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The English Girl: A Novel (Gabriel Allon) Hardcover – July 16, 2013


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Product Details

  • Series: Gabriel Allon
  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (July 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062073168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062073167
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2013: The setup: A beautiful woman is snatched from her vacation on Corsica. A ransom note reaches 10 Downing Street. An ambitious, unfaithful prime minister seriously needs a fixer. Which leads his fixers to art restorer and Israeli spy, Gabriel Allon, one of the more believable and likable heroes in recent spy fiction. To call The English Girl a page turner is an oversimplification. Smart, unpredictable, and packed with bits of history, art, heart, and imagination, this is a page turner to be savored. Let me just say that I like John LeCarre. Big fan. Still impressively relevant and prolific into his 80s. But the torch must pass to someone. And it’s been a while since I grabbed anyone by the lapels and said, “Read this now,” so let me strongly suggest that you take The English Girl to the beach, or wherever summer may take you. Daniel Silva isn’t quite LeCarre. He’s a more modern breed, with some major DNA overlap. (Other DNA-sharing: Graham Greene, Joseph Kanon, Alan Furst.) When it comes to the vast club of practitioners of international spycraft, Silva is a cut above them all, and The English Girl is a masterwork. --Neal Thompson

From Booklist

The psychology of kidnapping and blackmail forms the core of Silva’s sixteenth spy story, an extended, scary chess game between two opponents, with the fates of both a young woman and the British government at stake. Series hero Gabriel Allon, who has worked for the Israeli intelligence as a spy and avenging angel (starting with Operation Wrath of God against the Black September terrorists), is convinced by a longtime British MI5 friend to help out the current prime minster. The woman with whom the married PM has been having an affair, herself a rising star in the government, has been kidnapped while on vacation on the island of Corsica. Her kidnappers send the PM a video of the woman admitting to the affair, sure to bring scandal and ruin if widely released. Finding the woman involves much guesswork and danger, with trips to locales ranging from the south of France to Paris to London to Moscow. As usual, Silva takes the reader hostage from page one with his canny mix of spy craft and suspense. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Silva’s ongoing ability to combine le Carré–like texture with high-energy plotting has produced a string of commercial and critical successes. Chalk up another one. --Connie Fletcher

More About the Author

He has been called his generation's finest writer of international intrigue and one of the greatest American spy novelists ever. Compelling, passionate, haunting, brilliant: these are the words that have been used to describe the work of #1 New York Times-bestselling author Daniel Silva.

Silva burst onto the scene in 1997 with his electrifying bestselling debut, The Unlikely Spy, a novel of love and deception set around the Allied invasion of France in World War II. His second and third novels, The Mark of the Assassin and The Marching Season, were also instant New York Times bestsellers and starred two of Silva's most memorable characters: CIA officer Michael Osbourne and international hit man Jean-Paul Delaroche. But it was Silva's fourth novel, The Kill Artist, which would alter the course of his career. The novel featured a character described as one of the most memorable and compelling in contemporary fiction, the art restorer and sometime Israeli secret agent Gabriel Allon, and though Silva did not realize it at the time, Gabriel's adventures had only just begun. Gabriel Allon appears in Silva's next nine novels, each one more successful than the last: The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, and Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules, and The Defector. Silva's forthcoming novel, The Rembrandt Affair, will be published on July 20, 2010.

Silva knew from a very early age that he wanted to become a writer, but his first profession would be journalism. Born in Michigan, raised and educated in California, he was pursuing a master's degree in international relations when he received a temporary job offer from United Press International to help cover the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. Later that year Silva abandoned his studies and joined UPI fulltime, working first in San Francisco, then on the foreign desk in Washington, and finally as Middle East correspondent in Cairo and the Persian Gulf. In 1987, while covering the Iran-Iraq war, he met NBC Today National Correspondent Jamie Gangel and they were married later that year. Silva returned to Washington and went to work for CNN and became Executive Producer of its talk show unit including shows like Crossfire, Capital Gang and Reliable Sources.

In 1995 he confessed to Jamie that his true ambition was to be a novelist. With her support and encouragement he secretly began work on the manuscript that would eventually become the instant bestseller The Unlikely Spy. He left CNN in 1997 after the book's successful publication and began writing full time. Since then all of Silva's books have been New York Times and international bestsellers. His books have been translated in to more than 25 languages and are published around the world. Silva continues to reside in Washington with his wife and teenage twins Lily and Nicholas. When not writing he can usually be found roaming the stacks of the Georgetown University library, where he does much of the research for his books. He is currently at work on a new Gabriel Allon novel and warmly thanks all those friends and loyal readers who have helped to make the series such an amazing success.

