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Friday, May 30, 2014

Review - The English Girl

I have reviewed the previous book in the series, The Fallen Angel (click here).  Now I am reviewing the newest in paperback from Daniel Silva.

Author: Daniel Silva

Copyright: May 2014 (Harper) 498 pg

Series: 13th in Gabriel Allon Spy series

Sensuality: some sexual references, occasional cursing

Mystery Sub-genre: Thriller

Main Characters: Gabriel Allon, art restorer, assassin, and Israeli spy legend

Setting: Modern day: Corsica, France, London, Russia

Obtained Through: Personal purchase

Madeline Hart is young and on the fast-track in the British government.  But she is kidnapped during her vacation on the island of Corsica. There is more to the kidnapping than just money, Madeline was the mistress to the Prime Minister of Britain.   Jonathan Lancaster, the PM, recieves a tape of Madeline being forced to admit to the affair in detail.  The kidnappers demands:  In 7 days she will die and the public will receive the confession if you don't pay up.  Who do you turn to when you and your government must not be connected to her disappearance or any payment for her?  Britain turns to the U.S. who in subesquently asks for Israel's master spy Gabriel Allon.  Gabriel takes the assignment rather personal in his quest to save Madeline from her indescretions that could take her life.  What he finds is a tangled web and Madeline is just a pawn in a much bigger game.

Gabriel Allon must deal with remaining feelings about the car bomb that left his first wife in an institution and killed his child in the  midst of searching for Madeline Hart. His future looks to be taking a different direction as well.  Chiara, doesn't get as much of a role in the plot this adventure, but has a few moments -- particularly the end which is touching.  Christopher Keller, former British Special Air Service agent who is now an assassin for a Corsican mobster joins forces with Gabriel.  He is frightening in his devotion to his job and might, just maybe, becoming a recurring character.  Eli Lavon, the head of Israeli intelligence, is in the field for parts of this tale, which was a pleasure. Mikhail Abramov, fellow Israeli operative, goes undercover in one part of the story and displays nerves of steel necessary to be a spy. 

The Corsica setting is particularly rich and vibrant, while the London and France settings are covered quickly.  Russia's glitzy dangerous side is exposed this time as the oil executives play.

The plot of using a mistress to manipulate a national leader is plausible, and even the kidnapping hiding a far more sinister plan (false flag operations) is conceivable.  But would a disgruntled former Russian oligarch and oil executive jump to help Gabriel?  Pacing was fairly consistant with barely a slow spot. 

The climax was not clear cut, the story unfolds and daring operations are executed to get to the truth.  However the wrap-up is touching and bittersweet.  Without having read the prior twelve books in the series, this is an exciting thriller with intricate twists and fascinating characters in a world of intrigue.

Rating:  Excellent - Loved it! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list 

Here is a short interview with Daniel Silva about this book.

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Mystica said...

This was my first read of Daniel Silva and I loved it. I haven't got to the others as yet.

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