The English Girl

A Novel

Silva, Daniel

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The English Girl
The wayward son of Israeli intelligence, Gabriel Allon is plunged into a high stakes game of murder, espionage, and corruption after a beautiful young British woman vanishes on the island of Corsica, which threatens to destroy a prime minister's career.

Publisher: New York :, HarperCollins Publishers,, [2013]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062073167
Characteristics: 482 pages ;,23 cm


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Feb 08, 2015
  • DanglingConversations rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This was my first book by this author and I was completely smitten. A writer in the gender of Dan Brown, fast paced, good character development and respect for reader's intelligence to put some clues together, but still be amazed by the ending.

Jun 17, 2014
  • thkelly rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

very disappointing. JimLoter nails it with his comments.

Feb 28, 2014
  • JimLoter rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This latest Gabriel Allon thriller attempts to combine two very different stories that operate on two different scales and the result is disappointing.
The first half concerns the titular English Girl who is kidnapped and being held for ransom. Gabriel is, of course, the "only man in the world" for the job of rescuing her. The operational details of this first half are actually quite compelling, and the relationship between Allon and Keller is, at times, amusing.
The second half shifts scales to a geopolitical level. The relationship between the plot of the second half and the kidnapping of the first half relies on a highly implausible plot point that is largely hand-waved away. Furthermore, whereas Part 1 occurs over the course of a week, the story of Part 2 unfolds over the course of months but feels heavily compressed following the intricate day-by-day plotting of the first half. I found the shift both of scale and pace to be jarring. Finally, and most problematically, there is absolutely no real conflict in the Part 2 story. Still, even with these problems, The English Girl is a passable thriller and a generally enjoyable read.
A few additional comments:
* Silva often goes overboard with exposition, particularly in filling in the reader on Allon's background and history. At times, one almost expects characters to bring up specific Gabriel Allon novels when referring to past events. "Hey Gabriel: you remember how in 'Portrait of a Spy' you...."
* I wish the author would avoid modifiers like "famously" and "renowned," especially when referring to a supposedly successfully espionage agent. Just how effective can Allon be of he is so famous and renowned? Also, it feels a little too Dan Brown-ish for my tastes.
* There is an almost humorous degree of "Sovietizing" that goes on in Part 2 - making Russia seem as if it's essentially the same as before the collapse of the USSR. Allon's chief adversary is even referred to as "essentially the KGB." I know that all spy novelists mourn the death of the Cold War, but this is first post-1991 spy novel I've read that takes the opportunity to reconstruct things so completely in order to amp up the danger.

Dec 30, 2013
  • bumleftknee rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is my second book by Silva and it proved to be just as good if not better than Fallen Angel. Loved the story lines, characters, and twists!

Dec 17, 2013
  • Dazio rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is the first book that I have read from Daniel Silva, he is definately on my "to read" list! Excellent book, very well written. Definately a page turner.

Nov 11, 2013
  • chogs rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

What a great book...could not put it down.

Oct 29, 2013
  • 2puppies rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

another great silva/allon read!!

Sep 08, 2013
  • jazpur rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is the first Daniel Silva I have read and it won't be the last. I enjoyed his characters, the humour, the political commentary and the twists and turns in the story line.

Sep 01, 2013

I have read every one of Daniel Silva's books and I think this is one of the best - I loved the humour and banter between Gabriel and Christopher and somehow it seemed lighter than previous books, as if Silva has given himself permission to thoroughly enjoy the journey.. Loved the story and read in a few nights!

Aug 24, 2013
  • axeman rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

International spy thriller. This was great. I would highly recommend it.

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Feb 26, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Feb 26, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

a Christian forgives, an idiot forgets.

Feb 26, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

and, as Stalin liked to say, death solves all problems.

Feb 26, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

...what was said behind a man's back was often times much more important than what was written about him on the front pages.


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