The Information Officer
Mark Mills (Savage Garden and Amagansett) passes the first test as a historical novelist by demonstrating a comprehensive knowledge, and “feeling,” of his subject matter. World War II Malta, for a time the most heavily bombed place on earth, is the setting for Max Chadwick’s adventures with murder and espionage. Chadwick is a young British officer charged with writing news stories that inspire British troops and Maltese civilians to strive harder for victory in the face of continual savage Axis bombing. He finds himself caught up in an investigation of a Maltese woman’s murder. His normal activities, if life can be termed “normal” in 1942 Malta, are completely turned around as he pursues a killer who proves to be an officer of the British military. He relies upon the support and advice of the beautiful Lilian, a newswoman with a local newspaper, as he moves between his investigation, his relations with a diverse group of officers and their wives, and a doomed affair with a married woman. Lilian and his dogged desire to find the truth are at the core of the story, but the background setting of a gallant Malta under siege adds considerably to the drama and excitement.