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.