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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 27 July 2014
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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on 15 June 2017
Thank you for an excellent copy of wonderful series by opener one of Britain's great storytellers, Dennis Wheatley. This series of novels is set in the French civil war period; circa 1789. Roger Brooke is Wm. Pitts special secret agent rescuing the imperilled in Paree. A mixture of fact mingled with dashing daring-do ensures that readers will be highly entertained throughout.
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on 12 October 2010
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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on 17 April 2017
Fully recommended-as a teenager I Read all of Denis Wheatley's occult book but did not know about this series. I very much look forward to reading the rest.
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on 29 April 2017
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on 22 July 2017
All very good thank you Oliver
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on 29 January 2010
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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on 15 February 2015
The print is far too small to read even with glasses on
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on 10 January 2011
Very wary of this at first, kept expecting for a long time black magic and satanism to rear it's ugly head, or to be a 'bodice ripper'. Only tempted to try this first in the Roger Brook series from, of all things, a question on University Challenge of who is the author of these Napoleonic War novels? Had never heard of them. From the start I could not put it down, cannot remember when so totally absorbed in a book. As well as being the most extraordinary and exciting story, I feel I have learnt more about pre-revolutionary France from this one novel than I could learn from loads of heavy political tomes, and French novels. Absolutely and totally brilliant from first to the last page. Very wary at start, as I really did not know where it was going, Rakes progress? Moll Flanders? Tom Jones abroad? Not a bit of it, detailed history, serious, but rip roaring, exciting adventure with a totally likeable hero. Forget Sharpe, (which I adore), Hornblower, Master & Commander, etc. Why have these not been re-printed! Half way through my tatty little second hand copy, immediately searched out and bought in one fell swoop all other 11 in the series. (There are 12 in all). Cannot wait for the next in series to arrive to continue the adventures which can only I feel get better as it approaches the time of the French Revolution.
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VINE VOICEon 26 October 2005
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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