The Devil in Amber by Mark Gatiss
Lucifer Box - the gorgeous butterfly of King Bertie's reign, portraitist, dandy and terribly good secret agent - is feeling his age. Assigned to observe the activities of fascist leader Olympus Mons and his fanatical Amber Shirts in a snow-bound 1920s New York, Box finds himself framed for a vicious murder. Using all his native cunning, Box escapes aboard a vessel bound for England armed only with a Broadway midget's suitcase and a string of unanswered questions. What lies hidden in the bleak Norfolk convent of St Bede? What is 'the lamb' that Olympus Mons searches for in his bid for world domination? And what has all this to do with a medieval prayer intended to summon the Devil himself?
The Devil in Amber is the second novel in Mark Gatiss’ Lucifer Box trilogy, set 20 years after The Vesuvius Club and opening in 1920s New York. Lucifer Box is to the outside world an artist, but in reality he works as a spy and assassin for Her Majesty’s Government in plots that unfurl as a mixture of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Bond and Sherlock Holmes.
Box has been the top of his game for many years, but as middle age is kicking in younger and keener agents are eager to topple him. When a hit goes wrong and Box is side-lined with an investigation into a fascist organisation called the amber-shirts, double crossing means Box has to flee America and get back to England in an escalating situation that brings in supernatural rites and the release of incredible evil.
Both The Vesuvius Club and The Devil in Amber are based roughly on ‘real life’ events (The Hellfire Club and the fascist black shirts / Nazi occultism) but bring in a supernatural bent and a level of fantasy where villains, their machinations and their lairs come through like brightly coloured panels in a graphic novel, and I think both books would work very well in this format. Box is of course devilishly handsome, irresistible to both men and women (which he takes advantage of frequently), suave, sarcastic, and a mean shot. Plots thunder along like a Bond film, moving from gunning down people in New York to grappling in a cable car on a snow swept Swiss mountain, and it’s great fun. Box is likable enough as the main character, with the story told from his point of view. Yes, he is a bit shallow and the frequent beddings of characters that need barely more than a lazy smile before they surrender themselves gets a bit too Roger Moore for my personal taste, but it’s daft, hyper-real and often very funny.
If you like period spy stories with extravagant locations and a supernatural twist, I would highly recommend this series.
This The Devil in Amber book review was written by Cat Fitzpatrick
All reviews for: Lucifer Box series
The Devil in Amber
Lucifer Box series: Book 2
Lucifer Box - the gorgeous butterfly of King Bertie's reign, portraitist, dandy and terribly good secret agent - is feeling his age. Assigned to observe the activities ...
Have you read The Devil in Amber?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Devil in Amber reader reviews
8/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Death in St James's Park
Five years after Charles II's triumphant return to London there is growing mistrust of his extravagant court and of corruption among his officials - and when a cart lad...
Mystery in the Minster
In 1358 the fledging college of Michaelhouse in Cambridge is in need of extra funds. A legacy from the Archbishop of York of a parish close to that city promises a welcome ...
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have me...
Murder on High Holborn
In 1665 England is facing war with the Dutch and the capital is awash with rumours of conspiracy and sedition. These are more frenetic than normal because of the recent sin...
Death of a Scholar
In the summer of 1358 the physician Matthew Bartholomew returns to Cambridge to learn that his beloved sister is in mourning after the unexpected death of her husband, Oswa...
Andersonville by Edward M Erdelac
Edward M Erdelac
Georgia, 1864. Camp Sumter, aka Andersonville, has earned a reputation as an open sewer of sadistic cruelty and terror where death may come at any minute. But as the Union ...
A God Strolling in the Cool of the Evening
Mario de Carvalho
In the 3rd century AD, Lucerius Valerius Quincius, perfect of Tarcisis, an imaginary Roman City, begins his memoirs. His city is threatened from without and within. North A...
The King of Scotland is dead. The nobles fight over the succession, unaware that King Edward of England has plans of his own. For years, Edward has nurtured a fierce vision...
The Chelsea Strangler
In the sapping summer heat of 1665 there is little celebration in London of the naval victory at the Battle of Lowestoft. The King, his retinue and anyone with sufficient m...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: