|Title:||The English Girl|
|No. of Pages:||482|
Gabriel Allon is back in The English Girl and searching for Madeline Hart, an up and coming employee of Britain’s governing party who is kidnapped while on holiday in Corsica. Allon’s mission is at the request of Graham Seymour, M15’s deputy director, who has worked with him numerous times over the years. The mission is top secret, since Hart is having an affair with Prime Minister Jonathan Lancaster, and if the news becomes public knowledge, it could jeopardize the upcoming election. Ari Shamron, retired (though not really – he still calls the shots) director of Israeli Intelligence insists that Gabriel take the case, against the wishes of Uzi Navot, the present director of Israeli Intelligence, and Gabriel himself.
Suspected in the kidnapping is the French mafia, and Gabriel travels to Corsica to find Madeline and deliver a 10 million Euro ransom for her safe return. Unfortunately, after delivering the ransom and before Gabriel gets a chance to free Madeline from the trunk of a car, the car is blown up and she is burned beyond recognition. Lancaster and Seymour are both devastated, but because of the touchy situation, want Gabriel to investigate without interference from the UK. Gabriel teams up with an accomplished hired assassin, Christopher Kelly, who once was hired to kill him, but failed.
As usual, Gabriel finds himself in tight spots throughout the novel. Although he didn’t know Madeline Hart, he is upset over her death, and most of the novel focuses on his trying to avenge the needless death of the young English girl.
In the consistent style of Daniel Silva, The English Girl is well researched and well written. Daniel Silva is not like several popular thriller authors who grind out several okay but not spectacular books a year or put their names on books co-authored by someone else. There is much to learn from Silva’s writing – he weaves his fictional characters through factual places and scenarios - and it is a cut above the norm. The English Girl has a surprising ending, many close calls, and keeps the reader on the edge of his/her seat throughout the entire book.
This book is not a particularly fast read, and because of the numerous characters, especially with Russian names that are difficult, trying to rush through the book can lead a reader to be a bit confused. Also, for those thriller readers who just want a story and don't care about learning facts and taking advantage of Silva's research should skip this book and read something more pedestrian.
Once again, excellent writing makes this novel a definite “must read,” especially for thriller readers who enjoy Gabriel Allon and also those who appreciate quality. Highly recommended.
This book was purchased with personal funds and no promotion of the book was solicited by the author or publisher.
This book may be purchased at Amazon: The English Girl: A Novel (Gabriel Allon)