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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 15 April 2014
Daniel Silva's series of novels featuring art restorer and Israeli spy Gabriel Allon never fails to please. This latest instalment is another satisfying tale of international intrigue and espionage as well as dark dealings at the heart of the political system. The story begins with Gabriel Allon is asked to investigate discretely the disappearance of a young English political adviser who has been the secret lover of the British Prime Minister. The story leads from London to the island of Corsica and then to the heart of Russia where the Israeli spies have run into difficulties in the past. Gabriel's usual team is involved in the complex investigation which reveals the truth about what's really going on, with the `old man' Ari Shamron, still going strong. As usual, Daniel Silva's plot twists and turns with one or two developments which I did not see coming. It is grounded in current security concerns; you can imagine that events such as these could possibly unfold. Allon is soon to be the chief of the Israeli security services and I was concerned that this might mark the end of the series. I am therefore thrilled to see that the next story is due for publication in the summer. I've already pre-ordered my copy! Long may the Gabriel Allon series continue. If you enjoy good contemporary spy fiction, then you should definitely read these books. You could start with this one which is an excellent example or you could start with "The Kill Artist" and read the series in order. If you are new to Daniel Silva, I envy you having all those wonderful books to immerse yourself in.
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VINE VOICEon 18 May 2014
I've been an admirer of Daniel Silva and Gabriel Allon for some long time but, in my review of Rembrandt Affair, I found myself agreeing with the other reviewers that it was time Daniel Silva allowed Gabriel Allon to retire from the Israeli secret service and focus his undoubted skills on restoring old masterpieces.

But, when I read `The English Girl', I was pleasantly surprised to discover I was wrong, that Daniel Silva hasn't the slightest problem in writing a gripping and highly imaginative thriller.

Not only is the mistress of the English Prime Minister kidnapped and held to ransom but there's substantial disagreement in government circles about granting the Russians drilling rights to two newly discovered North Sea oilfields. Gabriel Allon, at the request of an old friend in the English Secret Service, is asked - unofficially - to sort out the kidnapping/ransom tissue. Unfortunately, as the trail moves to France, things go dangerously wrong...

Yes, it's an excellent thriller with a final and extremely clever twist to the storyline. Did I see it coming? The honest answer is `no' - although I've read enough of Daniel Silva's books to sense that things were not quite as simple as they first appeared.

Which means 'The English Girl' gains a well-deserved five star rating.

But will Gabriel Allon finally retire?

Read and enjoy...
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on 22 January 2015
Very gruesome, with gratuitous killings. There's a surprise ending with an interesting statement from the author. I won't spoil it!
I gave only 4 stars because of the seemingly gratuitous killings that occur. Of course, the author wants to show the brutality of paid killers.
The story is well packed with events and takes you to many surprising places. Worth reading, if you don't mind the killings!
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on 11 September 2014
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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on 15 August 2017
My 4th Daniel Silva read in as many weeks,what I particularly like is that they don't have to be read in sequence to get the full enjoyment from a really accomplished writer.
It looks as if I will have to start at the beginning and read the the lot.
Not really a hardship
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on 4 July 2014
allon is back - and the double twists are terrific - i am glad the old man is still there; the pro Israel stance of the author sometimes dips into zionism, but other country's good points and people's characteristics are always noted; hilarious russians - the central plotting stretches things a little (would a british premier really lose everything if he had a GF? but also i did not entirely believe in chemistry between them ...) but totally satisfying and i look forward to the next
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on 18 February 2018
I've been "binging" on Gabriel Allon, now reached #13. This is a beautifully crafted book with a great twist at the end. Most enjoyable.
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on 18 January 2016
This is a prequel to the English Spy and is brilliant as a stand alone read but is almost volume one if one reads The English Spy immediately afterwards. I always feel so much "at home" with Gabriel Allon and his team. Keep them coming Mr Silva - in me you have a dedicated fan!!
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on 10 March 2014
Many unexpected twists, beautifully written with evocative descriptions....reader feels as if he/ she is there in bitter Moscow or windswept Corsica. Slightly too many 'repeat' effects in the prose, but highly recommend to anyone who enjoys action, tense moments, political intrigue and the loving if dysfunctional family that is the 'Office'.
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on 26 September 2013
Having eagerly read all of Daniel Silva's novels and found them engrossing, it's my opinion that this was a little to far fetched. Without going into the plot I spotted the devious scheme almost from the beginning. It's time I think for 'the artist' to retire from the field and take up the offer of being the 'grand master' He will make an excellent chief.
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