortunately the author made a hard turn to the political left in The Order Book 20) and The Cellist (Book 21), genuflecting at the altar of mask mandates, shutdowns, Biden worship and religion disparaging anti-Catholicism. I had hoped Silva would have learned his lesson when numerous reviewers gave them one star and vowed never to return, much as what happened to the Michael Connelly Bosch series when he went to great lengths to disparage Trump and ALL his supporters (I have never returned to his books either). What an incredible disappointment then, when about 30 minutes in we are subjected to another anti-Trump rant about climate change as he instructs his young son about how the world is going to end because of conservatism in the US. He then follows that up with a definition of the goodness of 'Woke' as having been created by African Americans to counter racial injustice (I have never heard of that origin story and always thought it was a neoliberal elite concoction to control popular thought and dialogue!). Why good authors with successful characters have to ruin it for more than half the population to impose their political opinions is a mystery to me. The book has been returned and after three strikes, never to be tried again! Feel free to be as woke as you want Silva - I'll never hear about it!

49 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Happy to be immersed in the art world again

Very thankful that the author gave up on political ranting and brought back the old Gabriel Allon. It was great to be back in the art world with all of the wonderful characters. The author managed to squeeze in many of his political views but kept it to a few sentences. I did find that the portions that included an excessive amount of lovemaking with his wife when he is described as being in late middle age were totally unrealistic. We all know he adores his wife and don’t really need to hear about their daily nooners. Overall it was a good read and I recommend it. If you were like me and had given up on Daniel Silva after the last novel please give this one a chance.

36 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Getting Harder to Like

I have always looked forward to the next Gabriel Alon installment but it's getting harder to do so. Some have mentioned they don't like the new narrator, I think he's fine. The story was a little less interesting this time. But what really annoys me is that I find myself listening waiting for the inevitable gratuitous left wing rant(s). Sadly they where crammed in as usual.

This might be it for me.

30 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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DaSilva the woke..the false environment..I'm Done

I have written every novel of his but in the 6th chapter I'm disgusted and will return my money. DaSilva brings up the false environment theories, our past President is on the right..that Allon's character is a "woke" man etc.

How does DeSilva have the audacity to bring this into a novel. This is now about liberal media..on HIS SIDE. I'm done.

29 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Want my money back

Never thought I’d LOATHE a book about Gabriel Alon but here we are. Our “hero” is a 73 yo man who sets women’s hearts aflame wherever he goes, with no discernible charm whatsoever. I got a quarter of the way through and it just read like some kind of boomer fantasy about how the only worthwhile person was this bland, unpleasant ex-spy has still “got it”. I appreciate Silva trying something new but I have to tap out. Money wasted. Wish I could return it.

29 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Least exciting of all his books.

Too much garble and moving to the heft politically without true facts. What a shame.

22 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Two cents

Wish he would of kept politics out of the story. Even though it was brief I’m just tired of hearing authors, actors or just famous people throwing in their jabs or two cents. That’s my two cents.

21 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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An Attempt Here to Warn the Unsuspecting Buyer

Two of us here have been listening to this series for years. Perhaps any series which runs as long as this one makes it nearly impossible for the author to keep it going, especially in this case now that Gabriel Alon has now moved to retirement.

So before you buy this latest in the series, make sure of two things:

1. Make sure you are a fan of the narrator. Daniel Silva lost a treasure and a legend when two years ago he dropped George Guidall for Eduardo Ballerini as his narrator. No comparison. So listen carefully to the sample. The elegant authoritative voice of the Gabriel Alon of yore is no match for the current voice. We found it a total put-off.

2. Make sure you are prepared to jump from the land of espionage into the land of art forgery, completely. Gabriel Alon's artistic talents have always been an appealing small part of the Alon Series. but this book is apparently a total keep dive. I say apparently as we didn't finish, as on a hunch after about an hour in, based on (1) the non-descriptive plot in the publishers summary and (2) the same on the current lead "Most Helpful" review, and (3) our developing instincts, we checked the negative reviews here, confirmed same, and bailed out. So you should read the rest of the negative reviews here yourself and arrive at your own conclusion.

Frankly,, we believe too many of the strongly worded positive reviews here are fake setup jobs - a known Amazon problem, that Amazon vigorously attempts to monitor. I wouldn't have thought that problem would arise in reviews for this author, but I must admit I do now have my suspicions. Always well to check the negative reviews.

21 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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I was looking forward to this book so much

But this narrator is just awful!! I can’t even finish it. His accents are pathetic. I need to buy the regular old book to figure out where the characters are, their names & and what the heck they are saying!! I’m so disappointed & irritable.
Please!! Bring back the old narrator!

14 people found this helpful