When the disappearance of a single woman threatens to bring down a government, Gabriel Allon is called in to solve the mystery as quickly and surreptitiously as possible. Daniel Silva's suspenseful novels about this most reluctant spy continues to gather new readers.
The English Girl (Gabriel Allon Series #13)by Daniel Silva
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
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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.
Verdict Silva is a sure bet for thriller fans; his 13th action-packed, globe-trotting espionage adventure won’t disappoint. [See Prepub Alert, 1/14/13.]Melissa DeWild, Kent Dist. Lib., Comstock Park, MI
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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The English Girl
By Daniel Silva
HarperCollins PublishersCopyright © 2013 Daniel Silva
All rights reserved.
They came for her in late August, on the island of Cor-
sica. The precise time would never be determined—some
point between sunset and noon the following day was the
best any of her housemates could do. Sunset was when they saw her
for the last time, streaking down the drive of the villa on a red motor
scooter, a gauzy cotton skirt fluttering about her suntanned thighs.
Noon was when they realized her bed was empty except for a trashy
half-read paperback novel that smelled of coconut oil and faintly
of rum. Another twenty-four hours would elapse before they got
around to calling the gendarmes. It had been that kind of summer,
and Madeline was that kind of girl.
They had arrived on Corsica a fortnight earlier, four pretty girls
and two earnest boys, all faithful servants of the British government
or the political party that was running it these days. They had a single
D A N I E L S I LVA
car, a communal Renault hatchback large enough to accommodate
five uncomfortably, and the red motor scooter which was exclusively
Madeline's and which she rode with a recklessness bordering on sui-
cidal. Their ocher-colored villa stood at the western fringe of the
village on a cliff overlooking the sea. It was tidy and compact, the
sort of place estate agents always described as “charming.” But it had
a swimming pool and a walled garden filled with rosemary bushes
and pepper trees; and within hours of alighting there they had set-
tled into the blissful state of sunburned semi-nudity to which British
tourists aspire, no matter where their travels take them.
Though Madeline was the youngest of the group, she was their
unofficial leader, a burden she accepted without protest. It was Mad-
eline who had managed the rental of the villa, and Madeline who
arranged the long lunches, the late dinners, and the day trips into the
wild Corsican interior, always leading the way along the treacherous
roads on her motor scooter. Not once did she bother to consult a map.
Her encyclopedic knowledge of the island's geography, history, cul-
ture, and cuisine had been acquired during a period of intense study
and preparation conducted in the weeks leading up to the journey.
Madeline, it seemed, had left nothing to chance. But then she rarely
She had come to the Party's Millbank headquarters two years ear-
lier, after graduating from the University of Edinburgh with degrees
in economics and social policy. Despite her second-tier education—
most of her colleagues were products of elite public schools and
Oxbridge—she rose quickly through a series of clerical posts be-
fore being promoted to director of community outreach. Her job,
as she often described it, was to forage for votes among classes of
Britons who had no business supporting the Party, its platform, or
its candidates. The post, all agreed, was but a way station along a
journey to better things. Madeline's future was bright—“solar flare
T H E E N G L I S H G I R L
bright,” in the words of Pauline, who had watched her younger col-
league's ascent with no small amount of envy. According to the ru-
mor mill, Madeline had been taken under the wing of someone high
in the Party. Someone close to the prime minister. Perhaps even the
prime minister himself. With her television good looks, keen intel-
lect, and boundless energy, Madeline was being groomed for a safe
seat in Parliament and a ministry of her own. It was only a matter of
time. Or so they said.
Which made it all the more odd that, at twenty-seven years of age,
Madeline Hart remained romantically unattached. When asked to
explain the barren state of her love life, she would declare she was too
busy for a man. Fiona, a slightly wicked dark-haired beauty from the
Cabinet Office, found the explanation dubious. More to the point,
she believed Madeline was being deceitful—deceitfulness being
one of Fiona's most redeeming qualities, thus her interest in Party
politics. To support her theory, she would point out that Madeline,
while loquacious on almost every subject imaginable, was unusually
guarded when it came to her personal life. Yes, said Fiona, she was
willing to toss out the occasional harmless tidbit about her troubled
childhood—the dreary council house in Essex, the father whose face
she could scarcely recall, the alcoholic brother who'd never worked
a day in his life—but everything else she kept hidden behind a moat
and walls of stone. “Our Madeline could be an ax murderer or a
high-priced tart,” said Fiona, “and none of us would be the wiser.”
But Alison, a Home Office underling with a much-broken heart, had
another theory. “The poor lamb's in love,” she declared one after-
noon as she watched Madeline rising goddess-like from the sea in the
tiny cove beneath the villa. “The trouble is, the man in question isn't
returning the favor.”
