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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars -- Once Again A Silva Book Is Worth Its Weight In Gold!
In the thirteenth thriller in the Gabriel Allon series, Silva has the art restorer/supposedly retired spy-assassin involved in investigating the kidnapping of a young woman who is a rising star in Britain's governing party -- and who is also to mistress of the Prime Minister. This investigation, which Allon is quietly handling as a personal favor to the Prime Minister in...
Published 16 months ago by Bobbewig

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Page Turning International Thriller
THE ENGLISH GIRL is another new spy story from international and New York Times #1 bestselling author Daniel Silva. It is the eleventh entry in his phenomenally successful Gabriel Allon series, and his sixteenth spy story.

This page turning international thriller opens in Corsica, in the South of France, and will chase around southern France, Paris, London,...
Published 14 months ago by Stephanie De Pue


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars -- Once Again A Silva Book Is Worth Its Weight In Gold!, 10 Aug 2013
By 
Bobbewig (New Jersey, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
In the thirteenth thriller in the Gabriel Allon series, Silva has the art restorer/supposedly retired spy-assassin involved in investigating the kidnapping of a young woman who is a rising star in Britain's governing party -- and who is also to mistress of the Prime Minister. This investigation, which Allon is quietly handling as a personal favor to the Prime Minister in order to try to avoid a scandal that could destroy his career, leads Allon, and eventually his usual team of Israeli Intelligence operatives, on a mission that will take them to Marseilles, Provence, London and,finally, to Moscow. Typical in all books in this series, Allon and his team devise intricate, down-to-the minute plans laden with risk throughout the complex, multi-layered mission. Also reminiscent of most books in this series, the plot in Silva's The English Girl seems to be ripped from today's newspaper headlines. And, of course, consistent in a Silva thriller, his latest book is one of slow-building but non-stop tension and suspense that will likely make the reader anxious to turn the pages to find out what happens next.

In the absolute, I enjoyed The English Girl very much and consider it, as I have all of the other books featuring Gabriel Allon, to be very engrossing, well-researched and well-written. However, on a comparative basis, while I enjoyed The English Girl, my level of enjoyment was somewhat lower than in some of the earlier books in this series. In small part, this is due to the action that occurs being not quite as intense. The larger factor contributing to my comparative drop in enjoyment is that, after reading all thirteen Gabriel Allon books, the successful formula on which Silva has based his series is "showing some age lines" and the development of his main and key supporting characters need some freshening up. Silva obviously feels the same, as he strongly leads his readers to believe in The English Girl that he has important changes planned for Gabriel Allon (as well as for some other characters often part of this series) in his next book.

Despite these comparative criticisms, I still consider Silva to be the "gold standard" of thriller writers -- although the quality of the gold may now have depreciated a bit from 18k to 14k. For me, there has never been a risk involved in reading a Silva book, with the only unknown being whether the book will be very good or excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Page Turning International Thriller, 2 Oct 2013
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
THE ENGLISH GIRL is another new spy story from international and New York Times #1 bestselling author Daniel Silva. It is the eleventh entry in his phenomenally successful Gabriel Allon series, and his sixteenth spy story.

This page turning international thriller opens in Corsica, in the South of France, and will chase around southern France, Paris, London, Moscow, and Israel. Madeline Hart, a beautiful young Englishwoman, is snatched from her Corsican vacation; a ransom note soon reaches 10 Downing Street, home of the British Prime Minister. Jonathan Lancaster is an ambitious, successful politician, who has risen to the top with the aid of his fixers, Simon Hewitt and Jeremy Fallon. But he has had an affair with Madeline, herself a rising star in his political party, and he now needs a different sort of fixer. Enter art restorer and Israeli super spy, Gabriel Allon.

Once worked with a fellow who had been CIA; he always said that of the current crop of writers of spy suspense, Silva was the most knowledgeable and accurate in his spy craft. I've read virtually every book ever published by two of the greatest practitioners of the craft: the British authors Graham Greene, and John LeCarre. Still, I've not read every work of international intrigue by every current author of the genre, but I believe this to be true. Furthermore, this is a smoothly written, quick read that does justice to its settings, particularly Corsica; their human and meteorological climates, social ways and roadways. Silva is an experienced writer, and his narrative and dialog move the plot along. However, the opening pages are a bit lumpy; the author has tried to spoon in too much backstory. Seems to me Allon is becoming dangerously infallible. And I did see the major twists and turns of the plot coming from a long way off; I have read/seen a lot of this kind of thing.

