Read The English Girl by Daniel Silva George Guidall Online


Seven daysOne girlNo second chancesMadeline Hart is a rising star in Britain’s governing party: beautiful, intelligent, driven by an impoverished childhood to succeed. But she is also a woman with a dark secret: she is the lover of Prime Minister Jonathan Lancaster. Somehow, her kidnappers have learned of the affair, and they intend to make the British leader pay dearly foSeven daysOne girlNo second chancesMadeline Hart is a rising star in Britain’s governing party: beautiful, intelligent, driven by an impoverished childhood to succeed. But she is also a woman with a dark secret: she is the lover of Prime Minister Jonathan Lancaster. Somehow, her kidnappers have learned of the affair, and they intend to make the British leader pay dearly for his sins. Fearful of a scandal that will destroy his career, Lancaster decides to handle the matter privately rather than involve the British police. It is a risky gambit, not only for the prime minister but also for the operative who will conduct the search.You have seven days, or the girl dies.Enter Gabriel Allon—master assassin, art restorer and spy—who is no stranger to dangerous assignments or political intrigue. With the clock ticking, Gabriel embarks on a desperate attempt to bring Madeline home safely. His mission takes him from the criminal underworld of Marseilles to an isolated valley in the mountains of Provence to the stately if faded corridors of power in London—and, finally, to a pulse-pounding climax in Moscow, a city of violence and spies where there is a long list of men who wish Gabriel dead.From the novel’s opening pages until the shocking ending when the true motives behind Madeline’s disappearance are revealed, The English Girl will hold readers spellbound. It is a timely reminder that, in today’s world, money often matters more than ideology. And it proves once again why Daniel Silva has been called his generation’s finest writer of suspense and foreign intrigue....

Title : The English Girl
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062262974
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 10 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The English Girl Reviews

  • Melinda Barlass
    2019-02-21 12:24

    Damn it...I finished the book. Now I must wait for the next. I always enjoy reading about places I have been. It also references my favorite book/movie...A Room with a View. Overall a good read with the usual twists and turns, but lacking in the typical Allon antics, spyness, and restorations. I was really hoping for more in the English Girl. Overall I recommend, but if you have not read the Gabriel Allon series by Silva, do not make this your first read in the series. I began my obsession with The Defector and hen started from the beginning.

