The Information Officer
By Mark Mills
(Random House, Hardcover, 9781400068180, 304pp.)
Publication Date: February 2, 2010
Mark Mills's bestselling novels Amagansett and The Savage Garden have won him widespread acclaim for his singular brand of suspense. Weaving a haunting and atmospheric historical backdrop with a tense plot of murder and an unforgettable love story, he delivers another riveting tale in The Information Officer.
Summer 1942: Malta, a small windswept island in the Mediterranean, has become the most bombed patch of earth on the planet, worse even than London during the Blitz. The Maltese, a fiercely independent people, withstand the relentless Axis air raids.
Max Chadwick is the British officer charged with manipulating the news on Malta to bolster the population's fragile esprit de corps. This is all, besides a few broken-down fighter planes, that stands in the face of Nazi occupation and perhaps even victory—for Malta is the stepping-stone the Germans need between Europe and North Africa.
When Max learns of the brutal murder of a young island woman—along with evidence that the crime was committed by a British officer—he knows that the Maltese loyalty to the war effort could be instantly shattered. As the clock ticks down toward all-out invasion, Max must investigate the murder—beyond the gaze of his superiors, friends, and even the woman he loves.
Filled with remarkably poignant and atmospheric details of life under siege, and indelible characters who live and breathe, The Information Officer is a taut, transporting thriller—an enthralling novel told with exceptional skill and style.
Mark Mills is the author of The Savage Garden, a #1 bestseller in the United Kingdom, and Amagansett, which was published in a dozen countries and received the John Creasy Memorial Dagger Award. A graduate of Cambridge University, he lives in Oxford with his wife and their two children.
"It’s only a story. It’s only a story. It’s only. . . . But the sense of immediacy Mark Mills brings to The Information Officer is so intense that this breathtaking novel reads more like a memoir than a wartime thriller...Even without the added complication of a sadistic murderer, the tension is killing – and Mills leaves us gasping for breath at the end."
–New York Times Book Review
“Thrilling… magnificent entertainment… this utterly ravishing novel seethes with femmes fatales and double agents
… reads like the story of Casablanca revisited, like a vanished Graham Greene.”—Los Angeles Times
"Mills is as versatile as he is talented…As historical fiction, as mystery, and as love story, this one hits on all cylinders." – Booklist
"[Mills's] writing, laced with amusing classical English literary allusions and mixed with a bit of Virgil, is graceful and fluid, the research scrupulous."—Newark Star-Ledger
“Mark Mills is a superb writer, and The Information Officer is a superb read.” —Joseph O’Neill, author of Netherland
“The Information Officer ratchets up the tension with each page, leading to a pulse-pounding climax that will remain with you long after the tale has ended. Wartime Malta comes alive in this meticulously researched and beautifully written portrait of an island on the edge.”—Olen Steinhauer, author of The Tourist
"A forgotten corner of World War II rediscovered and expertly revealed to us. Fascinating and shrewdly compelling—Mark Mills does it again."—William Boyd, author of Restless
"A lush, romantic thriller, skillfully crafted by master stylist Mark Mills." —George Pelecanos, author of The Way Home
"The Information Officer is both great historical fiction and a first-rate thriller. Mark Mills has taken a harrowing and often-forgotten conflict, populated it with believable and compelling characters, and then turned up the heat. This is a novel that works on every level."—David Liss, author of The Devil’s Company
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