Friday, December 03, 2010
Believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made.
Snails really are the most interesting creatures. Geilston Bay, November 2010.
Two books read this week, and what a pair! I managed to complete parts two and three of the Lucifer Box trilogy. After reading The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss a few weeks back, I leant of the library and score numbers two and three. # 2 is The Devil in Amber, and takes place twenty years after the Edwardian adventures of #1.
Lucifer is now middle aged, traumatised by the Great War, and under the pump from a new generation of secret agents. Of course, he remains as beautiful lithe as ever – and informs us on a regular basis – but seems a little less cocksure and a little more vulnerable than the earlier tale.
Without giving too much away, the story is a little darker as Lucifer battles a horrible gang of Fascists with a bent for Satanism. It is not quite the romp of the first, and the maudlin tone of the interwar period is well captured.
Finishing the set, we shoot forward another twenty-or-so years into a Cold War world very different from the earlier two stories. Perhaps this shift explains why Black Butterfly is the most Bond-like of all the novels.
Lucifer has now risen to the top of the ranks of the Secret Service, and is not shy off being retired. Of course, there remains one last adventure to be had. As expected, there is a sense of mortality that hangs over this one like a black cloud, but that does not stop our hero getting his end away on a regular basis. Despite the bisexual Box having at it with all sorts, this one is a played a little straighter than the previous two.
If you’re after a bit of light Christmas reading, and like your heroes a little different, you could do much worse than check these three out.