- Fritzi Newton
Madeline Hart vanishes without a trace while on a Corsican vacation in Daniel Silva’s new page-turner, The English Girl. As a rising star in British politics, Madeline’s disappearance is certainly troubling. But the fact that she was having a clandestine affair with Prime Minister Jonathan Lancaster—who is both married and up for reelection—adds obvious complications to the situation.
A ransom demand and accompanying video surface informing Lancaster and his close advisors they have seven days to gather ten million euros in exchange for the woman’s safe return. Given the matter’s delicacy, Gabriel Allon, Israeli spy par excellence, is recruited to assist. A recurring character in Silva’s novels, Allon is a deep, complicated, and appealing man who bears the scars of his many transgressions in the name of national security.
Although Allon feels it’s unwise to acquiesce to the kidnappers’ terms, he defers to the Prime Minister and agrees to deliver the ransom to a still-unnamed Russian site. Returning to Russian soil is unnerving to Allon as he had barely escaped with his life in an earlier operation. To add a further complication, his mission assistant is an accomplished assassin who had formerly attempted to kill him. Despite his promise to Lancaster, Allon is determined to expose the mastermind behind the kidnapping, as well as uncover the motive for the act.
The trail in this political thriller proves circuitous. Suffice it to say, very little is as it appears on the surface. If you’re anything like me, The English Girl will have you guessing to almost the last page.