“Why ever not?” asked Fiona drowsily from beneath the brim of
an enormous sun visor.
D A N I E L S I LVA
“Maybe he's in no position to.”
“But of course.”
“Had an affair with a married man?”
“Just twice, but I'm considering a third.”
“You're going to burn in hell, Fi.”
“I certainly hope so.”
It was then, on the afternoon of the seventh day, and upon the
thinnest of evidence, that the three girls and two boys staying with
Madeline Hart in the rented villa at the edge of Piana took it upon
themselves to find her a lover. And not just any lover, said Pauline.
He had to be appropriate in age, fine in appearance and breeding,
and stable in his finances and mental health, with no skeletons in his
closet and no other women in his bed. Fiona, the most experienced
when it came to matters of the heart, declared it a mission
Excerpted from The English Girl by Daniel Silva. Copyright © 2013 Daniel Silva. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Meet the Author
Daniel Silva is the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Unlikely Spy, The Mark of the Assassin, The Marching Season, The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules, The Defector, The Rembrandt Affair, Portrait of a Spy, The Fallen Angel, The English Girl, and The Heist. His books are published in more than thirty countries and are bestsellers around the world. He serves on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and lives in Florida with his wife, journalist Jamie Gangel, and their two children, Lily and Nicholas.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I really tried to make this book last longer, but the story was too intriguing, the chapter hooks to irresistible and the characters too complex and compelling to abandon them for very long. I figured out a few twists, although perhaps we were meant to do that but there were still several surprises including a lovely one at the end. I know many people start mumbling "formula" when a character and a series becomes as popular as Gabriel Allon and his adventures are, but we all want the main characters to survive to live and love in another story,and if that puts a book in the formula category, it is inescapable and unavoidable.The Israeli "team mates" of Gabriel Allon do not appear until the second half of the book. In the beginning, he is working hand in glove with a former enemy, Christopher Keller,and they certainly form a delightfully dynamic duo. In the second half, Gabriel Allon rejoins his Israeli team along with the man who nearly had become his assassin in an earlier book. This delay in bringing in the Israelis made me realize just how much I not only like each and every team member, but how fascinating it is to read about the development of their strategies and their deployment as the operation progresses. Although there is a strong sense that the main character will make it through safely, there is plenty of tension and excitement as to whether all our old friends among Mossad, MI5 and the CIA will do the same. There is also humor bubbling up here and there to relieve the tension and make these characters even more human.The fact that Gabriel Allon is no longer a man in the full flush of youth, and all the difficulties that aging entails even, or perhaps especially, if you are a legendary spy is handled intelligently without making the main character one iota less fascinating. If you are a Gabriel Allon fan, you will not be disappointed, and if you have not met him yet, you can start here and then go ba to, "The Kill Artist", and follow Gabriel's progress through the years to learn how he got to his current place.This could be my favorite Daniel SIlva book - at least until the next one.
"I'm Gabriel Allon. I only do big." That linefrom The Enlisg Girl pretty much sums up not only this book but the series as a whole for me. Unlike other novel series that seem to stagnate and become way too predictable, this one only gets richer and deeper with each addition to the collection. This particular installment includes a very creative and well thought out plot, and it was remarkable to watch how Mr. Silva brought so many threads together. What sets this one apart for me, however, is that this book leaves the reader with alot of questions regarding the future of a number of characters, including Gabriel, Chiara, Ari, Graham, Mikhail, Uzi and even Christopher Keller. I read the final line of this book and felt a renewed desire to go back and reread this entire series. Yes, this book was that good and I am excited to see what happens when the next installment comes out, presumably next year.
What can I say? Another terrific adventure with Gabriel Allon. Great stuff.
Terrific characters & locations ... looking forward to Silva's next book in the series ... good twist towards the end.
Once again, rude plot spoilers ruin the book. Bn, why wont you do something to these ppl that rewrite the book in their reviews? They retell the entire story, giving away every detail. Cant they be banned and their posts deleted? Please do something to these rude posters.
I've read all of Silva's books and The English Girl" is his absolute best..The main character in Gabriel Allon takes you on a ride you won't forget..Gabriel is a spy -personified..Silva has created a simple but fascinating plot that has an amazing twist at the end...,,,or the ultimate "double cross"...I'm not sure I agree with Silva's idea that Gabriel Allon will be promoted to Operations Chief in his next book..I hope the author will have a little talk with Gabriel before he accepts this position..Gabriel is a hands on operative..No way he will last as an administrator with the politics involved..
