Madeline Hart is a rising star in British government: beautiful, intelligent, driven to succeed by an impoverished childhood. But she also has a dark secret. She is the lover of the Prime Minister, Jonathan Lancaster. When she disappears on the island of Corsica, it's clear her kidnappers know about the affair and intend to make the PM pay dearly for his sins. Fearful of scandal that will destroy his career, Lancaster decides to handle the matter privately, and not involve the police.
Enter Gabriel Allon—assassin, art restorer and spy—who must find Madeline within seven days before she is executed. With the clock ticking, Allon is thrust into a deadly game of shadows in which nothing is what it seems—and where the only thing more dangerous than his enemies is the truth. Gabriel's mission takes him from the criminal underworld of Marseilles, to the stately corridors of power in London—and, finally, to a pulse-pounding climax in Moscow, a city of secrets and violence where there is a long list of men who want Gabriel dead…
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2013: The setup: A beautiful woman is snatched from her vacation on Corsica. A ransom note reaches 10 Downing Street. An ambitious, unfaithful prime minister seriously needs a fixer. Which leads his fixers to art restorer and Israeli spy, Gabriel Allon, one of the more believable and likable heroes in recent spy fiction. To call The English Girl a page turner is an oversimplification. Smart, unpredictable, and packed with bits of history, art, heart, and imagination, this is a page turner to be savored. Let me just say that I like John LeCarre. Big fan. Still impressively relevant and prolific into his 80s. But the torch must pass to someone. And it’s been a while since I grabbed anyone by the lapels and said, “Read this now,” so let me strongly suggest that you take The English Girl to the beach, or wherever summer may take you. Daniel Silva isn’t quite LeCarre. He’s a more modern breed, with some major DNA overlap. (Other DNA-sharing: Graham Greene, Joseph Kanon, Alan Furst.) When it comes to the vast club of practitioners of international spycraft, Silva is a cut above them all, and The English Girl is a masterwork. --Neal Thompson