Sunday, 22 November 2015


My Thoughts on this clever and fast moving WWI spy thriller .......

THE EMPIRE OF NIGHT  (3rd in the Christopher Marlowe Cobb series)

Published:  Oct 2014
Pages:  401  (Paperback)

It is 1915 and "Kit" Cobb is working undercover in a castle on the Kent coast owned by a suspected British government mole, Sir Albert Stockman.  Kit is working with his mother, the beautiful and mercurial spy, Isabel Cobb, who also happens to be a world-famous stage actress.
Isabel's offstage role is to keep tabs on Stockman, while Cobb tries to figure out his agenda.
Following his mother and her escort from the relative safety of Britain into the lion's den of Berlin, Kit must remain in character, even under the very nose of the Kaiser.

The third instalment in the Christopher Marlowe Cobb series sees our protagonist following a British spy, Sir Albert Stockman, to Berlin to discover whether he is actively aiding the German cause at a time when the allies are struggling against the Germans. He is still a war correspondent but is also working for the US Secret Service.  

But this time his mother, the very famous stage actress, Isabel Cobb, is also working for the US Secret Service and she is also travelling to Berlin on the arm of the British Government man.

As a native German speaker he easily slips into disguise and fools not only Stockman but also those closest to him as he tries to discover his plans, which turn out to be shocking.

This is a tale of betrayal, treason, acting, pretending to be someone you're not.

Though mention is briefly made of past missions this is a stand alone novel.

I really like Robert Olen Butler's writing style, Cobb is very observant, every detail, every conversation, is noted and stored in his memory.  He thinks a great deal and I enjoyed reading his thoughts and wondering where he would go and what he would do next, I found it very compelling and easy to read.  I wanted to know more, to find out where the story was going, where it was leading and Robert Olen Butler did not disappoint as the pace quickened towards the exciting conclusion.

A fantastic, well researched read which I hugely recommend to fans of intelligent spy novels.

Looking forward to the next instalment of this series.

Follow Robert Olen Butler on twitter: @RobtOlenButler
Check out his website

Sunday, 1 November 2015


My Thoughts on this serial killer thriller ......

(The 3rd book in the DI Ian Peterson series)

Published:  26 Nov 2015  (Paperback)

"Silently dipping his oars in the water he made his escape.  It was a weary journey, with few spoils to show for it.  Next time he would do better.  He looked back over his shoulder.  The bridge had disappeared, swallowed up by the darkness.  From its walkway he too had become invisible.  Only the bloody body of a woman showed he had been roaming the streets that night".
DI Ian Peterson investigates a series of gruesome and brutal murders in York.  As the body count mounts, the case demands all Ian's ingenuity. These are murders seemingly committed at random, and this is a killer who leaves no clues.

I've read several Leigh Russell stories before so I knew what to expect, with a killer, a puzzle, the detectives lives, the victims stories and a good storyline that's easy to read, and this followed a similar pattern.  

This is the third book in the Detective Inspector Ian Peterson series and we get to know more about him, this thoughts and feelings and his increasing marriage problems.  He's intelligent and caring and I really liked him as a main character as he tries to discover why anyone would kill random people who seem unconnected.

With a Viking theme throughout, the story moved along at a swift pace and interspersed with the murder investigation were the killer's thoughts which made for chilling reading.

Overall a good read which I enjoyed.


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