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Authors: Daniel Silva

Tags: #Intelligence Officers, #Allon; Gabriel (Fictitious character), #Suspense ficiton, #Fiction, #Suspense Fiction, #Spy stories, #Art thefts, #Thrillers, #Suspense, #Spy stories; American, #Espionage, #Suspense fiction; American

The Rembrandt Affair

BOOK: The Rembrandt Affair
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THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR

ALSO BY DANIEL SILVA

The Defector

Moscow Rules

The Secret Servant

The Messenger

Prince of Fire

A Death in Vienna

The Confessor

The English Assassin

The Kill Artist

The Marching Season

The Mark of the Assassin

The Unlikely Spy

THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR

DANIEL SILVA

G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

New York

G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
Publishers Since 1838
Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA * Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) * Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England * Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) * Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) * Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-110 017, India * Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) * Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

Copyright (c) 2010 by Daniel Silva
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.
Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
Published simultaneously in Canada

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Silva, Daniel, date.
The Rembrandt affair / Daniel Silva.
p. cm.
ISBN: 1-101-18878-2
1. Allon, Gabriel (Fictitious character)--Fiction. 2. Intelligence officers--Fiction. I. Title.

PS3619.I5443R46 2010 2010017388
813'6--dc22

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

For Jeff Zucker,
for friendship, support, and personal courage.

And, as always, for my wife, Jamie, and
my children, Lily and Nicholas.

Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.

--
HONORE DE BALZAC

CONTENTS

PROLOGUE

PART ONE:
PROVENANCE

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 16

CHAPTER 17

CHAPTER 18

CHAPTER 19

CHAPTER 20

CHAPTER 21

CHAPTER 22

PART TWO:
ATTRIBUTION

CHAPTER 23

CHAPTER 24

CHAPTER 25

CHAPTER 26

CHAPTER 27

CHAPTER 28

CHAPTER 29

CHAPTER 30

CHAPTER 31

CHAPTER 32

CHAPTER 33

CHAPTER 34

CHAPTER 35

CHAPTER 36

CHAPTER 37

CHAPTER 38

CHAPTER 39

CHAPTER 40

CHAPTER 41

PART THREE:
AUTHENTICATION

CHAPTER 42

CHAPTER 43

CHAPTER 44

CHAPTER 45

CHAPTER 46

CHAPTER 47

CHAPTER 48

CHAPTER 49

CHAPTER 50

CHAPTER 51

CHAPTER 52

CHAPTER 53

CHAPTER 54

CHAPTER 55

PART FOUR:
UNVEILING

CHAPTER 56

CHAPTER 57

CHAPTER 58

CHAPTER 59

CHAPTER 60

CHAPTER 61

CHAPTER 62

CHAPTER 63

CHAPTER 64

CHAPTER 65

CHAPTER 66

CHAPTER 67

CHAPTER 68

CHAPTER 69

CHAPTER 70

CHAPTER 71

CHAPTER 72

CHAPTER 73

CHAPTER 74

CHAPTER 75

CHAPTER 76

PART FIVE:
RECOVERY

CHAPTER 77

CHAPTER 78

CHAPTER 79

CHAPTER 80

CHAPTER 81

AUTHOR'S NOTE

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

PROLOGUE

PORT NAVAS, CORNWALL

B
y coincidence it was Timothy Peel who first learned that the stranger had returned to Cornwall. He made the discovery shortly before midnight on a rain-swept Wednesday in mid-September. And only because he had politely declined the persistent entreaties from the boys at work to attend the midweek bash at the Godolphin Arms up in Marazion.

It was a mystery to Peel why they still bothered to invite him. Truth be told, he had never cared much for the company of drinkers. And these days, whenever he set foot in a pub, there was at least one intoxicated soul who would try to badger him into talking about "little Adam Hathaway." Six months earlier, in one of the most dramatic rescues in the history of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Peel had plucked the six-year-old boy from the treacherous surf off Sennen Cove. The newspapers had crowned Peel a national hero but were then dumbfounded when the broad-shouldered twenty-two-year-old with movie-idol looks refused to grant a single interview. Peel's silence privately annoyed his colleagues, any one of whom would have leapt at the chance for a few moments of celebrity, even if it meant reciting the old cliches about "the importance of teamwork" and "the proud traditions of a proud service." Nor did it sit well with the beleaguered residents of West Cornwall, who were always looking for a good reason to boast about a local boy and stick it to the English snobs from "up-country." From Falmouth Bay to Land's End, the mere mention of Peel's name invariably provoked a puzzled shake of the head. A bit odd, they would say. Always was. Must have been the divorce. Never knew his real father. And that mother! Always took up with the wrong sort. Remember Derek, the whiskey-soaked playwright? Heard he used to beat the lad. At least that was the rumor in Port Navas.

