thedevilinamberalucifer47509_fWhere to start with The Devil in Amber? This is the second Mark Gatiss novel to feature Lucifer Box – artist; spy/secret agent; a man with an eye for both men and women; a man who lives life to the full, shall we say.

We first met him in The Vesuvius Club which was set in the Edwardian period; we are now in the 1920s, with Fascism rising and the effects of the Great War still being felt. Lucifer is keeping an eye on Olympus Mons and his Amber Shirts, and while doing so is framed for murder and has to escape to Britain, foil the dastardly plot, save the girl and his own reputation.

This is great fun; I love Mark Gatiss (the twenty-seventh most dangerous man in Islington apparently) who has written for (and appeared in) Dr Who  – which immediately gives him extra points – but he also wrote and acted in a three-part ghost story on the BBC over Christmas (called Crooked House and I hope it’s going to come out on DVD soon as it was really very good).

This novel is a cross between a classic spy thriller and Denis Wheatley (yes, there are Satanists and mysterious castles and young women in peril and megalomaniacs trying to take over the world) but it’s also really amusing; I love the names, especially Lucifer’s sister Pandora Box. An enjoyable read for a dull and cold January, and I’ve just got a hold of the third Lucifer Box adventure, which looks a little bit more James Bond-ish…..

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