  • Kristina
    2019-02-21 14:39

    Okay, this is it. I’m tired of reading bad fiction. I bought The English Girl at the Las Vegas airport because I wanted something fun and fast to read on the flight home. Wow, was I ever disappointed. This book runs an appalling 520 pages—about 200 pages too long and all of the pages are filled with clunky writing, uninspiring dialogue, woefully underdeveloped characters, and an incredibly convoluted holy-shit-can-this-book-just-stop-already?! plot. The further I traveled in this book, the less I liked it. Madeline Hart, the English girl of the book’s title, is vacationing on the island of Corsica. She is a minor player in the British government but has the determination and intelligence to succeed. One night she is kidnapped and a ransom demand is sent to Jonathan Lancaster, the Prime Minister of England—the man she has been sleeping with. PM Lancaster, wishing to avoid a scandal, calls in a favor that eventually leads to Gabriel Allon, the legendary Israeli super spy and Man Who Can Do No Wrong. Even his work as an assassin is bathed in the glow of righteous goodness. Allon reluctantly agrees to save this woman and his quest turns into an international thriller of bombastic and depressingly easy-to-guess proportions. Five hundred twenty pages later, you basically want them all to die, but particularly the smug self-righteous Allon.I’m not going to put spoiler alerts in this review so if you have any desire to read this book, stop reading. I mean, I’m not going to come right out and give it all away, but I may let a few things slide in my need to complain about the awfulness that is this book. You’ve been warned.There are a lot of things I didn’t like about this book. Many, many things. Practically everything. What I liked (and it’s seriously the ONLY thing so I may as well mention it first) is the first chapter. Silva does an excellent job of setting the scene in Corsica and describing Madeline, the English girl. The descriptions are vivid, the friends Madeline is vacationing with come alive and are interesting people and the portrait painted of Madeline really grabs my attention. I was excited to keep reading because I liked this Madeline. I wanted her to be rescued and I couldn’t wait for the fun to start. Then I met Gabriel Allon, an assassin and professional prig. The book’s overall self-righteous attitude about characters deemed unworthy of living (thus doomed to be killed by Allon and his helper Christopher Keller) and the general attitude that Israel is the country of Good People…and everyone else sucks, irritated the snot out of me. What I dislike the most about this book is the macho bullshit and “Marty Stu” (thanks, Ferdy) factor of Allon’s character. He is Invincible. He is Legendary. He is the Best Spy Ever. Oh, and the Best Killer of Bad People Ever. He’s the Smartest, the Bravest, the Spy Who Gets Shit Done. And be warned, bad guys: if you mess with him or any of his friends or any Jewish people in general, he will fuck you up. Badly. Pair this extreme macho awesomeness with Christopher Keller, a former British citizen and Extra Special Military Forces guy. He was supposedly killed in a FUBAR friendly-fire incident and has chosen to remain dead. He now works as an assassin for hire—the Best, Most Talented assassin for hire. He even tried to kill Allon, but his code of conduct wouldn’t let him complete the mission so Allon lives. These two Most Awesome Men work together to track down the bad guys who kidnapped Madeline and it’s often a non-stop dick dueling match: “I’m more manly!” “No, I am!” On page 152, these two idiots argue about who gets to shoot first, each of them trying to out-dick the other. Keller reminds Allon that he achieved the highest score ever recorded during a live-fire military exercise at a famed British training camp. Allon responds, “I once shot a Palestinian terrorist between the eyes from the back of a moving motorcycle.” When Keller basically says, oh, big whoop, Allon continues to brag: “The terrorist was sitting in the middle of a crowded café on the boulevard Saint-Germaine in Paris.” Keller took the shot, only because he won the coin toss. The whole book is like this: Allon the Big Man on Campus. He’s taking names and kicking asses. It’s so bad I’m embarrassed for the author. Allon either really is his Marty Stu or Silva created a character he could slavishly hero worship. Either way, it’s crap. When an author creates a character this fucking awesome, you pretty much know he’s going to succeed at everything. This takes away the tension of the novel. Allon has no interesting flaws or weaknesses. What he has instead is a sensitive soul tortured by personal misfortunes. This doesn’t make me like him any better or give his stunted personality more depth. I did not like the repeated scenes of Keller and Allon (or Allon and another agent) torturing a bad guy or Russian spy to get information. Keller and Allon very neatly divide humans into “worth living” and “not worth living” and play god by torturing and then disposing of these people as easily as you or I may toss out an apple core. I have a lot of problems with the torture scenes in the book. Intellectually, I understand that it’s probably necessary to do it to get the information needed to find the girl. I mean, we can debate whether torturing a person will lead to helpful information (there is no conclusive evidence that it does but I have other moral and ethical reasons to not support it), but for the purposes of this crap ass novel, let’s assume it’s a necessary evil. It’s been difficult for me to pinpoint exactly why I dislike these scenes because I watch tv shows and read books that have violent interrogation scenes. I think the disconnect for me is how Allon is portrayed as the Righteous Avenger and he kills without mercy but he’s so incredibly self-righteous about Keller being an assassin for hire. Here’s a description of him as the Righteous Avenger: “For the next three years, Gabriel and the other Wrath of God operatives stalked their prey across Europe and the Middle East. Armed with a .22-caliber Beretta, a soft-spoken weapon suitable for killing at close range, Gabriel personally assassinated six members of Black September. Whenever possible he shot them eleven times, one bullet for each Israeli butchered in Munich” (27). Not only did Gabriel kill these men, he shot them eleven times each. Dead is dead. Overkill, thy name is Gabriel Allon. The author reveals his personal feelings by choosing the word “butchered.” That’s in the exposition; it’s not a word Allon chooses. I suspect Allon is a mouthpiece for the author’s own feelings and prejudices—not that this isn’t uncommon or even a bad thing, but if the other books in the series reflect the overall prejudices of this book (Isreal good, all other nations bad or incompetent), then it could become distracting and annoying. Allon makes flippant lame jokes when torturing the bad guys yet when Keller says “goddamned” in a Catholic church they’re using as a covert meeting place to discuss the operation (and for Keller to have a few chuckles about killing someone), Allon scolds Keller: “Remember where you are, Christopher.” Really? That’s the line we don’t cross? The last thirty pages or so of this book are completely unnecessary. They also contain a scene that pissed me off the most. Allon and his lovely wife Chiara are having a pleasant holiday at Corsica now that everything has been handled successfully and according to his plans. Allon is visiting with Keller, trying to convince him to change his career path. First, he tries to make Keller feel guilty for having completed a “business trip.” Allon asks him how many men he’s killed and Keller (understandably irritated) shoots back: “I don’t know. How many have you killed?” So Allon replies: “Mine are different. I’m a soldier. A secret soldier, but a soldier nonetheless” (512). He continues to tell Keller that if he joined forces with Allon, he could be a “soldier” too—as long as he becomes an Israeli citizen, learns Hebrew, and works for the Israeli spy service. Wow. I read this scene a few times, getting angrier every time until I think my eyes were on fire. What the fuck. Moral relativism, anyone? Allon also says to him: “I didn’t include you on the team because I needed your help. I wanted to show you that there’s more to life than killing people for money” (511). No, Allon, you did need his help. He found the house where the kidnappers were holding the girl. He guarded the ransom money while you were out running errands. Keller was actually a big help to you. In the course of this mission, he and Keller murdered at least six people. Granted, in Allon’s eyes their lives were meaningless, but enlisting the help of a ruthless killer on a mission in which people were tortured and murdered without a second thought seems like a screwy way of trying to prove that there’s “more to life than killing.” Plus Allon states several times in the book that he sought out Keller because he is a ruthless killer. So Allon is going to take the moral high ground and say, well, no because he, Allon, kills only people who deserve to be killed that makes him guiltless? I don’t think so. What makes a person’s life negotiable? This person is an enemy of your government? Well, maybe you are an enemy of his government. Allon has as much blood on his hands as does Keller. The difference is Keller knows it. He doesn’t try to excuse it. Allon is smug and self-righteous and excuses his murderous ways by claiming he is a soldier. His world is so very comfortingly black and white. Must be nice to be so sure that you are on the side of the angels.As for Madeline…(view spoiler)[okay, so I will put a spoiler alert here. Madeline is not only alive, but she was never really kidnapped. Not only that, but she’s a Russian spy! So lots of people were killed, lots of money was spent…all to rescue a woman who is Russian and out to harm the British government. But ha, so what, right, Allon? Israel is the only country that matters. So, Madeline pleads innocence (“The bad guys made me do it…really, I love England!”) and Allon rescues her from the bad Russians. He spends an awful lot of time trying to convince her to seek sanctuary in Israel, to the point where I thought, what the fuck. Is he in love with her? Watch out beautiful Chiara…Madeline is beautiful too (what? Rescue a fat ugly girl? No way, man.) and she actually has something close to a personality. But why didn’t Madeline get shot in the head? I mean, look at all the trouble they went to and here she is, a Russian spy the whole time. You’d think Allon would have tortured her merely because she inconvenienced him and pulled him away from his stupid painting. But she’s pretty and the bad Russians holding her bruised her a little bit…aww…don’t worry, honey. Allon will kiss away your boo-boos.(hide spoiler)]I’d bitch in depth about all the other problems the book has, but I’d like to keep review under 2,500 words. So quickly:1.The action is interrupted numerous times to tell very long back stories of the characters. I simply didn’t care. Just get to the damn story. 2. Silva tucks lots of history lessons into the book. That’s great, but if you can’t do it without interrupting the flow of the story, then fucking don’t do it.3. The characters are merely cardboard cut-outs of people. They barely make an impression on you and after 400 pages you really don’t give a damn about any of them.4. Dialogue is HORRIBLE. Cringe-worthy. As is the one sex scene with Allon and Chiara. Yikes. Damn, man, read some bodice busters and take notes.5. The characters don’t have personalities, they have tics. Shamron twisting his fucking Zippo lighter: “two turns to the right, two turns to the left.” 6. Silva also often repeats phrases. When he did it in the first chapter, I liked it. But then he did it so often that I became annoyed. Someone would ask Allon if he wanted champagne and he’d say no, it gives me a headache. Then at the end of the chapter, Silva would repeat the phrase: “Gabriel doesn’t drink champagne. It gives him headaches.” I’m guessing it’s supposed to be ominous, but it’s not.7. Silva seems to think his readers are idiots because over-explains just about everything. And those last 30 pages or so are completely unnecessary. Why the hell his editor didn’t slash them is beyond me. I kept thinking, Christ, when will this shitty book end? What else can he possibly say?8.The damn goat. Shut up about the fucking goat. And the old woman fortune teller and her damn olive oil. It’s for cooking, not scrying. 9. Really? Fallon killed himself? I don’t think so. He would have taken his Russian bribe money and snuck out of the country. What a bunch of shit. This book is bad. Really, really bad. Nothing’s good about it, but what bothers me the most is how Silva, via his macho Marty Stu aka Gabriel Allon, metes out justice to Those Who Deserve It. Blech.

