The Devil in Amber (Lucifer Box #2)
Lucifer Box -- portraitist, dandy and terribly good secret agent -- is feeling his age. He's also more than a little anxious about an ambitious younger agent, Percy Flarge, who's snapping at his heels. Assigned to observ...more
What made the first book such a good read was the dry humour of the narrative style and the characterisation of the delightfully bad Lucifer Box, but both of these key features were decidedly patchy in 'The Devil in Amber'. It has moments of brilliance (who could fail to be d ...more
I don’t think it’s really a spoiler to say he acquits himself very well, and proves more than a match for the genuine villains of the piece. Nor should it surprise people to realise that Gat ...more
I adore writers that can make me audibly react to their writing--Mark Gatiss joins Plum in the very short list of authors that have achieved this honour. He writes the ...more
Abandoning the dawn of the 20th century Edwardian trappings of Empire from The Vesuvius Club, this book finds Box in a post Great War funk. Down on his luck, art has moved on, beginning to feel his age, and challenged by a younger rival, Box is tasked by his superiors to investigate the fascist agitator Olympus Mons. But Mons has greater ambitions than the stand ...more
That's not as much a spoiler as it sounds, I swear.
The second of the Lucifer Box novels is set post-Great War, making for a rather large shift in mental imagery from the last book. Lucifer, while still a marvelous dandy about town, has aged and survived a war that left many scars on him and those around him. He's also now in the US, away from his home soil of London, an ...more
Mark Gatiss is an incredibly talented writer and once you open the book, consider yourself a prisoner, because Lucifer will never let you go. Especially not if your behind looks fantastic in a pair o ...more
That apart, all the bisexuality is yet another reason I strongly feel John will be bi and Johnlock will be canon. Gatiss hasn't been shy about writing his Holmes-Bond character as bi, there's no reason he'd be shy about doing it on the big screen.
This book by him, the second in a trilogy of retro detective novels – a thrillogy – occupies the same strange territory between low comedy and high concept.
With some success: as a pastiche of genres, characters, plots and phrases too passé to be taken seriously nowadays, it is a delightful reminder of the joys of B li ...more
It has everything the above implies: spies, nazis, the devil, guns, kidnapping, sex, crossings and double-crossings, giant henchmen, framings, multiple escapes... even cab ...more
The book begins in the 1920s with a ...more
Lucifer Box, "portraitist, dandy, and terribly good secret agent," narrates this st ...more
Mark Gatiss really does wear his influences on his sleeve in this one, moreso than 'the Vesuvius Club', to the point where it definitely sits more comfortably as pastiche than novel. The breathless 'man on the run' segments are lifted straight from 'The Thirty-Nine Steps' (along with the incredible volume of coincidences that power it along) and the evil cult and their ceremonies come courtesy of Dennis Wheatley. Add to that the slightly (but enderaing ...more
The Devil in Amber is the second book in the "Lucifer Box" series, but author Gatiss is deft enough with description that there's no need at all to have read the first book (it will certainly deepen the experience, though). The setting is the 1920s in New York City and the English countryside, and the plot is pure adventure spy novel with tongue very, very firmly in cheek. The main character, Lucifer Box (all the characters have similarly fantastic names) is a secret agent a...more
In reality (and despite what Goodreads might lead you to believe to the contrary) I finished this book almost two years ago. Gobbled it up, as a matter of fact. One of the first titles I borrowed from the Keynsham branch library and plucked off the shelves solely by dint of 'author recognition', it was one of those "why not ...more
The language was once more very engaging, but there was little to enamor me to the protagonist. He's self-absorbed (nothing new there) and incompetent, strutting through the world fancying himself a super-spy (er, THE super-spy) without, however, ever bothering to come up with a strategy or (dare I be so bold as to suggest?) payi ...more
It got to the point where it had built up too much too be resolved in the 4 pages that where le ...more
If you're looking for a deep, complicated mystery that keeps you guessing until the last moment, the Lucifer Box novels aren't for you. If you're looking for a cheeky, witty, fast-paced thriller set between the world wars and incorporating a whole lot of British wit and wisdom (alon ...more
The case itself is of a more supernatural kind and takes on a rather "Indiana Jones" like characte ...more
Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Gatiss has written three episodes for the 2005-revived BBC television series Doctor Who. His first, "The Unquiet Dead", aired on 9 April 20 ...more