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The Information Officer

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,444 ratings  ·  280 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Published (first published April 2009)
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Mark Mills' books always provide a captivating murder mystery with surprises and intrigue weaved throughout a good plot. The Information Officer is based on Malta during the Second World War and the central character is the information officer, Max Chadwick. Max's job is to maintain the flow of information to the Islanders as they defend against German military action.

With an invasion imminent, the murders of local women cause alarm and concern that one of their own is responsible.
The best thing about this novel is all the information it contains about Malta in the Second World War. It is quite atmospheric and certainly shows what the island went through during the period of aerial bombardment. Unfortunately, the crime plot doesn't live up to the setting. The characters aren't very convincing and the short chapters seen from the viewpoint of the killer are particularly weak.

Overall I found this an enjoyable, quick read, but won't be rushing to read other books by this
Nov 29, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
Psychological murder mystery involving a serial killer? Spy story? Love story? Historical novel? This novel tries to do it all, and does none of it well.

The murder of a local girl on Malta during World War II is made to look like a bombing death. For some reason, a military doctor does the post-mortem, as he has on two other deaths of local girls which he thinks were murders made to look like bombing deaths. He told the military authorities about it, but they did not investigate. For some
I normally really enjoy fiction about World War II, and was intrigued by the book's description, since I knew little of Malta or its part in the war. However, I this book didn't excite me and while I kept reading in part to see how the murder mystery was resolved, I agree with another Goodreads Reader who pointed out that this book tried to be too much - historical fiction about Malta's role, a love story, and a murder mystery. The mystery parts were the best for me, and the continued ...more
A reasonable read but to be fair WW2 isn't the subject matter I'd normally choose & I did prefer it to "The Savage Garden".

The opening chapter drew me in straightaway & I thought I was in for a gripping read but the potential thrills didn't continue throughout.The ending bought things to a satisfactory conclusion but it too was missing the excitement that the opening had hinted at. For me there was a little too much military description but that's just my taste & there's no doubting
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
British Major Max Chadwick is an architect turned military PR flak facing numerous dilemmas on the island of Malta in the spring of 1942. The rapes and murders of several young Maltese women could further erode the fragile relationship between local islanders and the British who are defending Malta from an unrelenting aerial onslaught by German and Italian bombers. A small piece of evidence points to the possibility that the murderer is a British submariner, a sailor under the command of the ...more
The opening of the book starts with a mystery encounter between two unnamed men in a bar implying some significant events occurring in Malta during WWII. The book then falls back to that time to reveal the story. Max Chadwick is the British information officer on the island, trying to keep up the morale and support of the locals while they are being heavily bombed by both the Germans and the Italians. To complicate matters, his friend, a British doctor, shows him a body of a "sherry queen" ...more
Jim Leffert
During World War II, the island of Malta, located about midway between Sicily and the north coast of Africa, was a key strategic location. The Germans subjected the island, which was a British colony, to a campaign of massive, unrelenting aerial bombardment, designed to isolate the island and wear down its defenses.

This mystery novel nicely captures the atmosphere and feeling of what it was like to be there. The protagonist, Max Chadwick, is a British officer whose task it is to disseminate
Jul 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see why The Information Officer would get such mixed reviews. Like Mills' other novels, it's more about conveying a time, place, atmosphere and characters than about the mystery taking place against this backdrop. From a historical fiction standpoint, the book is top-notch. It's very detailed, and Mills' characters are more real, more in-depth than almost any other author I can think of. The problem is that the backdrop usurps the plot, so at times it drags. Mills gets so wrapped up in ...more
Dec 23, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This book tries to accomplish way too much in one story. The result is a choppy mess. I didn't care about any of the characters nor did I care much about solving the supposed mystery. Overall - a flop.
This book was set in Malta during the second world war. Max is an Information Officer, who's job is mostly to keep morale up. Then he is told by the medical officer Freddie that there has been a series of murders of young Maltese women, and from the looks of it one of the British naval officers is connected.

Max was not a very likable guy. He is having an affair with a married woman, while stringing along one of the local ladies. In fact most of the male characters in this book were jerks.

It was
April Andruszko
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Most of the way through this book I expected to rate it more highly. However I found the ending disappointing. I'm not sure that the explanation of who the culprit was, how they did it and what happened to them really hung together despite reading the last chapter twice. I did love the rest of the book and reading about Malta in the war.
Daniel Winter
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the vibrant picture of war-torn Malta Mill paints, but worked out the 'baddie' way before I was supposed to! Pretty good read though.
MisterLiberry Head
From 1940 to ’42, the minuscule island of Malta, located in a strategically vital spot of the Mediterranean Sea, played out a miniature version of the Battle of Britain. German and Italian air fleets flew a total of 3,000 bombing raids over Malta during a two-year period. Although a commander as brilliant as Field Marshal Erwin Rommel warned that “Without Malta the Axis will end by losing control of North Africa,” an invasion was never attempted. Instead, the Axis partners resolved to bomb, ...more
Nov 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads

This was my first experience with an Advance Reader Copy of a book, and I’m happy to say it was a good one! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m now looking forward to picking up some of the author’s other works.

Thoughts on The Information Officer:
I’m not a WWII buff, and I don’t go looking for books or movies set during the war, but this sounded like an interesting story because I knew nothing about Malta’s role in WWII. While I realize liberties were taken with the accuracy of war-time life
Dec 24, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 01, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up after a good, brief review in the Sunday NYT.
If one can put down a mystery 1/3 through, there is something wrong. Obviously the plot isn't engrossing, and at this point, the main mystery has barely begun to unfold.
The characters: way too much "old man" and "old chap" (Monty Python's "upperclass twits"?); none very interesting or likable so far, including the main character and his married lover.
The setting: life during wartime can make for fascinating reading (I can think of
Morgan F
I wouldn't have read this book if I hadn't won an advanced copy, and I kind of wish I hadn't won it.