  • Gunn
    2019-02-05 19:27

    Perhaps it's driven by nostalgia but I'm surprised at how well rated this book is by other reviewers. I feel a bit differently. It had to happen sometime: after 13 books with the same character, this is the FIRST in the series that seemed like a "paycheck book" to me.The Gabriel Allon series is one of my favorites which is odd considering most of what I read is outside of this genre (I prefer scifi). Gabriel's character has aged in the previous 13 novels so you cannot expect the character to react to situations in the same fashion as when he was younger. Also, there are only so many times that a character can be brought back in "for one more job."While I did find the character development to be interesting and the author does a pretty good job of explaining the backgrounders for other relevant characters that "pop-in" to this particular storyline, the story itself was pretty predictable -- a first IMO after reading this series.Given how things end, I hope the author has the good sense to allow Gabriel Allon to retire soon. The overall body of work is quite good (Daniel Silva is said to have reinvented the "spy thriller" genre with this series and I wholeheartedly agree) so I hope he doesn't drag the series out in the name of paying off the author's pied-a-terre or country home (see also: the first three novels of the Dune series vs. the crap Frank Herbert's son puts out).-g

  • Drew
    2019-02-10 17:30

    While all the Silva books tend to blend together in my memory, he has a great formula and sticks to it. His formula as I see it follows these steps:1. Semi-retired Israeli spy (Gabriel Allon) has sworn off spying and is engrossed in his 2nd career as art restorer.2. Someone from Allon's past asks him a favor to solve some international crime/stop some international terrorist.3. Allon hems and haws, but finally agrees to do the work.4. Allon determines the source of the crime/terror and vows personally to destroy them.5. Allon assembles a crack team to surveil, set-up and take-down criminals/terrorists.6. Plan goes almost perfect, but there with a few hitches. Many, many, many bad guys die.7. Wash, rinse and repeat. The English Girl follows these steps again. For future novels, Silva has set up his character to take over as the director of the Israeli intelligence service. It should provide him fodder for many more "Gabriel Allon" novels.

  • Virginia
    2019-02-18 17:36

    Daniel Silva is a rock star. He's an intelligent writer, he has both intriguing plot development and engaging characters, his main characters grow and evolve (and age!), and he always leaves me ready for the next book. To me, one of his core strengths is that even though his characters are set in the world of espionage, they don't succeed because of the latest gadget or technological wonder. They use their brains, experience, wiles--and then the gadgets. They are good at what they do because of carefully honed skills, and that sets him apart from other writers who rely on superhuman heroes with rippled abs and talking watches. I also like that his plots are well crafted, with enough detail to support the story but not so much that it appears he's trying to impress with his latest research - those paragraphs that cause me to flip to the next page. He seems to understand his readers' interest in knowing just enough but not too much.If I were starting to read Silva for the first time, I'd go back to the beginning of Gabriel Allon's story rather than starting here. Even though there is backstory in each book, the real depth of his writing skill becomes apparent across the series.

  • Jim A
    2019-02-05 13:24

    It’s hard for me to describe my feelings about Daniel Silva’s latest novel, The English Girl. It doesn’t really fit the mold of other Gabriel Allon novels. This one starts with Allon doing a favor for Graham Seymour of British MI-5, who is doing something for the British Prime Minister. It seems the Prime Minister’s mistress has been kidnapped. The first thing Allon does is take on a partner, but not one of the members of “The Office” that he usually uses. This time it’s a professional assassin who once tried to kill Allon.Silva also writes the Allon character a little different than in previous novels. Gabriel is a little more full of himself; “I’m Gabriel Allon, I only do big”. He also gives Allon a bit of a sense of humor; “Jews don’t camp, Keller. The last time the Jews went camping they spent 40 years wandering in the desert.” That quote makes my list of all time favorite book lines. Halfway through the book the real Allon comes out and he decides he needs to go back to Moscow to continue looking for the kidnappers. Those who are familiar with the series will know the danger with this decision. It also comes with a personal price. To get the sanction of the government of Israel for this mission, Gabriel has to promise Shamron that he will seriously consider becoming the head of The Office. Again, long time readers will recognize the significance of this. At this point all of Allon’s merry band join him and the rest of the story plays out. All in all it was a very enjoyable weekend for me, spent with Gabriel, Chiara and other familiar characters as well as what may turn out to be a new regular in Allon’s adventures, Keller the assassin.

