Customer Review

13 of 14 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
This review is from: The English Girl (Gabriel Allon 13) (Hardcover)
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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