I must reveal to you dear reader that I haven’t read many spy/action novels in my life time. But before you throw me to way side, hear me out! Action, mystery, thriller, spy, whatever you wish to call it, was the one of the few genres that never really peaked my interest. I admit that I have read a few novels that would fall into this category, but none of them gave me a desire to pursue it further. I always felt and figured they were more designed for the typical male reader; between the kidnappings, sneaking across borders into forbidden countries, political plots, assassinations, creative ways of killing other men, and the wide variety of weapons, how could a man not find this appealing? What man couldn’t picture himself as an international assassin, or spy, or dare I say a man of mystery? Not many I am sure, but with so many masculine dominate themes and plots in one genre, do you think the average woman would be keen or inclined to drive right in? Ummm… not so much. Where the lines are drawn in the literary world, it is apparent that many woman might not feel an inclination to pick up one of these novels and just tend to leave them to the men to read. I confess, I was one of those women but Daniel Silva, you sly dog, you proved me wrong!
I received The English Girl in a book trade with my friend Dave about a month or so back. Dave and I have now gotten into this habit that we swap books every few months, and then talk about it when we are finished. Even though Dave and I are both very avid readers, our tastes are, well, different. Dave tend to lean more towards the old western novels, James Patterson, and other mystery, spy, thriller novels, where as I read…. Jane Austen. Can you see the contrast of tastes here? So when we met at Sessions 52 for a Thursday night drink, he slid the novel over to me, which I responded him with a delicate eye brow raise:
“I thought this would be more up your alley.”
“Oh really? Is it because the title is The English Girl and I am a girl who use to live in England?”
He smiled and that was the end of the conversation. This book sat on my bedside table for a good 3 weeks, slowly but surely collecting dusk with all the other books I start but never got around to finishing. Till one day, I decided to bite the bullet and processed to start the novel, and 3 days later I finished that said novel. I would have finished much sooner but work, church, sleep and a day at Disneyland got in my way. Not only is this book well written; it is exciting, adventurous, compelling, griping, thrilling, but it is damn near impossible to put down. The characters and the plot line are well-developed, with a modern twist on the struggles of today’s governments that give it a current vibe and feel to the novel. The book doesn’t lull, or sag in story line, which some novels ted to do in order to show background information, which I find very annoying *sigh*. But, thankfully, it proceeds to keep you at the edge of your seat, with twist and turns left and right, that you never see coming. Will they or won’t they get out of Russian alive?? (Sorry, spoiler alert, they go to Russia)
To describe The English Girl without giving too much away, I simply borrowed the description from the back of the novel to give you a sneak-peek at this epic novel:
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 for his sins. Fearful of a scandal that will destroy his career, Lancaster decides to handle the matter privately rather than involve the British police. It is a risky gambit, not only for the prime minister but also for the operative who will conduct the search.
You have seven days, or the girl dies.
Enter Gabriel Allon—master assassin, art restorer and spy—who is no stranger to dangerous assignments or political intrigue. With the clock ticking, Gabriel embarks on a desperate attempt to bring Madeline home safely. His mission takes him from the criminal underworld of Marseilles to an isolated valley in the mountains of Provence to the stately if faded corridors of power in London—and, finally, to a pulse-pounding climax in Moscow, a city of violence and spies where there is a long list of men who wish Gabriel dead.
OOOOOOOOO I KNOW RIGHT?!?!?! It’s good, it’s seriously good!! I’m hooked! I need more Silva novels in my life!! Now, do me a favor and go out and buy this book… like… now!! Go onto Amazon and purchase it or download it onto your electronic device, NOW!! You will thank me later. Silva has the ability to keep any reader gripped in his hot little hands no matter gender, age or stage in life. The writing and the story is good, no, not a good enough word… It’s fantastic! It’s wonderful! It’s addicting! So the secret is out now, action books are not just for the men anymore!! Come on ladies, let’s all join the club… they have Scotch, cigars and Daniel Silva novels! What more could a girl want?? I’ll meet you in the smoke room, I’ll bring the Aberlour. (It’s one my favorite Scotches; the 16 year, double cask is divine.)