Silva lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, NBC News Correspondent Jamie Gangel, and their two children. His fourth novel, The Kill Artist, which I have read, liked and reviewed in these pages, introduced Allon, who was to star in Silva's next nine novels, each one more successful than the last: The English Assassin, The Confessor,A Death in Vienna, which I have also read, liked, and reviewed in these pages; PRINCE OF FIRE, THE MESSENGER, THE SECRET SERVANT, MOSCOW RULES and THE DEFECTOR. THE ENGLISH GIRL is a smart, polished, professional piece of work, packed with tidbits of information about art, history, and art history. Worth a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 16 Nov 2013
Book 13, in the Gabriel Allon Series

Nothing is straight lined in Gabriel Allon sagas we have more twists to divert the trajectory of the story into different directions than we see in a lot of thrillers. This is one of the reasons I have stayed faithful to this series throughout the years.

I can hardly find faults with this one after all it was a hard one to put down. Mr. Silva is an excellent storyteller and knows how to keep his readers turning the pages. His writing style is mostly active, very visual allowing us to form a picture surrounding the plot, characters and the setting. This very suspenseful and intriguing thriller moves at a rapid pace and has a great number of gripping scenes. Also as in every book Gabriel attempts to restore a portrait when he is not on the job as an Israeli operative.

The plot takes off when Madeleine Hart, the mistress of England's Prime Minister, is kidnapped on the eve of an election. Her kidnappers demand a ransom for her return and that Gabriel Allon make the delivery. He quickly teams up with Christopher Keller and this unusual alliance is thrust into the game of shadows where nothing is what it seems...

This story is totally engaging and along the way we are also treated to a short history lesson while on Israeli soil, jaunting through Corsica and Russia. While trotting through France and England several characters we met in previous books make an appearance and add their personal touch to this exciting, humorous and well developed saga...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot wait for more!!, 8 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The English Girl (Gabriel Allon Book 13) (Kindle Edition)
What can I say? Daniel Silva and Gabriel Allon are magic. Have read them all and they get better. The amount of research that goes into these books is phenomenal. Hope this is not the last of Gabriel and cannot wait for news!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner, 31 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The English Girl (Gabriel Allon Book 13) (Kindle Edition)
I loved The English Girl every bit as much as the other Gabriel Allon books by Daniel Silva. The plot is fast paced, set in numerous locations with the usual team... an unexpected twist and a very good ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite authors, 26 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The English Girl (Gabriel Allon Book 13) (Kindle Edition)
Another great story in the Gabriel Allon series - I have read them all and am never disappointed with Daniel Silva
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4.0 out of 5 stars those pesky russkies .., 16 July 2014
By 
Stanley Crowe (Greenville, SC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This is the second Silva novel I have read, and it is better than the first, "The English Assassin," though the title character of that novel makes a reappearance here as Gabriel Allon's helper in the attempted rescue of a young English woman seized by kidnappers who demand twenty million euros or they will reveal the young woman's affair with the Prime Minister, Jonathan Lancaster. The young woman, Madeline Hart, had been an up-and-coming star in the ruling party (Conservative, though not identified as such except by Baroness Thatcher's portrait in a room an 10 Downing Street). Allon is, of course, a spy working for Israeli Intelligence, and an art-restorer on the side (a very good one, apparently), who is brought into this case by an old friend, Gerald Seymour, who works in British Intelligence and who knows Gabriel's skills . . . and his discretion.

