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The English Girl (Gabriel Allon #13)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  23,017 Ratings  ·  2,096 Reviews
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 fo
Hardcover, First Edition (U.S.), 482 pages
Published July 16th 2013 by HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. (first published July 2013)
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Jesteen Schaetz Not to understand the main plot. I didn’t know it was part of a series when I started reading it, but I got through it fine. There were certain parts…moreNot to understand the main plot. I didn’t know it was part of a series when I started reading it, but I got through it fine. There were certain parts when I realized there had to be other books (just too many references to the past, it was obviously more than backstory), but it was easy to infer. Perhaps there were little nuance things I missed, but i doubt it was too significant. The only reason I can think not to read it as a standalone is if you plan on reading the other Gabriel Allon books and don’t want spoilers, they do make reference to several other missions and how they turned out, which I'm sure must be the story lines in the other books.(less)

Community Reviews

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Melinda Barlass
Feb 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Damn it...I finished the book. Now I must wait for the next. I always enjoy reading about places I have been. It also references my favorite book/movie...A Room with a View. Overall a good read with the usual twists and turns, but lacking in the typical Allon antics, spyness, and restorations. I was really hoping for more in the English Girl. Overall I recommend, but if you have not read the Gabriel Allon series by Silva, do not make this your first read in the series. I began my obsession with ...more
Okay, this is it. I’m tired of reading bad fiction. I bought The English Girl at the Las Vegas airport because I wanted something fun and fast to read on the flight home. Wow, was I ever disappointed. This book runs an appalling 520 pages—about 200 pages too long and all of the pages are filled with clunky writing, uninspiring dialogue, woefully underdeveloped characters, and an incredibly convoluted holy-shit-can-this-book-just-stop-already?! plot. The further I traveled in this book, the less ...more
Jul 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Perhaps it's driven by nostalgia but I'm surprised at how well rated this book is by other reviewers. I feel a bit differently. It had to happen sometime: after 13 books with the same character, this is the FIRST in the series that seemed like a "paycheck book" to me.

The Gabriel Allon series is one of my favorites which is odd considering most of what I read is outside of this genre (I prefer scifi). Gabriel's character has aged in the previous 13 novels so you cannot expect the character to rea
Aug 06, 2013 rated it liked it
While all the Silva books tend to blend together in my memory, he has a great formula and sticks to it. His formula as I see it follows these steps:

1. Semi-retired Israeli spy (Gabriel Allon) has sworn off spying and is engrossed in his 2nd career as art restorer.

2. Someone from Allon's past asks him a favor to solve some international crime/stop some international terrorist.

3. Allon hems and haws, but finally agrees to do the work.

4. Allon determines the source of the crime/terror and vows pers
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
Despite not really loving the previous Daniel Silva thriller I'd read (The Heist), I decided to give him another chance for two reasons: first, The English Girl seems to be one of Silva's most acclaimed thrillers, so it had the best chance of being good; and because when I was browsing audiobooks on my phone, this one popped up.

I was immediately at a disadvantage when I started this book, because The Heist takes place after the events of The English Girl. Even though there weren't any serious s
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Daniel Silva is a rock star. He's an intelligent writer, he has both intriguing plot development and engaging characters, his main characters grow and evolve (and age!), and he always leaves me ready for the next book.

To me, one of his core strengths is that even though his characters are set in the world of espionage, they don't succeed because of the latest gadget or technological wonder. They use their brains, experience, wiles--and then the gadgets. They are good at what they do because of
Jim A
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
It’s hard for me to describe my feelings about Daniel Silva’s latest novel, The English Girl. It doesn’t really fit the mold of other Gabriel Allon novels. This one starts with Allon doing a favor for Graham Seymour of British MI-5, who is doing something for the British Prime Minister. It seems the Prime Minister’s mistress has been kidnapped.

The first thing Allon does is take on a partner, but not one of the members of “The Office” that he usually uses. This time it’s a professional assassin
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent story by an excellent author with an outstanding main character in Gabriel. 10 of 10 stars
Linda Root
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
It is hard to give less than five stars to any Gabriel Allon book. If I were rating this against any other writer, it would be a five. Unfortunately Silva himself has placed the bar so high that a five would be phenomenal. This is not the best of the Gabriel Allon books, but it does not miss the mark by much. I find myself waxing nostalgic for the melancholy art restorer persona of the early works or the damaged Gabriel hiding out in Cornwall until Chiara comes to save him from his ghosts. I mis ...more
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I waited til the right time and place presented itself before settling in with my yearly Daniel Silva book ... This annual treat needs to be savored, knowing I won't get another update to Gabriel Allon's story until the following summer. But once started, I can never stop ... I read this book yesterday - all 496 pages. Last year, I enjoyed Silva's The Fallen Angel, but was reminded with every page that it was the TWELFTH in the series and it was feeling very formulaic and predictable. I don't kn ...more
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Levaram-na no final de agosto, na ilha da Córsega. Nunca ficaria estabelecida a hora precisa - algures entre o pôr do sol e o meio -dia do dia seguinte foi o melhor que os amigos que dividiam a casa com ela conseguiram fazer."
E assim começa mais uma aventura de Gabriel Allon que o transporta para diversos países, procurando descobrir a relação entre esta jovem mulher, o primeiro-ministro inglês e uma empresa petrolífera russa gerida pelo sucessor do KGB.
Jan Rice
Apr 02, 2015 rated it liked it

So now I've read a Silva.