  • Linda Root
    2019-02-08 17:23

    It is hard to give less than five stars to any Gabriel Allon book. If I were rating this against any other writer, it would be a five. Unfortunately Silva himself has placed the bar so high that a five would be phenomenal. This is not the best of the Gabriel Allon books, but it does not miss the mark by much. I find myself waxing nostalgic for the melancholy art restorer persona of the early works or the damaged Gabriel hiding out in Cornwall until Chiara comes to save him from his ghosts. I miss Julien Usherwood, yet going home to Israel opens a while new set of possibilities for a Gabriel who is no longer young or quite so intense. Since I am not longer young or intense that works fine for me and it obviously works for Silva. So what is missing in this fine new addition to the saga? For me, it is the element of suspense, because I had the basic plot mapped after about 40 pages into the story, certainly not with such certainty that I was ready to put the book aside. And in any case, I read Silva's books for the sheer joy of reading Silva. There are some characters I found tedious. I am not turned on by Corsican thugs--Napoleone Bonaparte finished that off for me when he shelled the Sphinx. Nor do I expect Gabriel to be perfect. After all, the man is an assassin. I do not blame him for sitting down with Ari Shamron and putting his own future on the table in order to get support for his plan, but I like it less when he barters with the Corsican don for the lease of his favorite henchman. On the positive side, I was ever so grateful to Silva for not subject the character Mikael (Michael) to the endless tortures he usually endures or letting the poor guy wallow in his quasi romance with the American CIA agent. The absence of more than a token appearance by some of the characters we usually see was actually welcome. I like the fact that almost everybody gets almost all of what they want when the plot resolves and that the ending neither foretells or forecloses the next appearance of an older but every bit as interesting Gabriel Allon. I rarely shell out 11.99 for an ebook, but this is the exception, and I do not feel the least bit cheated.

  • Dana
    2019-02-07 20:39

    I waited til the right time and place presented itself before settling in with my yearly Daniel Silva book ... This annual treat needs to be savored, knowing I won't get another update to Gabriel Allon's story until the following summer. But once started, I can never stop ... I read this book yesterday - all 496 pages. Last year, I enjoyed Silva's The Fallen Angel, but was reminded with every page that it was the TWELFTH in the series and it was feeling very formulaic and predictable. I don't know if Silva felt it, too, but The English Girl was injected with some freshness, as well as a little more humor and witty repartee than in his other books. I was really glad that someone "new" played such a big role - I know Keller made an appearance in a previous book, but his large part in this one was a welcome addition to me. I enjoy the team Gabriel assembles in each book, but it was nice to expand on the storyline of some fresh characters. I don't mind that Silva's stories are biased towards Israel, but I was glad to take a break from that theme with The English Girl. Fans of Gabriel Allon should enjoy this book - and friends, if you've never read one of Daniel Silva's books, feel free to start with this one. I'm not a fan of "spy" stories - but Silva's series starring Gabriel Allon, an Israeli spy, are SO much more than books of intrigue and secrets. A lot of art history, in addition to timely plots and detailed research, I've never been bored with any of them.

  • Ana
    2019-02-14 18:45

    "Levaram-na no final de agosto, na ilha da Córsega. Nunca ficaria estabelecida a hora precisa - algures entre o pôr do sol e o meio -dia do dia seguinte foi o melhor que os amigos que dividiam a casa com ela conseguiram fazer."E assim começa mais uma aventura de Gabriel Allon que o transporta para diversos países, procurando descobrir a relação entre esta jovem mulher, o primeiro-ministro inglês e uma empresa petrolífera russa gerida pelo sucessor do KGB.

  • Tim
    2019-01-29 18:34

    An excellent story by an excellent author with an outstanding main character in Gabriel. 10 of 10 stars

