Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Information Office - Mark Mills

Mark Mills, author of The Secret Garden, has once again drawn on the history of World War II for his latest novel, The Information Officer. It's 1942 and Malta is under daily barrage from the Germans and Italians. A resolute band of English soldiers help the local Maltese protect the island and live day to day.

There's a delicate balance to be maintained between the English and the Maltese and Max Chadwick plays a part as the British Information Officer. When a friend brings a recent murder of a local hostess to his attention and the apparent involvement of a British submariner, Chadwick realises that this could disrupt the accord between the British and local Maltese. Despite being warned by the top brass to stop investigating, Chadwick continues to dig, uncovering evidence of Nazi spying and subversion.

Mills magnificently recreates the atmosphere of an island under constant aerial attack and attention to historical detail is excellent. However, it feels a little like mystery by rote, and the final revelations just don't ring true. The story just isn't memorable.

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