I called this "genre literature." For me that means literature I typically don't read, for if I read it, it would be "cross-over" literature. It means looking down my nose at it. What I read is literature; what you read is "genre lit."

I'm teasing. And owning up--a little.

The purpose of this book is to give the reader thrills of suspense. The character development serves the plot, and sometimes the action serves to ratchet up another few seconds of suspense, whether it s
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Okay, so this is another spy novel with lots of assassin killings; not my favorite things. But the difference between this one and the Mitch Rapp series is that the main Office of CIA types is not American but from Israel. I take it Silva is Jewish. And certainly, we do feel much more confidence in the Israeli intelligence group than our own CIA/FBI or even the British MI5/MI6 folks. Why? Because they do what they say they are going to do, and they act out of intense self preservation (think Hol ...more
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
The latest Gabriel Allon book.

This is a very good book and still a wonderful series.

Be aware that you really should read this series in order as there is ongoing character development.
Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, spies, thriller
An seemingly ordinary English girl gets kidnapped during her holiday in Corsica. What the general public do not know that this lovely English Rose is the secret lover of their Prime-minister of Great Britain. In order to keep this hidden a favor is asked and Gabriel Allon spy extra-ordinary gets to track down the girl and her kidnapper. During the exchange of the ransom everything goes wrong and Allon ends up empty handed.
The Israeli does not handle defeat very well and start looking into the ma
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A rising young party star on vacation in Corsica disappears and is presumed murdered. Weeks later a ransom note is delivered to 10 Downing Street, for the missing girl is the mistress of the popular Prime Minister. Wishing to avoid a political scandal on the eve of an election, the PM and his Rovian political advisor with some off the record help from a senior MI-5 official, enlist Gabriel Allon to deliver the ransom.

This is a breathtaking novel which rolls convincingly through the Corsican unde
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Gabriel Allon has been my July companion for several years running. When the galley comes I hide it from myself until we leave for vacation. And then, oh what a treat. Silva has delivered his best thriller yet. From Corsica to London, from sprawling villas to Number 10 Downing Street , the geographies in The English Girl are as capitivating as the thrills. This one has the old KGB back in action and a puzzle that will keep you guessing and reading late into the night. Thank you Mr Silva. You hav ...more
Christopher Bunn
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I recently retreated to a beach in the company of my wife and two books. The weather was excellent, the beach was composed of fine-grained sand, and the waves advanced and rolled back in a peaceable manner. In short, the lark was on his wing, the snail on his thorn, and God was in Heaven.

The second of the two books was Daniel Silva's new story in the Gabriel Allon series. I read The English Girl quickly, as I don't think Silva ever intended his books to be read slowly. It was an enjoyable read,
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Do you like spy thrillers, but feel they lack culture? Do you ever wish your spy characters were skilled in music and art as well as clandestine intrigue and killing? It's time to start reading Daniel Silva's spy thrillers starring Gabriel Allon, master art restorer/forger and Israeli assassin/spy! The English Girl is the 16th Gabriel Allon now, but Silva does a good job filling in key elements of the backstory in a few lines. This novel starts with a kidnapping for ransom, gets tangled up with ...more
Mark Mitchell
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Gabriel Allon is the rare series character who seems to get better in each new novel. Yes, the usual tropes (Gabriel's reluctance to be involved in the latest operation, Sharon's chain-smoking, Chiara's beauty, and the memories of the tragedy that left Gabriel without a son) are all present. But, Gabriel seems to have become a wiser, deeper person as the series developed.

In this latest installment, Gabriel -- that improbable combination of art restorer and secret agent -- gets involved in the bi
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
In the increasingly crowded thriller genre, Daniel Silva is an author to count on.

While Silva's last book delved into a smuggler plot at the Vatican, Allon shifts gears here to the kidnapping of Madeleine Hart, who is the mistress of the English Prime Minister. The girl is being held for ransom. The Prime Minister does not want to reveal the affair so he wants to pay, but is willing to let Gabriel Allon try to find the girl.

Allon has 7 days.