  • Jan Rice
    2019-02-05 15:29

    So now I've read a Silva.I called this "genre literature." For me that means literature I typically don't read, for if I read it, it would be "cross-over" literature. It means looking down my nose at it. What I read is literature; what you read is "genre lit." I'm teasing. And owning up--a little.The purpose of this book is to give the reader thrills of suspense. The character development serves the plot, and sometimes the action serves to ratchet up another few seconds of suspense, whether it serves the plot or not. That suspense is supposed to keep the reader turning the pages. I may or may not have, except that I got the book on audio from the library and listened to most of it during a car trip, with the book there, too, for clarifying a name or plot point as needed. A good friend and Silva fan had given this book to me for my last birthday (a year ago!). That made me want to read it--now a fait accompli. And it made the miles roll by. That it did.What's the good of genre lit? First of all, it's better to read than not to read. Suspense thrillers could be the entry drug that makes someone into a hardcore reader.Probably you learn a little something about Russia in this book. It is a matter of some importance to the author that post-USSR Russia not be romanticized, and if anyone was doing that, the events of the last year or so would have set him or her straight and ratified the author's vision. This LA Times article on Russia was reprinted in my paper just as I was finishing up The English Girl.The author also paints the dilemmas and struggles of the country of Israel in more sympathetic colors than the left would like. In fact, they wouldn't particularly care for his picture of world politics in general; say, of Western countries being friendly with Israel. Is Daniel Silva a "neo-con?" Only in the sense that, as one moves further toward the political left, there is no "liberal" or "center-left" position behind one, only neo-con territory, so that everything to the rightward of whatever one's own political position is, is called that. Still, it could be more effective to ban Silva than Sodastream or hummus. Daniel Silva's books prove Israel's problem is not the result of a lack of PR.This book suffers from being two books stuck together. One part of the plot ran out before readers could be given their money's worth of thrills, necessitating something new for the second half of the book.To be fair, some reviewers say this isn't the best Silva and that he subsequently returned to form. He has a verbal tic of, having come up with a witticism, repeating it multiple times. I doubt if that's limited to the present book. For example, a bug-free room in which the spies could speak freely in the Israeli embassy in London is the "holy of holies." It hits home the first time. Or another character asks the hero if he doesn't drink champagne. He says, no, it gives him a headache. The other party says, "Me, too," all the while pouring a glass. Stop while you're ahead!For the easily confused late-comer, shilling for former books in the guise of references to past adventures clutters up the plot line and makes it harder to remember the characters.Why does the author have his hero ask another character, "Since when do you eat shellfish," when that character has not evidenced a shred of religious observance otherwise?And yet those attempting to meet with a superstar oil magnate are said, with a jarring authenticity, to be waiting to "sit at his feet." Still and all, now I've read a Silva!Although my tone in this review has at points been dismissive, Silva's thrillers were best-sellers from the very first one, enabling him to resign from journalism and producing CNN talk-shows. When one of his new books comes out, library queues of several hundred people form. He's considered the preeminent writer of international thrillers. And for the sake of authenticity for his hero, who's an art restorer as well as a spy and assassin, he gets input from an art expert in the know.For more information:

  • Cathy
    2019-02-11 20:45

    Okay, so this is another spy novel with lots of assassin killings; not my favorite things. But the difference between this one and the Mitch Rapp series is that the main Office of CIA types is not American but from Israel. I take it Silva is Jewish. And certainly, we do feel much more confidence in the Israeli intelligence group than our own CIA/FBI or even the British MI5/MI6 folks. Why? Because they do what they say they are going to do, and they act out of intense self preservation (think Holocaust), and leave the shackling Political Correctness OUT.The other thing I like about this novel is that the true "evil-doers" in the world are unmasked and denuded, i.e. the Russians. Are they not at the heart of every evil we face today? They weaponize the Iranians, who weaponize the Syrians, who kill anyone resisting them, or if it suits the Rushkie's purposes, they supply the Al-Qaeda nut-cakes, or anyone else who seems intent on destroying their fellowmen. It feels really, really good to see someone, even if that someone is fictional, kick their bad butts! These are the true super-heroes of the day.Also interesting, although author disclaimed, is to try and figure out who in the political scene today is being brush-stroked as a fictional character in the story. I think Putin is clearly painted. Current British Prime Minister - who knows? It is very notable that Silva has none, NO, not-a, even a hint of American intelligence involved here. (Maybe there isn't any, J/K) This could very well indicate the current feeling Israelis have against our current administration which is weak and feckless, and therefore the intelligence is weak and feckless, and continually embarrassed by leaks from traitors who go unpunished. I don't consider myself a bellicose per person, but enough is enough, already! Long live the Israelis! Go get em.

  • Rebecca
    2019-02-09 20:21

    The latest Gabriel Allon book.This is a very good book and still a wonderful series. Beware that you really should read this series in order as there is ongoing character development.

  • Mark
    2019-02-17 13:26

    An seemingly ordinary English girl gets kidnapped during her holiday in Corsica. What the general public do not know that this lovely English Rose is the secret lover of their Prime-minister of Great Britain. In order to keep this hidden a favor is asked and Gabriel Allon spy extra-ordinary gets to track down the girl and her kidnapper. During the exchange of the ransom everything goes wrong and Allon ends up empty handed.The Israeli does not handle defeat very well and start looking into the matter, who was behind the kidnapping and what was the reason for the kidnapping to begin with.And so a great thriller starts that does not involve any middle eastern plot for a change which is a nice difference for a change. We do get some slight office politics but they have a one sided character and leave this reader with the idea that nothing will come of it anyhow.The change from middle eastern baddies for a more geopolitical and economic plot is far more satisfying and fairly well doen. Being a faithful reader of this genre I did find myself guessing some of the plot surprises and that never sits well with me, as I like to be surprised like the next person. Which is the reason I opt for a 3 star score instead of a four star score.As always well written and easy to read and lay away to pick up later without losing the plot.A good series that keeps up its quality even after 13 books.

  • Ware
    2019-01-30 17:25

    A rising young party star on vacation in Corsica disappears and is presumed murdered. Weeks later a ransom note is delivered to 10 Downing Street, for the missing girl is the mistress of the popular Prime Minister. Wishing to avoid a political scandal on the eve of an election, the PM and his Rovian political advisor with some off the record help from a senior MI-5 official, enlist Gabriel Allon to deliver the ransom.This is a breathtaking novel which rolls convincingly through the Corsican underworld to the equally corrupt and equally deadly industrial organizations in post-Soviet Russia. Allon, the most urbane spy since James Bond and the most cerebral since George Smiley is truly challenged by those in power and those whose ambitions overcome their judgment and patriotism. So good is this novel that Daniel Silva could rightfully claim to be the greatest living writer of thrillers and spy fiction if only John LeCarre wasn't still alive.This is one summer read you won't forget in September.