Customer Reviews

I have read all the Gabriel Allon books written by Daniel Silva and enjoy every one of them.
Leona Clissold
From the minute you read the first page and until the end, the book is great and holds your interest.
Cindy Boswell
Great character development but this story was very interesting, with lots of twists and turns.
JT Atlanta

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

259 of 299 people found the following review helpful By Lukester on July 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all: if you're a fan of Silva's Gabriel Allon books, just go ahead and buy this one already, Silva delivers again.

If you're new to Silva, I see no reason not to start right here: Gabriel Allon, an Israeli agent with a legendary background partly arising from his involvement in the targeting of Black September after the Munich Olympics, is called out of his peaceful semi-retirement in Tel Aviv to assist a friend in finding a missing woman. This isn't just an ordinary missing girl, but a young woman with a bright future in British politics that has some strong connections that run all the way to the top. Without giving away the plot, Allon pursues the woman across the globe, running into both new enemies and old ones that he has encountered along the way.

I don't want to give away the details of the plot, but I can say without spoiling the book and Silva has written a novel that encompasses both the standard, thrilling global crime mystery and a beautifully written character study. Unlike some other books in this genre, Silva writes about both the chase and the players involved equally. All of his characters come alive on the pages, and Silva excels and detailing the settings in a way that will make you feel like you are there. As a result, while the plot drives the action, this is a book that is enjoyable to read beyond merely finding out whodunnit.

That said, I burned through the pages of this book, wanting to find out what happens next. This would be a perfect book for a long airplane ride, or equally while lounging on the beach. My only warning is that once you read this one, you'll likely be picking up the rest of Silva's books in the near future.
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124 of 142 people found the following review helpful By Judie Amsel on July 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I wish the real world had someone like Gabriel Allon--art restorer, spy, and master assassin-(though it would be nice to avoid the last category) who was able to solve kidnappings, capture criminals, and expose corruption as quickly and completely as he does. We don't, so we have to settle for imaginary ones.
In THE ENGLISH GIRL, a beautiful, intelligent young woman, Madeline Hart, was on vacation in Corsica with friends from work when she disappeared. Madeline worked for England's Prime Minister and was on her way to notable success in government but her disappearance is not reported to the usual authorities. With an election coming up, the Prime Minister, Jonathan Lancaster, doesn't want the story publicized because it might harm his chances of reelection: Madeline is his mistress.
A month later, he received a ransom note with very little information but saying if the demands weren't met, she would be killed in seven days. Gabriel Allon was called in but Lancaster and his close advisor, Jeremy Fallon, refused to follow Allon's advice for the negotiation. The kidnappers demand they want $10,000,000 pounds to be delivered by Allon. He agreed to be the courier and built a team to help determine who kidnapped her and why as well.
Just when everything should be settled, everything fell apart instead. (Hint: in a book of almost 475 pages, you know it won't be solved by page 212.)
The plot takes him to Corsica, France, England and Russia where he met several characters from previous books and introduces some new ones. Like all of Daniel Silva's books, there are many twists and things are not always what they seem to be. The end of the book points to a different life for Allon. Should be very interesting.
The wonderful writing is fast-paced cohesive.
Read more ›
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174 of 203 people found the following review helpful By David on July 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Amazon summary gives the facts well. I have read all of the Allon books. I loved the first 6 or more, but have found diminishing returns, of which this book, although a good, fast read, is a good example (without spoilers which would be additional examples):

1. I found the plot predictable; the climax not very suspenseful; and the return to Moscow too familiar and lacking the Jewish historical reviews he has done so well of countries Allon visits for the first time.

2. What used to be a wonderfully realistic series in most respects now features a nonJewish Russian who fled to London and gave away an $18 billion company for Allon; an almost omniscient Corsican fortune teller; an assassin for hire and his boss with a heart of gold when Allon needs them.

3. Allon should be 60+ years old, but still has tremendous strength?

4. Allon and his team are too perfect and predictable in every aspect of their work and behavior, although Allon shows much more ego than ever before. His team members remain 1 dimensional.

5. Describing America as financially bankrupt compared to the rest of the world shows he should listen to his wife's colleagues at NBC more often when they report the worse economic status of the EU, Japan and China.

It is very difficult to keep a long series interesting and Silva does it better than most--much better than Lee Child, Stephen Hunter, Vince Flynn or Brad Thor and as well or better than Alex Berenson. Silva fans will still like it, but I suspect not list it among their favorites. Those new to Silva will rate it higher and should then read the series from the start. Readers looking for more realistic novels with similar themes and quality writing should try Gerald Seymour.
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