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The Empire of Night (Christopher Marlowe Cobb Thriller) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 730 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press-Highbridge Audio Classics; Unabridged edition (7 Oct 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1622314670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1622314676
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 14.7 cm

Product Description


"[A] thrilling historical series. . . . Mr. Butler does a terrific job of depicting both the journalist's facility for teasing information from his subjects and the spy's incessant fear of being discovered. There's something almost magical about the way the author re-creates this 1915 milieu."--"Wall Street Journal" ""The Empire of Night" is a cracking good spy thriller, with a cast of memorable characters and a terrifically suspenseful plot that will have you casting the movie as you read. And Butler's elegant writing elevates the book--he is a master of everything from lyrical description to believable dialogue."--"Tampa Bay Times" ""The Empire of Night" is a smart and layered yarn . . . propulsive reading . . . Butler has developed a knack for snapping off taut, Hammett-esque sentences at tense moments. . . . Butler is determined to show that genre fiction can be intellectually rich."--"Star-Tribune" (Minneapolis) "Butler combines fascinating historical detail about the pre-WWI period with genuine suspense and a tongue-in-cheek wit that gives the whole a uniquely tart flavor. The multilayered, adversarial relationship between Kit and Isabel grows more fascinating with each installment and will leave readers eager to learn more."--"Booklist" (starred review) "Exciting . . . the period details are spot on. . . . This tale of shifting allegiances and worldwide consequences enthralls."--"Publishers Weekly" "[An] elegant thriller. . . . A meticulously researched page-turner that will appeal to spy novel buffs and lovers of historical novels, as well as any general reader intrigued with the power struggles of World War I. If you've never read a novel by Butler--one of the great stylists writing today--you're in for a treat with "The Empire of Night.""--Huntington News "Butler's continuous pressure on the suspense makes the novel a page-turning, nail-biting experience, and his use of short, crisp sentences magnifies the tension."--Readers Unbound "An engrossing thriller. Cobb's traversal of the German countryside is tension-laden, and the finale wrongfoots with unexpected twists. Well-acted, center-stage entertainment."--Crime Book Beat "Deliciously captivating. . . . I can hardly wait for the next in the series."--"Arab Voice" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robert Olen Butler is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of over a dozen novels, including "Hell," "A Small Hotel," and two previous installments of the Christopher Marlowe Cobb series, "The Hot Country" and "The Star of Istanbul." He is also the author of six short collections and a book on the creative process, "From Where You Dream." He has twice won a National Magazine Award in Fiction and received the 2013 F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. He teaches creative writing at Florida State University. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Third book in the series... 12 Sep 2014
By Jill Meyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Robert Olen Butler's new novel, "The Empire of the Night", is the third in his WW1-era Christopher Marlowe Cobb series. I haven't read the first two, but if I have the time, I might read the backlist.

Books about WW1 - "The Great War" - have been popular for a while now. We're at the 100th anniversary of the beginning, and many authors are finding the war a popular topic. Butler's character, Chris Cobb, is the son of a Shakespearean actress, Isabel Cobb. Isabel might be the family actor, but her son seems to have inherited an acting talent he displays in the story. He plays a newspaper reporter/American spy/German army officer, along with a few other roles. His mother plays Hamlet on the stage and in the bedroom she plays the lover of a British/German aristocrat who may, or may not, be up to no good.

The book's plot is somewhat complicated and very few people are who they say they are. This obviously includes Christopher Cobb and his mother. The most interesting part of the book is the interplay between mother-and-son, actress-and-interviewer, and Allied agents (both Chris and Isabel). Their relationship, no matter what guise it is carried on, is a bit unsettling. There's no sexual tension, but rather the tension that comes from having an unreliable character as the other half of a relationship. The reader can tell that Chris doesn't particularly trust his mother and that may be the result of years of desultory parenting (or non-parenting).

The other interesting part is the background of the German government and military in WW1. Both Albert Einstein and Fritz Haber make an appearance in the story - the poison gas the Germans toss across the lines at Ypers - and the home war effort is highlighted. Oh, and there are zeppelins in the story, too. Zeppelins always make me laugh because their inclusion in plots usually indicates a very silly and far-fetched scenario. In "Empire", the zeppelin is a major plot point and people are NOT escaping on one.

"The Empire of Night" is a good read, particularly for the WW1 buff. I don't think you have to have read the two previous books in the series to read this one.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
'The Empire of Night': Continuing the Saga of Kit Cobb, Newspaperman, Secret Agent in WWI England, Germany 10 Oct 2014
By David Kinchen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It's appropriate, given that this year is the centennial of the start of the Great War -- later World War I -- that newspaperman Christopher Marlowe Cobb continues to be a larger than life figure in the third entry in the Kit Marlowe historical novel series by Robert Olen Butler: "The Empire of Night" (Mysterious Press, 384 pages, $26.00).

In the first entry, "The Hot Country" Kit Cobb is battling German agents and Mexican bandits early in 1914 to get the story for his Chicago newspaper.
In the second installment, "The Star of Istanbul", Cobb survives the 1915 sinking of the British ocean liner, Lusitania, to continue his spying and news reporting. He packs a mean Corona 3 typewriter -- not to mention his Mauser pocket pistol.

In "The Empire of Night" it's well into 1915 and Kit is now more spy than newspaper correspondent (his cover) as he's delegated by President Woodrow Wilson's spymaster Trask to see what the British and the Germans are up to.

He's working undercover in a castle on the coast of Kent, not far from the White Cliffs of Dover, trying to determine what the castle's owner, Sir Albert Stockman is up to. Stockman, originally of German descent, may be a secret agent of the Kaiser. To his surprise, Kit discovers that his beautiful, 50-something mother, world renowned actress Isabel Cobb, has made another amorous conquest: Stockman.

Starring in a touring production of Hamlet -- dressed as a man, playing Hamlet -- Isabel's offstage role is to keep tabs on the supposed mole, who's not only an ardent fan of Shakespeare but a man in love. We have the intriguing spectacle of a mother-son spy team.

One evening, Isabel Cobb and Stockman leave the seaside castle, heading for Germany. The Germans are using zeppelins -- like the LZ 129 Hindenburg (Luftschiff Zeppelin #129) that exploded in New Jersey on May 6, 1937 -- to bomb London.

I won't give away any more of the plot of this elegant thriller, other than to say that Kit Cobb, using the alias of Joseph Hunter, is using his foreign correspondent cover to spy on Stockman and the Germans. This means that Kit Cobb will have to follow Isabel and Albert to the German capital, Berlin.

Like the previous two Kit Cobb entries, "The Empire of Night" is a meticulously researched page-turner that will appeal to spy novel buffs and lovers of historical novels, as well as any general reader intrigued with the power struggles of World War I. If you've never read a novel by Butler -- one of the great stylists writing today -- you're in for a treat with "The Empire of Night."
Great World War I Spy Story 22 Oct 2014
By Lebanon Bob - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Butler is the master of the early 20th century spy story. This one recalls the era of the Zeppelins in World War I and their bombing raids over London. Christopher Cobb returns from Mexico and Istanbul to London and Berlin and the Zeppelin Base in Western Germany near the Rhine giving an insight into the flight of these fragile doomed airships powered by Maybachs.
Do not miss this entertaining read.
Good story with great history 25 Dec 2014
By Laurence E. Murphy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Can't wait for the next one. Good story with great history.
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