  • Ellen
    2019-02-02 12:36

    Gabriel Allon has been my July companion for several years running. When the galley comes I hide it from myself until we leave for vacation. And then, oh what a treat. Silva has delivered his best thriller yet. From Corsica to London, from sprawling villas to Number 10 Downing Street , the geographies in The English Girl are as capitivating as the thrills. This one has the old KGB back in action and a puzzle that will keep you guessing and reading late into the night. Thank you Mr Silva. You have given me many hours of pleasure. This is pure literary brain candy. Big big fun

  • Christopher Bunn
    2019-01-28 17:51

    I recently retreated to a beach in the company of my wife and two books. The weather was excellent, the beach was composed of fine-grained sand, and the waves advanced and rolled back in a peaceable manner. In short, the lark was on his wing, the snail on his thorn, and God was in Heaven.The second of the two books was Daniel Silva's new story in the Gabriel Allon series. I read The English Girl quickly, as I don't think Silva ever intended his books to be read slowly. It was an enjoyable read, par for the course for Silva. His Allon stories are shot through with a certain amount of sadness which, I think, makes them stand out from the regular crowd of thrillers. The sadness comes from the combination of Gabriel Allon's life--the life of a frustrated artist and art restorer who must work, instead, at killing and destroying instead of creating beauty--and the larger setting of modern Israeli practicality, the practicality of a small country always forced to make dreadful choices in order to stay alive.The first half of the book was excellent, laying out the story of the kidnapped Madeline Hart, the involvement of Allon to find her, and her startling death. The second half of the story, Allon's revenge against her killers, felt slightly cookie-cutter to me. However, this is typical of Silva's books. The second halves tend to follow the same routine: the involvement of the Mossad, Allon pulling his team together (always the same cast of characters--though, in this book, we at least had the welcome addition of Christopher Keller, the ex-SAS soldier), summary judgment and execution.Still, The English Girl is a very satisfying read and I recommend it unreservedly for those who appreciate thrillers. The addition of Corsica as one of the plot setting was a very nice touch. I can almost smell the sage and heather of the macchia countryside from here.One last comment. I appreciate Silva's thrillers for many reasons, but chief among them is that he writes from a moral perspective. Right and wrong, good and evil, however they are complicated by issues of nationalism, etc., are respected in his stories. That, for me, is important and refreshing.

  • Kirstin
    2019-01-31 20:39

    Do you like spy thrillers, but feel they lack culture? Do you ever wish your spy characters were skilled in music and art as well as clandestine intrigue and killing? It's time to start reading Daniel Silva's spy thrillers starring Gabriel Allon, master art restorer/forger and Israeli assassin/spy! The English Girl is the 16th Gabriel Allon now, but Silva does a good job filling in key elements of the backstory in a few lines. This novel starts with a kidnapping for ransom, gets tangled up with the Corsican mafia, spends a while with a complicated secret identity scheme, and ends with a massive twist! The Russians get to be the "bad guys" in this one, giving it a very classic spy novel feel.The "spy" aspect of Daniel Silva's writing- the classic tradecraft, political wrangling and double-crosses- brings to mind LeCarre, but with a little more killing and fewer tedious descriptions of blind drops and old men talking. The "thriller" side of his writing- the car chases, assassins, and twists- reminds me of Ludlum, with more reliance on fellow spies and more finessed kills. Gabriel Allon is a character of depth and experience. The recurring supporting cast in the stories is well drawn, especially Allon's mentor Ari Shamron. After years of coaxing and scheming, it seems like Shamron might finally have talked Allon into becoming chief of "The Office." Allon is getting older, and there are developments in his personal life that might keep him closer to home, so I can imagine that Silva might  finally write him in to that role. However, I'm sure circumstances would require his presence on the field of operations often enough to keep things interesting.It doesn't really matter if you've always wanted to read about an art restorer spy assassin or not. If you want to read a spy novel at all, you should be reading Daniel Silva's books. He is one of the best- if not the best- out there.Read my other book reviews:

  • Mark Mitchell
    2019-02-03 15:33

    Gabriel Allon is the rare series character who seems to get better in each new novel. Yes, the usual tropes (Gabriel's reluctance to be involved in the latest operation, Sharon's chain-smoking, Chiara's beauty, and the memories of the tragedy that left Gabriel without a son) are all present. But, Gabriel seems to have become a wiser, deeper person as the series developed.In this latest installment, Gabriel -- that improbable combination of art restorer and secret agent -- gets involved in the bizarre disappearance of a rising star in the English political firmament. A combination of meticulous planning, derring-do, and improvisation are of course required for Gabriel and team to unravel the situation. Of course, the situation is more complex than it appears, and major geopolitical forces are involved, so both diplomacy and tradecraft are required.Daniel Silva has created a character with a pleasing blend of morality and ruthlessness. Gabriel always wants to do the right thing, but when he has to do something nasty, he does. And then feels bad afterwards. As such, Gabriel comes across as less ambiguous than the usual Le Carré, John protagonist -- but much less flat than the heroes that occupy the likes of Vince Flynn.

  • Jeffrey
    2019-02-12 14:49

    In the increasingly crowded thriller genre, Daniel Silva is an author to count on.While Silva's last book delved into a smuggler plot at the Vatican, Allon shifts gears here to the kidnapping of Madeleine Hart, who is the mistress of the English Prime Minister. The girl is being held for ransom. The Prime Minister does not want to reveal the affair so he wants to pay, but is willing to let Gabriel Allon try to find the girl.Allon has 7 days.Although Allon gets close to freeing Hart, the time period elapses and the minister agrees to pay, but the kidnappers some how know Allon is involved and want him to deliver the ransom. After the drop, Allon is told where to get Hart, but is ambushed by a shocking explosion.Allon now takes it upon himself to figure out what happened and wants to get revenge on the kidnappers.Of course, Israel is reluctant to commit its resources to Allon's plan unless Allon agrees to become the new head of Mossad.After assembling the familiar cast of characters, Allon soon learns some interesting facts about the kidnappers and their country of origin, and must somehow defeat them. There are double agents and some surprising twists and turns. Its a quick read.Silva's ability to switch from a plot involving Hezbollah and the Vatican in the prior book to a scenario involving England and double agents and spies is a mark of his singular talent. This volume has all of the familiar Allon plot elements, but it all works.