Daniel Silva maintains his high standard in this latest iteration of the Gabriel Allon sagas. The novel traces Allon's attempt to locate a young woman implicated in an affair with England's Prime Minister, who was abducted. The book is both an intricated vision of the world of art and of the world of the spy. It spans most of Europe and ends with a tension-filled forray into Russia. I am a fan of Silva's writing, and feel that this is one of his better works. Silva's insight into the insidious application of force by Russian oil moguls is up to his usual high standards, and his lingering theme which stars an old woman in Corsica. Her final revelation to Chiara makes this book worth the wait. As I look forward to the next Allon novel, I am aware that Silva is very cognizant of the process of aging, and watching Allon age is a marvel of literary content and insight. My thanks to Daniel Silva for many hours of intelligent and exciting reading.
I wish the author would write books more frequently! Who do you all recommend as a similar author??? HELP!!
I was introduced to this author's work (series) only a couple of months ago and have completed the series to date (B&N shipped them as fast as I ordered them). They are not only well written but address things that concern us today especially the last, 'The English Girl.' I will find it most difficult to wait until July for the next title, 'The English Spy' and then wait for another (trying to have a positive outlook). I just ordered the non-series titles (3) by Silva. I might miss the characters from the Gabriel Allon titles but I suspect that Silva will not disappoint in these as he did not in the larger series.
It holds your interest from the first sentence and continues until the last word -don't want to wait another year for the next one! Well wrtten down to the last twist
I have most of Silvia's books. I particularly enjoy the Gabriel Allon series. Aside from being a very effective spy and assassin, Allon is a refined and cultured gentleman, which is probably why my wife also enjoys the stories. I think "The English Girl" is Silva's best yet. A real page-turner. All the characters are well fleshed out, especially Allon's "team", and there is always a lot of interesting historical information on the people, places and things that comprise the background of the stories. Makes me wish I could hop on a plane and visit some of the places where Allon has done his work. TR, Richmond
5 stars Love it! Love it! Loveit! Could not put it down! Up all night!
This is classic Daniel Silva and more. Gabriel is once again dragged reluctantly into an adventure, but this time it is the British doing the dragging. It appears that Gabriel has found himself a new and intriguing sidekick as he maneuvers the many twists & turns of the plot. Along the way we see the very human side of him entering the storyline, and the ending is personally satisfying as well. Well done.
I just started the book. I like the way it's going, however in chapter one this sentence is written twice: It had been that kind of summer, and Madeline was that kind of girl…” perhaps to make a point. I would have overlooked it, but in another chapter, this sentence is duplicated within a couple of pages. "Suddenly, the last thing he want to do was to leave Jerusalem and go looking for a girl he didn't know." How can he "suddenly" feel the same thing twice within a short time frame? It's a little frustrating to catch the duplicate sentences. I'm wondering who edited the book.
Silva has written another great book, a must read
I found this book exceptionally well plotted. The writing was up to the authors exceptional standard butbwhat made this book one of his best was the story just grabbed you and held you. Would highly recommend!
Well paced and authentic sounding story that centers around the race to dominate theworlds thirst for oil. This time it is not the middle East--It's Russia. the Israeli team is it's usual efficient self and Gabriel stumbles in the beginning but redeems himself once hefigures things out. Silva has opened up a whole new vista with Gabriel's looming promotion--all you have to do is look at the situation in the Middle East today and he has a wealth of material for future novels to challenge his main character and his team ahead of him. Looking forward to it.
There are very few authors who consistently put out books that are unputdownable. Daniel Silva is one of the few. The English Girl is just another example of this. Gabriel Allon is one of the greatest creations in thriller fiction in the last 20 years. When reading his exploits, it feels as if you are reading about actual living breathing people. You care about these characters. As with the other Allon books, all is not what it seems. The story revolves around the British PM and the blackmail scheme surrounding him regarding his mistress who has been kidnapped and given 5 days to live if the ransom demand not met. With secrecy needed. Gabriel is asked to track down the kidnappers and save the girl. For long time Silva readers, the reemergence of Christopher Keller from The English Assassin is a welcome addition. (Mr. Silva, Keller needs his own series, please) Throw in the old favorites, Chiara, Eli, Mikail, Dina, Rimona and the rest of Gabriel's crew and The English Girl is thoroughly entertaining and one of the best books of the year. Shamron would be pleased.
Fabulous book! Enjoy!
Anything written by Daniel Silva is exciting and beyond a great value in a reading experience. His characters are human and make you want to be friends with them. His stories are fast-paced and exciting. And even tho Gabriel Allon is a spy, Daniel Silva writes in such a way that anyone can easily follow along and understand what's going on and why. Gabriel is one of the most famous characters ever written about and we never want his story to end. The stories are so well written that you have finished the book before you know it. And to say that Daniel Silva is one of the greatest writers of our time, is probably a very big understatement. His writing is fluid and flawless and easy to read. You never have to read a sentence twice. If you haven't already read a Daniel Silva story, you are truly missing out on a great reading experience.
Ridiculous plot, cliche. Pass.