Valdosta Daily Times

August 21, 2013

Daniel Silva's 'The English Girl'

Dean Poling
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Thriller author Daniel Silva makes his annual summer return which can only mean so does his brilliant character Gabriel Allon, art restorer and Israeli intelligence agent. In “The English Girl,” Allon fans encounter touchstones from eras throughout Silva’s dozen-plus past books; depending on the fan, these moments will either resonate or will seem redundant as pages flash through Allon’s life. For new readers, these passages will serve as a full-bodied introduction to the character and his world; a newcomer should be able to enjoy “The English Girl” without reading any of the past books. Here, Allon is lured away from home and art restoration projects by the kidnapping of a beautiful, young English politico who has had a secret affair with the British prime minister. Though England is not his country, Allon accepts the assignment to find her as payback for a past favor from the prime minister. Along the way, Allon encounters fascinating characters on Corsica, including a Brit special forces member who has used his believed death to lead the life of an assassin, a man once hired to kill Allon but is now his ally in seeking the missing English girl. The first half of this book, the action on Corsica, is the most fun, but the action remains steady as the plot turns to a Russian oil gambit in the second half. Daniel Silva is a welcome part to any summer, especially this summer.