  • Carrie
    2019-02-20 19:32

    As promised, this is a decent thriller that will probably please fans of the author. I was a little hesitant to start book 13 of a series and while it is a stand alone book, I think the character development has been stretching over the series so much that I was left a little cold by all of them. The back stories for the characters are included, and in fact were kind of an issue for me. If I had read all of the books I think I would have been annoyed by the regular retelling of long past events. Still, if this is a library book, you will not think it is a complete waste of time, it is a gentle, easy thriller. For me, I prefer my thrillers to be a little more mysterious. I also prefer the story to not focus exclusively on one character, in this case, the hero. I wanted to read the panic in the prime minister and the desperation of his minions. I also think this book suffers from way too much foreshadow, nothing was surprising and the twists and turns are very obvious. Not only that, I never felt there was much danger involved for the main players. But hey, if you are sitting on a plane for hours, you could do worse, much worse.

  • John Connolly
    2019-01-25 18:27

    I’m something of a fan of Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon books, even if, as often happens with an ongoing series, the structure of each novel is pretty standard: Allon, an art restorer and Israeli agent, is pulled reluctantly into some case of international terrorism; bad things happen; he gets his gang together; and vengeance is meted out. Actually, leaving out the international terrorism element, that could describe most mystery novels, my own included. In Silva’s case, this is all accomplished with a considerable measure of style, and no small amount of tension. He’s very good.Here’s the thing: I don’t believe in the concept of guilty pleasures. If you like something, and it doesn’t do anyone else any harm — or, indeed, yourself — then it’s fine to like it. If anything about the Allon books makes me slightly uneasy, it’s a general tendency to paint the Israelis entirely as a force for good, and the Arabs or Russians as pretty much uniformly bad. Now I’m no expert, but I suspect the geopolitical situation is slightly more complex than that. End of note.

  • Rachel
    2019-02-16 14:43

    A solid spy thriller, The English Girl has all of the elements and characters I've come to expect and love from this series. This is not, however, the best of the series to date, and was surprisingly and disappointingly predictable. 3.5 ⭐️

  • Traci Slatton
    2019-02-20 20:42

    There's a particular joy in getting engrossed in a really great novel. I felt it for the first time when I was 6 years old. At that age, I progressed in a few months from reading "See Spot Run" to reading 'big books,' that is, chapter books for much older kids. My rapid evolution wasn't due to anything special about my intelligence, alas. It was due to the joy...the delight and pleasure...of being grabbed by a well-told story.That joy inspired me with a longing: the longing to write novels. It's that joy and that longing that have led me through my life. Literally. I came from a family where no one had gone to college in generations, and I went to Yale at 17 because I was so motivated by the joy and the longing intrinsic to reading and writing.I still read continuously. I also read indiscriminately. It's all market research. Unfortunately, so much popular fiction inspires only boredom and the same kind of icky self-loathing you get after eating a Big Mac and a shake, or a Twinkie.I say it regularly: there are good reasons why the legacy publishers are foundering. The poorly written, gimmicky popular books, and the unlikeable protagonists, faux depth, poseur angst, and, well, general self-important silliness of that which has been anointed as "literature," are among the reasons.But there are great writers writing great fiction: Sue Grafton. Richard North Patterson, when his work isn't too self-reflective and self-congratulatory.Then there is Daniel Silva. I opened The English Girl yesterday and by the middle of the first chapter, all that juicy joy and longing had erupted within me. This reader was delightedly and gratefully in the hands of a Master.The English Girl is beautifully written, line for line. It's a pleasure to read on the level of appreciating well-crafted prose. Silva has a fine ear for music in the language, and his diction is thoughtful and often quite lovely.Best of all, this novel works superbly as a story. It sets out the stakes right from the beginning, and then the screws tighten, and the suspense builds. The characters are three dimensional, unique, and unexpected. They don't quite ever get what they want. Gabriel Allon, the wry and likable art restorer-spy, wants peace. I doubt he'll ever get it.Remember: those are two of my rules for writing novels: One, story is how your protagonist does NOT get what he or she wants, and two, what are the stakes?So I recommend The English Girl. It's an exciting five star read. It's engrossing. It makes you think and it makes you care. It's fun!

  • Linda
    2019-02-20 18:33

    The English Girl is author Silva's thirteenth novel featuring Gabriel Allon, the brilliant, honorable, and ruthless Israeli intelligence operative. The book opens with a summons from number 10 Downing Street. The PM has been conducting a secret affair with Madeline Hart, a political aide who was just kidnapped while on holiday in Corsica. Hoping to keep this potential scandal from the press, the Brits are calling in a favor, asking Allon to find and rescue Madeline. Reluctantly, and against his better judgment, he agrees. What follows is a kind of Russian doll of a situation, made up of plots within plots that grow ever more perilous,Just as Allon is the consummate master of his trade, so too is Daniel Silva. There is no writer working today who is better at crafting a credible, mesmerizing thriller, one that reads like a James Bond movie. Allon, his wife Chiara, and his team, are by now old friends of readers, serve as the hook on which to reel us in. But Silva's secondary characters are equally three-dimensional, and in this case include the killer for hire who recently targeted Allon, the Don of the Corsican underworld, and a peasant woman who can read the future in a bowl of water and olive oil. The exotic settings, which Silva brings to life with rich detail, and the intricate plots that never grow stale or predictable, add to the enjoyment. As for the icing on these cakes, the geopolitical situations underlying all the intrigue provide the moral reason for the mayhem.All of the Gabriel Allon novels can be read as stand-alones, but, for the richest experience, it's best to take them in order. Highly recommended for those attracted to literary thrillers.

