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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Launching of A Secret Agent, 26 Oct 2005
By 
Mr. D. A. Cure "Sir Danalot" (Droitwich) - See all my reviews
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This is the first of the twelve part Rodger Brook historical series, which eventually charts the course of his career in espionage throughout the French Revolution, Napoleonic and Peninsular Wars, through to the Battle of Waterloo.
It is not a rich in historical detail as many of the subsequent books, yet produces a great blend of action and character development, something that Wheatley was occasionally poor at producing. After a fallout with his father, and refusal to enter the navy, Rodger flees to France, where he ends up working as a legal clerk for an aristocratic family. He ends up falling in love with the daughter, Athenais (an affair to be resumed to tragic proportions in the Man Who Killed the King), and after a series of unfortunate twists and turns, including fighting his first duel with a top French swordsman, he is invited by Prime Minister Pitt to become one of his top secret agents.
This is a great adventure story, and really sets the tone perfectly for the subsequent offerings. A blend of James Bond, Sharpe, The Famous Five, and D'Artanian, if you will.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm converted ..., 12 Oct 2010
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I had always avoided Dennis Wheatley because I had associated him with novels about the occult. This is purely historical fiction, set mainly in France shortly before the French Revolution, and as far as I can tell, the background seems to be factually accurate. Although I felt that credibility was stretched when Brook managed to convince so many people that he was not English (essential to his survival) the story still worked for me: I loved the way seemingly innocuous events had repercussions later on - they led to unexpected twists in the tale. I was advised to read this particular Roger Brook novel because it is the first in the Roger Brook series. It was good enough for me to buy the sequels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning history has never been easier, 3 Sep 2010
By 
N. Brennan "Scuba Steve" (Poole, UK) - See all my reviews
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Historical fact, coupled with furious paced fiction come together in this book. Superbly written suspense and a true understanding of the Napoleonic era leaves a lasting impression of, and feel for, the squalor and splendour of the times.Read it as a novel, or as a history book, both will enchant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I finally found `the` book, 29 Jan 2010
By 
P. Perhac "MasterPeter" (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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I finally found the book you really can't put down (as they claim about every other); without even looking for it. I literally found it in the street, picked it up (for it had a nice cover), and then `swallowed` the whole in a few days' course.

It took me little time to realise that there is something special about the author's style, and that I am loving every bit of it. There's no page wasted on long-winded depictions of uninteresting scenes or lengthy enumerations of historical facts. Of that you would see one page, maybe two, every now and then, very carefully strewn throughout the work, just enough to get you into the picture - and then there goes more action, more good humour, more romance, more adventure...

Very engaging story line, I most heartily recommend. Especially to people in their late teens or early twenties, for those can, no doubt, identify best with the main hero.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ... of the Dennis Wheatley books - Wheatley is a wonderful story teller and his books are something that are ..., 27 July 2014
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This review is from: The Launching of Roger Brook (Kindle Edition)
I bought myself a kindle especially to download all of the Dennis Wheatley books - Wheatley is a wonderful story teller and his books are something that are just so enjoyable to re-read, time and time again - a rare thing. I first read The Launching of Roger Brook when I was a very young man and followed it up with all of the Roger Brook series of books by Dennis Wheatley. At the time of reading I was totally absorbed in these novels - I've now read thousands of books, but the Roger Brook series of books draw me back time and time again and are still my absolute favourites. The stories follow the life of Roger Brook from the time he left school, through a number of amazing adventures working for the English government as a double agent. As fluent French speaker he was able to penetrate the French hierarchy under Napoleon Bonaparte, where as Chevalier de Breuc he became an aide-de-camp to Napoleon and was able to feedback incredibly valuable information to the government of England led by William Pitt the younger.

The Roger Brook series of twelve novels covers events leading up to the French Revolution as well as the Revolution itself and fall of Napoleon, life after the revolution and many other events of the time - it is acclaimed for its historical accuracy. The books take the reader back in time - they transport you to the French revolution, the grand court of Napoleon and many other fascinating aspects of those times. The novels bring everything to life and give the reader an insight into a fascinating era of history - reading these books is a simply wonderful experience.

Wheatley had been a member of Churchill's Joint Planning Staff during WW2, a period during which he accumulated a wealth of knowledge relating to war and politics. He was unable to use the actual information from the war due to the Official Secrets Act, so having an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of Napoleonic times, which he'd researched extensively, he decided to carry out even more in-depth research and incorporate this knowledge into the Roger Brook series of novels. Wheatley wrote many books during his lifetime, but his pièce de résistance was the final book in the Roger Brook series, Desperate Measures - this novel brought things together and was a fitting end to probably the best series of books ever written - having written this novel he decided to retire from writing, leaving behind a superb heritage. I wish it was possible to give more than 5 stars - this novel and the whole series deserves more! I hope that many more people will enjoy these books now that they are available on the Kindle...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reliving the Adventure, 24 May 2014
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This review is from: The Launching of Roger Brook (Kindle Edition)
I first read Wheatley's sequence of adventures of Roger Brook whilst still a callow youth myself.
Now 60 years later I am re-living the edge-of-seat adventure once more.
The seamless intertwining of fact, time-frame and action made, and make, this a classic page-turner.
I cannot wait to vicariously live through the next episode of action, history and romance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Return of Roger Brook, 18 May 2014
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This review is from: The Launching of Roger Brook (Kindle Edition)
I first read the Roger Brook novels in my early teens, Dennis Wheatley was still writing them at the time and I was so enamoured of the series that I bought the last two in hardback as son as they were released( a substantial investment for someone who at that tie only had the money from a newspaper round. These were the books which introduced me to the Napoleonic wars , which are still a abiding interest to me today. There was no chance that this reissue would ever live up to my memories and yes the writing in some places seems a bit dated and the storyline lacks the convoluted twists and turns of today,s novels but it was still a highly enjoyable read and Dennis Wheatley's knowledge of the period is thorough . I will be buying the whole series again and this time they'll be on my kindle so won't be disposed of when I run out of space for my books. Would recommend these to anyone with an interest in this period
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Launching of Roger Brook, 25 April 2014
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This review is from: The Launching of Roger Brook (Kindle Edition)
I first read the Roger Brook stories many years ago and they are still magical. The principal characters have retained their fascination. As Wheatley explained they represent history without tears. Anyone interested in the French Revolution should read them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dennis Wheatley just amazing!!, 25 April 2014
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This review is from: The Launching of Roger Brook (Kindle Edition)
Unable to find words to say how great it is to be able to read once more the amazingRoger Brook series .I used to have them all in paperback in the sixties .Please make them all available soon .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 25 April 2014
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This review is from: The Launching of Roger Brook (Kindle Edition)
I first read many of these books when in my youth, I was fascinated then by this author's amazing ability to tell a good story and now I have discovered them on Kindle it is my firm intention to enjoy them again.

I strongly urge anyone who enjoys good adventure fiction to try them, you will not be disappointed, yes the language is a little flowery at times but only because they were written in a different age, you will soon find that only helps to immerse one in the action, enjoy!
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