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The English Girl    by Daniel Silva order for
English Girl
by Daniel Silva
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

'You have seven days, or the girl dies,' reads the note that sets this story in motion. The girl in question is Madeline Hart, a brilliant and beautiful young woman who works at the headquarters of Britain's governing party and also happens to be the British prime minister's mistress.

Not wanting to request an official investigation of the situation because of its very sensitive nature, Prime Minister Jonathan Lancaster enlists Gabriel Allon to discreetly sort the situation out and save the woman's life before she is executed. An accomplished art restorer and occasional assassin and spy, Allon has sworn off accepting such assignments but, of course, because of some special circumstances he accepts this challenge.

Calling upon a former character in this series, Christopher Keller, a man who was once hired to kill him, Allon begins a race against time to find Madeline. His quest begins in Corsica and then heads back to 10 Downing Street before the intrepid spy focuses on Moscow.

As one would expect in a novel of this nature, there's more going on here than a simple kidnapping and extortion attempt. Think of the importance of Russia's large reserves of oil and natural gas and you'll be holding the right end of the stick!

There are plenty of action sequences and surprises in this 16th novel by Daniel Silva. As you'll discover, the novel's title has a double meaning, but I don't wish to spoil the ending so I'll let you discover what it is.

Discussing the process of writing The English Girl, Silva said he had a good feeling about the novel and enjoyed writing it. 'I was sorry to see it end,' he said, which explains why the story is a little longer than his usual novels.

Hopefully, the reader also will share the author's sentiments and be sorry to see this thriller end. I know I was!

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