Book Reviews

The Information Officer by Mark Mills

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List Price: £10.99

 

Paperback: 416 Pages.

Published: 30 April 2009 by HarperCollins

Edition: First printing of this edition

ISBN: 0007276885

EAN: 9780007276882

Summer, 1942. For the people of Malta, suffering daily bombing raids, the British are the last line of defence against the Nazis. And it is Max Chadwick's job as the information officer to ensure the news the islanders receive maintains morale.

So when Max is given proof suggesting a British officer is murdering local women, he knows the consequences of discovery are dire. With the violence on the war-ravaged island escalating daily, he embarks on a private investigation, hidden from the eyes of superiors, friends and the woman he loves.

But Max finds himself torn between patriotic duty and personal honour in his efforts to track down the killer… an elusive figure always one step ahead of his hunter.

Reviews

3.0 Stars3.0 Stars3.0 Stars  by Anne

Great plot and situation but I didn't feel the tension

This book is set in Malta during the seige of WWII. Amongst the starvation and daily bombing raids by the Germans young women are being killed. It appears that a serial killer is at work. Max is the Information Officer for the British on the island but he's not sure what to do with this piece of information because no one else will take it seriously. Undertaking his own investigation he finds the girl he loves under threat and that everything is more complicated and nastier than he thought.

The first thing to say is that this is a great idea for a novel. The author has chosen a very unusual time and place in which to set the story and has then linked it to greater activity elsewhere. The island is unique and the situation in 1942 was desperate. You would, therefore, expect to read a novel with an overwhelming atmosphere of claustrophobia and impending doom and it is here that the novel fails to live up to expectations. I just didn't feel the fear and tension on the island and in the investigation.

This is not a bad novel but it is not as good as it could have been. The historical details are fascinating and the author gives us an interesting picture of the British stranded on the island and some aspects of their relationships with the locals. He cleverly leaves the main story unfinished and then concludes it in a epilogue which reveals things you hadn't expected. It was not enough, however, to make the book particularly memorable or to make the plot totally absorbing for me.

A novel that doesn't live up to its potential.

 
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