It was true about the divorce. And even the beatings. In fact, most of the idle gossip about Peel had a ring of accuracy. But none of it had anything to do with his refusal to accept his role as hero. Peel's silence was a tribute to a man he had known only briefly, a long time ago. A man who had lived just up Port Navas Quay in the old foreman's cottage near the oyster farm. A man who had taught him how to sail and how to repair old motorcars; who had taught him about the power of loyalty and the beauty of opera. A man who had taught him there was no reason to boast simply for doing one's job.

The man had a poetic foreign-sounding name, but Peel had always thought of him only as the stranger. He had been Peel's accomplice, Peel's guardian angel. And even though he had been gone from Cornwall for many years now, Peel occasionally still watched for him, just as he had when he was a boy of eleven. Peel still had the dog-eared logbook he had kept of the stranger's erratic comings and goings, and the photos of the eerie white lights that used to glow in the stranger's cottage at night. And even now, Peel could picture the stranger at the wheel of his beloved wooden ketch, coming up the Helford Passage after a long night alone on the sea. Peel would always be waiting in his bedroom window, his arm raised in a silent salute. And the stranger, when he spotted him, would always flash his running lights twice in response.

There were few reminders of those days left in Port Navas. Peel's mother had moved to the Algarve coast of Portugal with her new lover. Derek the drunken playwright was rumored to be living in a beachfront hut in Wales. And the old foreman's cottage had been completely renovated and was now owned by posh weekenders from London who threw loud parties and were forever yelling at their spoiled children. All that remained of the stranger was his ketch, which he had bequeathed to Peel the night he fled Cornwall for parts unknown.

On that rainy evening in mid-September, the boat was bobbing at its mooring in the tidal creek, waves nudging gently against its hull, when an unfamiliar engine note lifted Peel from his bed and carried him back to his familiar outpost in the window. There, peering into the wet gloom, he spotted a metallic gray Range Rover making its way slowly along the road. It came to a stop outside the old foreman's cottage and idled a moment, headlamps doused, wipers beating a steady rhythm. Then the driver's-side door suddenly swung open, and a figure emerged wearing a dark green Barbour raincoat and a waterproof flat cap pulled low over his brow. Even from a distance, Peel knew instantly it was the stranger. It was the walk that betrayed him--the confident, purposeful stride that seemed to propel him effortlessly toward the edge of the quay. He paused there briefly, carefully avoiding the pool of light from the single lamp, and stared at the ketch. Then he quickly descended the flight of stone steps to the river and disappeared from view.

At first, Peel wondered whether the stranger had come back to lay claim to the boat. But that fear receded when he suddenly reappeared, clutching a small parcel in his left hand. It was about the size of a hardcover book and appeared to be wrapped in plastic. Judging from the coat of slime on the surface, the package had been concealed for a long time. Peel had once imagined the stranger to be a smuggler. Perhaps he had been right after all.

It was then Peel noticed that the stranger was not alone. Someone was waiting for him in the front seat of the Rover. Peel couldn't quite make out the face, only a silhouette and a halo of riotous hair. He smiled for the first time. It seemed the stranger finally had a woman in his life.

Peel heard the muffled thump of a door closing and saw the Rover lurch instantly forward. If he hurried, there was just enough time to intercept it. Instead, in the grips of a feeling he had not known since childhood, he stood motionless in the window, arm raised in a silent salute. The Rover gathered speed and for an instant Peel feared the stranger had not seen the signal. Then it slowed suddenly and the headlamps flashed twice before passing beneath Peel's window and vanishing into the night.

Peel remained at his post a moment longer, listening as the sound of the engine faded into silence. Then he climbed back into bed and pulled his blankets beneath his chin. His mother was gone, Derek was in Wales, and the old foreman's cottage was under foreign occupation. But for now, Peel was not alone. The stranger had returned to Cornwall.

BOOK: The Rembrandt Affair
2.21Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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