The English Girl

The English Girl

A Novel

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
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Seven days

One girl

No second chances

Madeline 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.

Publisher: New York : Harper, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780062073167
Branch Call Number: SIL
Characteristics: 482 p. ;,24 cm

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p
PCPL
Jun 27, 2017

Returned but will try again.

k
KatherineHere
May 12, 2016

Gave up after first 45 pages. The writing style makes it difficult to follow. The author goes off on rambling tangents, leaving behind characters you at first thought might be important, overdeveloping new ones (blah, blah, blah), until you get to the point that you cannot remember what the point was.

a
abundantdeb
Aug 01, 2015

Daniel Silva captures our attention again with this riveting political thriller that spans multiple countries. I always learn about other cultures and the corruptness in the world through his books.

r
rahmmie
Jul 30, 2015

Excellent book. Good writing, good plot, and Gabriel Allon is in fine form

g
gtct
Apr 11, 2015

The first part of this novel appeared to be written by another person. The flavor of returning characters went on a slight tangent. I certainly liked Silva's other works a lot better than this.

c
cknightkc
Apr 06, 2015

A good thriller, fast-paced with a tight plot - particularly the first half of the book. It bogged down for me during the second half, but still was a satisfactory read. This was my introduction to this series featuring Gabriel Allon & may not be my last, however, I wish I had started with book #1, as characters & plots from previous novels are referred to frequently in this one.

This was my first book by this author and I was completely smitten. A writer in the gender of Dan Brown, fast paced, good character development and respect for reader's intelligence to put some clues together, but still be amazed by the ending.

t
thkelly
Jun 17, 2014

very disappointing. JimLoter nails it with his comments.

j
JimLoter
Feb 28, 2014

This latest Gabriel Allon thriller attempts to combine two very different stories that operate on two different scales and the result is disappointing.
//
The first half concerns the titular English Girl who is kidnapped and being held for ransom. Gabriel is, of course, the "only man in the world" for the job of rescuing her. The operational details of this first half are actually quite compelling, and the relationship between Allon and Keller is, at times, amusing.
//
The second half shifts scales to a geopolitical level. The relationship between the plot of the second half and the kidnapping of the first half relies on a highly implausible plot point that is largely hand-waved away. Furthermore, whereas Part 1 occurs over the course of a week, the story of Part 2 unfolds over the course of months but feels heavily compressed following the intricate day-by-day plotting of the first half. I found the shift both of scale and pace to be jarring. Finally, and most problematically, there is absolutely no real conflict in the Part 2 story. Still, even with these problems, The English Girl is a passable thriller and a generally enjoyable read.
//
A few additional comments:
//
* Silva often goes overboard with exposition, particularly in filling in the reader on Allon's background and history. At times, one almost expects characters to bring up specific Gabriel Allon novels when referring to past events. "Hey Gabriel: you remember how in 'Portrait of a Spy' you...."
//
* I wish the author would avoid modifiers like "famously" and "renowned," especially when referring to a supposedly successfully espionage agent. Just how effective can Allon be of he is so famous and renowned? Also, it feels a little too Dan Brown-ish for my tastes.
//
* There is an almost humorous degree of "Sovietizing" that goes on in Part 2 - making Russia seem as if it's essentially the same as before the collapse of the USSR. Allon's chief adversary is even referred to as "essentially the KGB." I know that all spy novelists mourn the death of the Cold War, but this is first post-1991 spy novel I've read that takes the opportunity to reconstruct things so completely in order to amp up the danger.

bumleftknee Dec 30, 2013

This is my second book by Silva and it proved to be just as good if not better than Fallen Angel. Loved the story lines, characters, and twists!

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SEBoiko
Feb 26, 2014

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

s
SEBoiko
Feb 26, 2014

a Christian forgives, an idiot forgets.

s
SEBoiko
Feb 26, 2014

and, as Stalin liked to say, death solves all problems.

s
SEBoiko
Feb 26, 2014

...what was said behind a man's back was often times much more important than what was written about him on the front pages.

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