This book was very, very muddled. I wish it just focused on one damn thing, but nnoooooo, it had to try to do it all, and it failed. The whole mystery/thriller part of it absolutely drowned in all the war details and boring characters. A good 3/4 of this book was just talking about bombings and airplanes and guns and other things that were just not interesting. And there was waaaayyy too many
Vicki Baltierra
Woo Hoo, I won this book from Goodreads! I love winning books.
This book is very interesting. I have to agree with other reviews that it tried to be too many genres and did well at none. The history of Malta was good but way too exhausting to keep a reader enthalled. The mystery was good but there wasn't enough of it in the story. The love story...what love story? The true love story was hidden away in the end. Just okay in every way.
I liked the story - I was surprised to see so many negative reviews... It is a historical read with a mystery with a bit of romance thrown in along the way. I enjoyed reading about Malta and role it played in World War Two. The characters weren't robust but I found myself following along without a problem. I liked it - I think I'd still recommend it.
Douglas Karlson
3 1/2 stars. I liked the character depiction and dialogue, and the setting: Malta, during the bombardments by the Germans. The story is about a British officer trying to solve some murders... and it is connected to spying... won't say more to avoid spoiling. I liked the main character, and other characters, and loved reading more about Malta...
May 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The novel, set in the British crown colony of Malta during the Spring of 1942, combines historical events with equal parts spy thriller, serial killings, travelogue, and love triangle. Under near constant aerial attack for months, Malta is running short of all commodities and is dependent upon an increasingly narrowed lifeline of convoys. Ammunition is running low, limiting the effectiveness of anti-aircraft weapons, and few serviceable fighters are available to carry on the island's defense. ...more
Aug 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Information Officer has an intriguing but ultimately unfulfilled premise. It's a novel that can't decide if it wants to be historical fiction, a spy thriller, or a murder mystery. In trying to do all of these things, it doesn't succeed in any of them. Mills has undoubtedly done yeoman's work in the research of Malta's position in World War II, but his impulse to exhaustively document the island, its geography, and seemingly every Axis bomb ever dropped often pulls the reader out of the plot. ...more
S.J. Hartland
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE first few pages of The Information Officer intrigued me; by the end of the first
chapter I was hooked.
This is just such a well-written story; a gripping murder-mystery that combines fact
with fiction, and throws in a twist at the end.
The fiction part centres on a tale of a serial killer on the Island of Malta during World War II. The book’s hero, British “information officer” Max Chadwick, is given proof suggesting a British officer is murdering local women.
Amid the daily bombings and talk of
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-other
Mystery set in WWII Malta in 1942. Max Chadwick is the Information Officer of the title, charged with ensuring that the news stories that reach the islanders are positive, to avoid worsening morale among a populace already suffering from heavy bombardment and shortage of supplies. When he is shown evidence that a British naval officer may be involved in the murders of young Maltese women, he begins his own investigation.

The descriptions of wartime Malta are excellent, and Mills has captured both
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Information Officer is unusual in that the eponymous officer is based in Malta, not a place that has been the setting for much writing on WW11. A British colony, this small island in the Mediterranean is nearer to north Africa than to Britain and Germany. It was thus a battle-ground for the Germans determined to put a crimp in Britain's war efforts. It is the information officer's job to put the best possible spin on the daily bulletins he issues, designed to quell the fears of the Maltese ...more
Jan 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe 3.5 stars

Set in Malta during WWII, this wartime thriller was made all the more interesting by the narrator's accent (though his raised pitch to a falsetto for one of the women's voices was a bit humorous). The descriptions of the beauty of Malta and its strategic location during the war were all new to me.

A British information officer whose job is public relations (and propaganda), learns of the murder of a young Maltese woman, possibly by a British submarine officer. He knows reporting
Katy Cameron
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a mix of possibly two of my favourite subjects, crime and world war 2.

There is a rather chilling killer lurking in Malta, home to a good number of both British Navy and RAF servicemen alongside the locals while the Germans and Italians try to blast all of them off the little set of rocks they're living on in the Mediterranean in 1942. Max, the titular Information Officer, is responsible for trying to keep morale up, spinning the bad news so as not to bring the locals down further while
Paul Rosen
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this, and liked the reminder of last year's holiday in Malta - it would have been better if I'd been reading it whilst there, since I could have tracked the locations instead of just trying to work out whether I had been to any of the places. The plot is gripping, if a little confusing at times, the characters quite well developed and the twists as it reaches a climax are gripping. I had a heart in mouth moment at one point, which I won't spoil. My one gripe is that i didn't ...more
If you enjoy books set during WWII and appreciate descriptions of air raids and the role that Malta played during the war, this book may be perfect for you. While there were aspects I enjoyed, I would have preferred a little bit more crime and a little bit less WWII.

The story is about a British officer stationed on Malta, who is tipped off to the fact that a British soldier may have been killing young Maltese women. Already in a precarious position, the British Military office doesn't want the
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Mark Mills is a British writer of screenplays and novels. His first screenplay was BAFTA-nominated short film One Night Stand starring Jemma Redgrave and James Purefoy in 1993; this won Mills a 'Best Screenplay' award at the Angers European First Film Festival in 1995.
Mills's first novel was Amagansett, later reissued under the title The Whaleboat House published in 2004; this won him the 'Best
“He dusted off the shoulder tab and stared at it, so light in his hand, so inconsequential. It was hard to believe that a shred of cloth could have so much destructive power locked away in it.” 0 likes
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