Monday, September 2, 2013

Guest Review: The English Girl

Summary: Seven days

One girl 

No second chances 

Madeline Hart is a rising star in Britain's governing party: beautiful, intelligent, driven by an impoverished childhood to succeed. But she is also a woman with a dark secret: she is the lover of Prime Minister Jonathan Lancaster. Somehow, her kidnappers have learned of the affair, and they intend to make the British leader pay dearly for his sins. Fearful of a scandal that will destroy his career, Lancaster decides to handle the matter privately rather than involve the British police. It is a risky gambit, not only for the prime minister but also for the operative who will conduct the search. 

You have seven days, or the girl dies. 

Enter Gabriel Allon—master assassin, art restorer and spy—who is no stranger to dangerous assignments or political intrigue. With the clock ticking, Gabriel embarks on a desperate attempt to bring Madeline home safely. His mission takes him from the criminal underworld of Marseilles to an isolated valley in the mountains of Provence to the stately if faded corridors of power in London—and, finally, to a pulse-pounding climax in Moscow, a city of violence and spies where there is a long list of men who wish Gabriel dead. 

From the novel's opening pages until the shocking ending when the true motives behind Madeline's disappearance are revealed, The English Girl will hold readers spellbound. It is a timely reminder that, in today's world, money often matters more than ideology. And it proves once again why Daniel Silva has been called his generation's finest writer of suspense and foreign intrigue. -- Harper

When I heard that Daniel Silva had a new book out, I just knew it would be perfect for my dad. THE ENGLISH GIRL is the latest in the best-selling series starring Gabriel Allon, and some say it's the best book yet. Here are Booking Pap Pap's thoughts:

THE ENGLISH GIRL by Daniel Silva begins when Madeline Hart, a young and beautiful English woman with a strong future in British politics, is kidnapped while vacationing with friends in Corsica. Madeline had a secret affair with the British Prime Minister and is being held ransom for a significant sum of money. The Prime Minister is in the middle of a reelection campaign and cannot afford any negative publicity. In order to keep the matter as quiet as possible, the Prime Minister circumvents normal police channels and calls in Israeli intelligence agent, Gabriel Allon, to lead the search for Margaret. Allon is a unique individual who, in addition to be a terrific spy is a famous art restorer.

Allon leads a hunt for the girl that takes him from Corsica to France to England and finally to Russia where he meets some old enemies who seemed to be involved in the kidnapping. Along the way the reader gets to meet some interesting characters who interact with Allon. There’s Don Anton Orsati, the head of a Corsican family of assassins and Christopher Keller, a British Special Forces member who lived his life as an assassin after faking his own death. Previously, Keller had an assignment from Don Orsati to assassinate Allon but now is an ally in his effort to find Madeline. The reader also meets a Corsican fortune teller who provides interesting insights to both Allon and his wife. I think that readers of Silva’s previous novels featuring Gabriel Allon would recognize many of the characters in this novel. Although THE ENGLISH GIRL stands on its own, I would like to read some of Daniel Silva’s other novels to better understand the relationship between Allon and the other characters.

 Author Daniel Silva also does a good job of melding other side stories within the main storyline. Allon’s issues within the Israeli intelligence agency, his relationship with his wife and his art career are blended nicely into the overall story.

 Although a little long at 473 pages, THE ENGLISH GIRL is a fast paced well written spy mystery that has many twists and turns. Things are never as they seem and the ending is a real surprise. Anyone who enjoys a good spy mystery will enjoy this book.

Thanks to Booking Pap Pap for his review and thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


Beth F said...

I'm not always big on spy thrillers/mysteries but Silva is usually a sure win. Good to see she didn't disappoint.

bermudaonion said...

I've heard a lot about Silva's work but haven't tried it yet. This sounds good, even if it is a little long.