Madeliene Hart is a rising star in London politics. Well educated and politically savvy, she soons finds herself working as an aide to the prime minister. On a trip, with friends, to sun-drenched Corsica Ms. Hart disappears and the male resident at 10 Downing Street receives a package with an omnious message: you have seven days or the girl dies. Now one will think that this is where Interpol, MI5 and/or MI6 are called in. Not quite. Enter Gabriel Allon, art forger/restorer, and the Israeli version of James Bond minus the shaken martinis and fancy tux bollocks, and is actually in a monogamous relationship with a woman named Chiara. Oh, did I mention that Chiara is also a very well-trained and formidable Mossad agent? Now as much as I love Jamesy-old-by, Mr. Allon (as Emril would say) puts it up a noch … or two. With a deadline on the horizon, Allon and his team of elite Mossad agents find themselves criss-crossing the globe from the criminal underworld of Marseilles to the icy-cold, vodka-tainted-vomit encrusted streets of Moscow.
Silva’s English Girl is fast moving, visceral thrill ride, on a razor’s edge, in the smoke and mirror world of covert espionage where friends can be enemies and vice versa, and most things can’t be taken a face value. Betrayals leap out of the shadows where you least expect and there are more twists and turns than a non-linear David Lynch flick (aye, I’m still trying delete the memory of Lost Highway from my mind).
Confession time. I have been reading many of Silva’s Gabriel Allon novels and they are quite GOOD. I mean giving Jason Bourne a run for the money … GOOD. And now you’re probably asking … well how is it that the Evil Parrot hasn’t posted any of these books on this site? Some of you might even think that I was being a bit stingy on keeping this to myself. Well the truth is that I was being a lazy tosser and I was busy catching up on back-to-back Dexter episodes on DVD (sorry I can only afford basic cable) during the times I was reading these books. I believe Breaking Bad and Criminal Minds are also to blame for this. The damn telly. Damn you Heisenberg, you loveable crystal meth cooking rogue.
Now I know you might think that you might need to catch up on stuff before you get to this novel (and it is a lot of reading) but the good news is that Silva has this unique and delightful way of doing a “recap” (aye, see that’s what happens when you watch too much series on DVD on the telly … sigh …) that pretty much brings everyone up to date with the life Gabriel Allon. However, a penance I will list all the Gabriel Allon books (in order) for you to personally enjoy … and if you can appreciate action-filled espionage, I promise you will devour these books. And yes, I will manage my time better … since I’m currently watching back-to-back seasons of the Dead Zone on Netflix (or as I call it Netfix).
And as promised (me being a good chap and all) the Gabriel Allon prequels:
The English Assassin
A Death In Vienna
Prince Of Fire
The Rembrandt Affair
Portrait Of A Spy
The Fallen Angel
Happy reading, mates.