  • Scott Parsons
    2019-02-11 12:47

    Another brilliant novel by Daniel Silva. Superb writing, plotting and characterization. This is the thirteenth in the Gabriel Allon series. Familiar characters like Shamron and Chiara and the team from the Office (Israeli intelligence) but others like characters from the Corsican underworld and Keller the English assassin who once had a contract to kill Gabriel but didn't carry through.A rising party star in the UK, Madeleine Hart, who happens also to be the mistress of PM Jonathan Lancaster is kidnapped while holidaying in the Mediterranean. Ultimately a ransom is demanded. Graham Seymour of MI-5, on behalf of the PM, approaches Gabriel Allon to launch a mission to rescue her. Gabriel recruits onetime enemy, now friend, Keller to assist him. They track Madeleine to an out-of-the-way villa in France but when they mount an operation to rescue her they discover she has been moved. Gabriel is then tasked with delivering the ransom but before he gets to the car where Madeleine is supposed to be there is an explosion and all that is left are the charred remains of a young woman.But nothing is what it appears. The real suspense occurs when Gabriel sets out to track down and punish the abductors. There are many plot twists including one that almost defies credibility but is believable nonetheless. To say any more would spoil the story.Highly recommended. The best of the Allon series in my opinion.

  • Robert Intriago
    2019-02-18 13:45

    Mr. Silva finally takes a turn away from his usual plot of Muslim terrorists and deals with a different story. The prime minister of Great Britain is being blackmailed for his involvement in an extramarital affair. Gabriel is asked to investigate and try to rescue the prime minister's girlfriend.The book is divided in two parts. The first part deals with the rescue and it is quite light and humorous. The second part deals with the heavy and serious action of finding the actual kidnappers. I enjoyed this book in part because it is fast moving, humorous, full of action and has a well developed plot. The part that I liked the best is the departure from the usual story of the saving of Israel. I personally was getting bored with the usual stories and in my review of the previous book, stated so.

  • Sue
    2019-02-12 14:46

    At first I wasn't sure what to make of this latest in the Gabriel Allon series. I've read and enjoyed them all and felt as if this was going through the paces a bit. There seemed to be a lack of passion on Gabriel's part, but then he is an agent for hire here. Before the story is over, all the usual complexities of plot and twisted scenarios do come into play and I was rushing to find out what was the answer. Global politics at play.3.5 rounded to 4

  • Marta Ferreira
    2019-02-12 17:25

    Esta série de espionagem do querido Gabriel Allon, já me conquistou há muito tempo.Não acho que tenha sido o melhor livro da série, mas gostei muito de qualquer forma. As obras do Daniel Silva são de leitura fácil, fluída... esta obra foi ótima para pausar a saga de clássicos que tenho vindo a ler.

  • Margarida
    2019-01-24 15:27

    A RAPARIGA INGLESA de DANIEL SILVAOs primeiros capítulos poderiam perfeitamente ser o início de um qualquer romance policial britânico, lembrando até vagamente Agatha Christie, a eterna Dama do Crime! Prende imediatamente! E arrasta-nos para os meandros da alta política com mão de mestre! Depois… entra Gabriel Allon, o meu sempre preferido espião israelita! E aí começa mais uma fantástica aventura sabiamente escrita por Daniel Silva, o mestre dos thrillers de espionagem...Desde a Córsega, onde se dá o rapto de Madeleine Hart uma jovem com uma promissora carreira na política britânica, passando por Marselha, Londres e Moscovo, Daniel Silva arrasta-nos uma vez mais, através de uma narrativa empolgante para uma autêntica montanha russa. Gabriel Allon, uma vez mais arrastado sem querer para o centro de mais uma trama de espionagem, desta vez envolvendo altas figuras da política britânica e escolhido por ser o único homem no mundo capaz de levar a cabo o resgate de Madeleine e o único capaz de trabalhar na sombra e com a rapidez necessária para evitar grandes repercussões nas altas esferas da política do Reino Unido, não consegue dizer que não.Contando, para além da equipa habitual do Departamento, com a ajuda de um colaborador improvável, personagem repescado de uma aventura anterior, alguém que no passado tentou matá-lo, Gabriel parte numa missão impossível: 7 dias para resgatar Madeleine ou ela morre! Inicia então uma cuidadosa e meticulosa operação para conseguir recuperar Madeleine dentro do prazo estabelecido pelos raptores. Mas… quando pensamos que tudo terminou, mais uma reviravolta e nada nem ninguém é o que parece!... Como sempre, Daniel Silva apresenta-nos uma escrita forte, com um ritmo extraordinário e uma narrativa tão vívida, que com facilidade acompanhamos a acção passo a passo como se nós próprios fizéssemos parte da acção. Consegue prender-nos da primeira à última página mantendo-nos interessados mostrando apenas o suficiente, sem revelar muito, conduzindo-nos assim a um final surpreendente!Daniel Silva presenteia-nos mais uma vez com um Gabriel Allon carismático, com uma maravilhosa combinação de consciência e crueldade. Não hesita em fazer “o que tem de ser feito”, mas tenta sempre fazê-lo da maneira mais justa e mais certa, nunca prejudicando quem não deve ser prejudicado. Como Shamron gosta de dizer é “um assassino com consciência”! Este é um dos poucos livros da serie Gabriel Allon em que teria sido bom ter lido alguns dos anteriores, uma vez que entram personagens de outras aventuras, mas como sempre, Daniel Silva reconta-nos a história de Gabriel e localiza-nos no tempo e no espaço das aventuras anteriores, o que nos permite compreender algumas das suas acções no presente e a presença de determinadas personagens com quem se cruzou no passado e que agora reaparecem. Mais um fantástico livro de Daniel Silva que aconselho a que gosta de um bom thriller de espionagem.