Although Allon gets close to freeing Hart, the time per
Aug 03, 2013 rated it liked it
As promised, this is a decent thriller that will probably please fans of the author. I was a little hesitant to start book 13 of a series and while it is a stand alone book, I think the character development has been stretching over the series so much that I was left a little cold by all of them. The back stories for the characters are included, and in fact were kind of an issue for me. If I had read all of the books I think I would have been annoyed by the regular retelling of long past events. ...more
John Connolly
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I’m something of a fan of Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon books, even if, as often happens with an ongoing series, the structure of each novel is pretty standard: Allon, an art restorer and Israeli agent, is pulled reluctantly into some case of international terrorism; bad things happen; he gets his gang together; and vengeance is meted out. Actually, leaving out the international terrorism element, that could describe most mystery novels, my own included. In Silva’s case, this is all accomplished ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, mount-tbr-2017
A solid spy thriller, The English Girl has all of the elements and characters I've come to expect and love from this series. This is not, however, the best of the series to date, and was surprisingly and disappointingly predictable. 3.5 ⭐ ...more
Traci Slatton
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There's a particular joy in getting engrossed in a really great novel. I felt it for the first time when I was 6 years old. At that age, I progressed in a few months from reading "See Spot Run" to reading 'big books,' that is, chapter books for much older kids. My rapid evolution wasn't due to anything special about my intelligence, alas. It was due to the joy...the delight and pleasure...of being grabbed by a well-told story.

That joy inspired me with a longing: the longing to write novels. It's
The English Girl is author Silva's thirteenth novel featuring Gabriel Allon, the brilliant, honorable, and ruthless Israeli intelligence operative. The book opens with a summons from number 10 Downing Street. The PM has been conducting a secret affair with Madeline Hart, a political aide who was just kidnapped while on holiday in Corsica. Hoping to keep this potential scandal from the press, the Brits are calling in a favor, asking Allon to find and rescue Madeline. Reluctantly, and against his ...more
Scott Parsons
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: espionage, crime, thriller
Another brilliant novel by Daniel Silva. Superb writing, plotting and characterization. This is the thirteenth in the Gabriel Allon series. Familiar characters like Shamron and Chiara and the team from the Office (Israeli intelligence) but others like characters from the Corsican underworld and Keller the English assassin who once had a contract to kill Gabriel but didn't carry through.

A rising party star in the UK, Madeleine Hart, who happens also to be the mistress of PM Jonathan Lancaster is
Robert Intriago
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, espionage
Mr. Silva finally takes a turn away from his usual plot of Muslim terrorists and deals with a different story. The prime minister of Great Britain is being blackmailed for his involvement in an extramarital affair. Gabriel is asked to investigate and try to rescue the prime minister's girlfriend.
The book is divided in two parts. The first part deals with the rescue and it is quite light and humorous. The second part deals with the heavy and serious action of finding the actual kidnappers. I enjo
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
At first I wasn't sure what to make of this latest in the Gabriel Allon series. I've read and enjoyed them all and felt as if this was going through the paces a bit. There seemed to be a lack of passion on Gabriel's part, but then he is an agent for hire here. Before the story is over, all the usual complexities of plot and twisted scenarios do come into play and I was rushing to find out what was the answer. Global politics at play.

3.5 rounded to 4
L.A. Starks
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant and well-researched as always. If anything the English-Russian ties are deeper than the fictional case here, though they are well-known and publicly-negotiated.

The scope is a bit off. 100,000 barrels per day is a lot of oil, but not government-shaking. And in the real world, the Chinese are the ones who acquire oil/gas overseas, not the Russians.

Silva has wonderful action and cadence. His books are always a pleasure to read and this fits his tradition.
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Retribution 6 56 May 27, 2014 10:59AM  
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Daniel Silva was born in Michigan in 1960 and raised in California where he received his BA from Fresno State. Silva began his writing career as a journalist for United Press International (UPI), traveling in the Middle East and covering the Iran-Iraq war, terrorism and political conflicts. From UPI he moved to CNN, where he eventually became executive producer of its Washington-based public polic ...more
More about Daniel Silva

Other books in the series

Gabriel Allon (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1)
  • The English Assassin (Gabriel Allon, #2)
  • The Confessor (Gabriel Allon, #3)
  • A Death in Vienna (Gabriel Allon, #4)
  • Prince of Fire (Gabriel Allon, #5)
  • The Messenger (Gabriel Allon, #6)
  • The Secret Servant (Gabriel Allon, #7)
  • Moscow Rules (Gabriel Allon, #8)
  • The Defector (Gabriel Allon, #9)
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“Jews don't camp...The last time the Jews went camping, they spent forty years wandering in the desert.” 24 likes
“To be honest with you, I’ve always felt a little Jewish.” “You have an aversion to shellfish and German opera?” “I was speaking in a spiritual sense.” “You’re a professional assassin, Keller.” 3 likes
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