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

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