Information OfficerPosted: 2014/09/12
Mills, Mark. The Information Officer. Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning, 2010.
The Information Officer takes place over eight days in the summer of 1942. World War II is raging all around the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta. The bombings are relentless and devastating. Max Chadwick is a British officer responsible for keeping the Maltese morale and promoting British policy. He does this by manipulating the news about the gritty details of the war’s progress (or lack thereof). The reality is Malta is being blown to shreds, but he needs the Maltese people to continue to believe in the British troops despite the German occupation and incessant Italian air strikes. What complicates this delicate arrangement are the deaths of several local women. Made to look like casualties of recent enemy attacks, autopsies prove otherwise. Further evidence causes Max to suspect a British officer is behind the serial killings. It’s only a matter of time before there is a full blown revolt.
Woven into this story is the quiet unfurling of a subplot. Told from the point of view of the rapist/killer, the reader is witness to the birth of a sexual predator. From the very beginning the juxtaposition of the two plots is intriguing. It’s very much like the crime shows you see on television. For the most part, they show the good guys, hard at work trying to solve the crimes. Every so often the scene switches to the bad guy, plotting his next attack.
The first quote to send shivers down my spine, “His breathing was strangely calm and measured, and there was something in the sound of it that suggested he was smiling” (p 20).
Reason read: Malta gained its independence from Britain on September 21, 1964, twenty years after World War II.
Author fact: I don’t think it will come as any huge surprise that Mark Mills has his own website here.
Book trivia: while I didn’t mean to, I read the large print version.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Messing Around On Malta” (p 144).