A fast-paced action thriller espionage, The Englishman by David Gilman is not to be missed; the perfect escapism read.
The assault, murder and kidnap on the streets of West London took just 27 seconds, but had their genesis in a little-reported but hard-fought war in the mountains of northern Mali six years earlier.
Once the connection was established, the subsequent incident at Penal Colony #74, 600 kilometres north of Yekaterinburg in Eastern Russia, was inevitable.
Gilman is in the same league as other high-ranking spy authors
Oh boy, the action in this book. I had NO nails by the end and was entirely gripped from the get-go; there’s little room to stop, and you just won’t want to.
You’re completely transported by Gilman into this world of political rivalry and violence/action, there’s never a minute for Dan Raglan, the protagonist – also known as The Englishman – to breathe. This character is outstanding – a rich background which brings the reader up to date with how he became who he is. He’s complicated, edgy, but seems pretty polite and smart, and I’m backing him all the way.
This book has a fantastic build-up, as it’s split into three main parts to give you an insight into how Raglan ends up in Penal Colony #74; you journey through South Africa, Europe and the Russian Federation in an explosive way – the pages just fly by.
The writing is spectacular and allows you to envision everything by being a fly on the wall (yes, even during the nasty bits), and offers you the chance to work the story out as you go.
I was genuinely shocked by one part and couldn’t believe the audacity of Gilman, but loved it all the same. There are multiple little twists which just add that extra oomph to the read, giving you that cinematic experience. No parts drag, which you often find with espionage, and the ending is intense for about 50 pages, so prepare yourself for that.
This promises a new series with the main character, and I am here for it. Sign me up. I won’t even have to read the synopsis, just take my money. I’ll also definitely be reading this author’s previous book, Night Flight to Paris. Gilman is in the same league as other high-ranking spy authors, although not being as heavy as Le Carré.
The Englishman, David Gilman, RRP £18.99 (hardback); Book Depository
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Genre: Thriller/ Action/ Espionage