There is much to enjoy in this further episode in Gabriel's adventures. However, the occult/fortune teller theme is creepy and that is why I am giving it a thumbs down in both my Kindle and Audible libraries. Here's hoping Mr. Silva will write on for many a year, but avoid that kind of theme in the future.
I stumbled upon the Gabriel Allon series, and it quickly became one of my favorite series in a long while. The English Girl is one of the best in the series. It combines international intrigue with politics and scandal, steering clear of predictable outcomes. Without giving away plot points, it deals with the very believable difficulties in investigating a time sensitive crime with serious political implications and high level officials helping or hindering the investigation. How did these criminals find out about the political scandal when no one else knew? Nothing is as it seems. While each of Daniel Silva's books are self-contained enough to be read by anyone looking for a good book, there is a great advantage of reading them in order. Silva rarely discards ingenious or unique characters he introduces into his books. They become part of the Gabriel Allon universe and pop up in future books in unexpected ways (the Pope and a Corsican fortuneteller are some of the more notable reoccurring characters). Silva doesn't give away too much of the action of earlier books, but there are Allon related life events (good and bad) that are referenced that are big plot spoilers if you plan on reading the earlier books in the future. From his striking green eyes to his incredible memory to his insight on espionage and terrorism, Israeli intelligence operative Gabriel Allon is extraordinary in all ways almost to a fault. He is a reluctant assassin with the heart and skills of a painter, haunted by personal tragedy. His talent shines so bright in the series that almost all other reoccurring characters pale in comparison. Unfortunately, Silva nearly cut and pastes his descriptions of some of the characters from book to book, they are so similar. Having been so enamored with the series, I read the majority of them back to back. Some of the characters seem to have so much potential for expansion (notably analyst Dina Sarid) that a stock description is a disappointment. Silva writes that Gabriel's love Chiara has "riotous hair", a remarkable description that catches attention when you first read it, but Silva uses it in multiple books. I'd like to hear more about her. It's hard to balance character development and keep a good pace in a thriller. Therefore, most of the character focus goes deservedly to Gabriel.
This was my first Daniel Silva book and probably my last. I've enjoyed the Mitch Rapp series written by Vince Flynn and also enjoyed David Baldacci novels as well so was looking for something similar from a new author. I found this to be a book that dragged on and was very slow in parts and with a constant deluge of me characters throughout, it became confusing. By the end it was a struggle to finish.
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
The English Girl was well worth the wait. I can't seem to get enough of Daniel Silva's writing and the excellent narration of George Guidall.
Gabriel Allon needs help from the man who lives on the island of Corsica. Allon realizes that the Prime Minister of England wants no scandal. He has been having an affair with The English Girl and if she is not found and tells her story, will he lose the confidence of the voters? If she were to be found dead, as her captor's have been instructed, wouldn't that make all things easier? But who has hired these thugs and why? Gabriel will find answers.
Gabriel Allon has gotten older in mind and spirit but he does continue to enjoy the thrill of being a master spy and the art restorer. Although he says he is done with working for the Office, when called he cannot turn away from knowing his destination in life. He will always want to know the story behind the crime. Allon is a gentle man at heart but cannot quell his need to make that which is wrong to be made right and consequences be dammed.
The characters are very well developed. George Guidall has given life to the character's. The reader will know who is talking. The feeling's of that person will be well understood. Would I recommend this book to other's, absolutely.
Dr. FPN from Portland,OR
I have listened to all the Gabriel Allon series Espionage-Adventure novels. Daniel Silva is remarkably consistent in the quality of his writing, (3.5-4,25 stars). I believe the author has exceeded my expectation with THE ENGLISH GIRL; which I would rate at 5-Stars. The story content is superior, it showcases current political upheaval in Russia, predicting Putin's Political Expansionistic desires. (KGB-Oil). As a counterpoint to the modern, he explores the ancient traditions practiced on the Island of Corsica. This all adds interesting texture to the standard conflict between Good -vs-Evil. There are even romantic entanglements to overcome to please readers that enjoy this dynamic. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys political-espionage thrillers.
Yes - but start with his earlier books in this series first
No- it seemed to drag a bit.
I prefer George Guidall over all other narrators.
This is not the first book in this series I have read. So I knew what to expect. I guessed the surprise ending.
First you can't go wrong with George Guidall narrating Silva's books.
This book will be interesting... but a little predictable. So, you if want a spy novel that's not to over the top with blood and violence this is wins.
This was my first Gabrielle Allon novel (#13 in the series), but Silva does a good job on-boarding a new reader. I read the book while Vladimir Putin was asserting Russian dominance through the imagery at the Sochi Olympics and the annexation of the Crimea, so the motivations in the book made some eerie sense. I am also a fan of Corsica, and found those settings and characteristics quite realistic.
The story is interesting and twists and turns at just the right times.
I found the portrayal of Israel as the epicenter of virtue and competence a little much - especially when the British government was portrayed as weak and corrupt. I also thought the female characters were stereotypical and largely background;even when Allon's wife is clearly a competent agent, she spends her limited time in the novel cooking for a bunch of men and hoping to get pregnant. There is an old Corsican fortune teller who's an interesting female character, but even her power is undermined by Allon's seeming ability to be the exception to her clear visions.