Most of the books written by spy novelist Daniel Silva feature protagonist Gabriel Allon. The character, who made his debut in Silva's fourth novel, "The Kill Artist," is an art restorer, Israeli secret agent and assassin.
Allon was born the son of Holocaust survivors. He inherited his artistic ability from his maternal grandfather, a famous German Expressionist painter who was killed at Auschwitz. Following a stint in the army, Allon studied art at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. The multi-lingual artist was later recruited to join a secret operation against the terrorists responsible for the 1972 Olympic massacre. Over the following years, he continued his involvement in covert operations, using his work as an art restorer in Italy as a cover.