Daniel Silva Talks The Heist, the Pitfalls of Readers Googling as They Read

Posted on July 20, 2014

Cover of The Heist by Daniel Silva

Novelist Daniel Silva was a guest on CBS This Morning to talk about his new espionage thriller, The Heist.

The book features Silva's protagonist, art restorer and sometime Israeli spy Gabriel Allon. In The Heist, Gabriel is recruited by the Italian art squad to help them find a long lost painting by Caravaggio called Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence. The priceless painting was cut from its frame in the Oratorio di San Lorenzo in Palermo, Sicilyon October 18, 1969. As Gabriel looks into the theft he ends up hip keep in Middle East espionage and intrigue as he and his old team get back together to find the painting.The case puts them on the trail of the billions of dollars held by secret bankers for the Syrian dictator, who looted the treasury for his own enrichment.

Daniel talked about art theft and noted that although it's not written about that much in the news, it is the fourth most lucrative criminal activity in the world. The value of art stolen each year is mind-boggling. When host Gayle King said she kept stopping reading the book to look up the paintings on Google, Daniel laughed and noted that writers now have to be very aware of readers just like her who Google every little fact. He say that you have to be really thorough in the research.

Daniel, who still writes his first drafts by hand on a yellow legal pad, said that one of the most fascinating aspects of the Arab Spring is the revelation of how incredibly wealthy the heads of state are. Egypt's Hosni Mubarak is worth around $70 billion and President Assad of Syria is worth much more than that.

Daniel is still on tour for The Heist. He will kick off the 2014 Jewish Book Fair on July 24th at the David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre at the Jewish Community Center in La Jolla, California. Take a look:

Photo: HarperCollins

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