In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I'll just make some general comments. First, there's an unusual double plot structure here -- unusual in the sense that double plots usually run simultaneously, but in this case, they run sequentially, so that it's almost as if you get a story and its sequel in one novel. The action of the first takes place in Corsica and France. The action of the second is mainly in London and Moscow. In both halves of the book, there are brief excursions to Israel, but in neither story is a danger posed to Israel. As Gabriel makes clear, when seeking permission from his Israeli superiors to undertake what he does in the second story, his motives there are personal. They are personal for two reasons -- the first relates to some unsatisfactory occurrences in the first story which in turn trigger memories of traumatic events even earlier in Gabriel's life.

I think it's also fair to say that both stories are about "sting" operations, and suspense is built very effectively in both. I don't think it's giving too much away to say that Gabriel's learning that the Russians were involved in the kidnapping IS a surprise: up to that point, his assumption had been, given the ransom size, that this was purely a for-profit transaction. It turns out that that both is and isn't the case. There is a cast of quite vivid typical thriller characters, many of whom end up dead. There is a very nasty Russian piece of work that Gabriel has to contend with, while the malefactors that we see in the first story are a bit less imposing. And despite Silva's claim in an "Author's Note at the end that no resemblance is intended to any real person, the oft-referred-to Russian leader is a dead ringer for Vladimir Putin.

I have some quibbles. In a scene near the end, a lot of loose ends are tied up in a long statement by one of the bad guys. We need to hear that information, but it's implausible that it would have come from this particular character. Further, Allon learns that the Russians are involved when, in the course of searching the family home of the kidnapped girl, he is interrupted by a woman who has also come to search. Gabriel hides, and he hears her making a phone call in Russian. The scene isn't a problem at the time, but as we learn more, we realize that the woman had no reason to search the room -- and we never, in fact, learn what she was after. Another problem -- the kidnappers become aware that Gabriel is on the case and they ask specifically for him to be the bagman and bring the euros. Even at first this seems odd -- I mean really . . . serious kidnappers don't ask for trouble -- but when we learn more later, the insistence on keeping Gabriel in the picture seems to make even less sense. I could also have done without the Corsican "signadora" and her prognostications, although the Corsican atmosphere in general is nicely evoked.

Moral issues? It's absolutely OK to torture and then cold-bloodedly kill "bad" people. Gabriel has no qualms about it, but the English Assassin, Christopher Keller, has even less compunction. Why bother with him, when a solid Israeli fellow-officer could do just as well as backup? The only reason can be, I think, to lessen our moral disapproval of Gabriel. Gabriel calls himself a soldier, unlike the mercenary Keller, but he's not acting as a soldier in this novel, so there doesn't seem much, beyond art-restoration (!) to suggest Gabriel's moral superiority, and I don't think that cuts it. There's also an implication that Gabriel is a kind of suffering servant -- he does awful things and suffers for some of them, but it's all justified by the end, the preservation of Israel. His idealized wife, Chiara, is our stand-in here: her unreserved love for him is meant to signal to the reader that Gabriel is OK. That, I think, is just a bit TOO obvious. For all that, though, I enjoyed the book.. It keeps you reading . . .
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best spy writer of this time, 25 Oct 2013
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I admit to being a devotee of Daniel Silva and was concerned that this new book might have been too repetitious in its plot. Thankfully it was as magnetic gripping as I like thriller books to be and I read almost 500 pages in less than 3 days. I could not put it down. Daniel Silva is hardly known in the UK and deserves to be alongside Len Deighton, John Le Carre and others of that standard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another silva success, 25 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The English Girl (Gabriel Allon Book 13) (Kindle Edition)
An annual treat to keep in touch with Gabriel's exploits around the globe.Silva's style makes each book a joy to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed reading this with some riders, 11 Sep 2014
By 
Pb "jazzer" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The English Girl (Gabriel Allon Book 13) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed reading this with some riders; every assassin has to have a certain amount of hard heartedness or he would not be an assassin. In these days of such skulduggery obvious cases are made by those who are of either criminal or "righteous" persuasion to justify their objectives and ways.
A certain amount of tenderness is evident in Gabriel Allon for those he holds dear, but how does De Silva justify divorcing his faithful but damaged wife in order to marry his new wife? I don't think he makes the case.
That this is a work of fiction should not ignore the fact that what we say influences other people and those who enter the world of published works should think very carefully about what they justify and why for the sake of their readers.
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