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The Rook (Rook Files #1) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

The story begins with the main character, a woman named Myffanwy (rhymes with Tiffany) Thomas standing in a London park at night, in the pouring rain, with bodies all around her and no memory of who she is. There are a pair of letters in his jacket pocket informing her that the prior occupant of the body had made preparations for exactly this eventuality and instructions on how to protect herself. Thomas learns that she is a high-ranking official in an ultra-secret organization that has protected England against the supernatural for centuries and that she has become the victim of a traitor within that organization for purposes of which she was not---before her amnesia or after---in the least aware. The new Myffanwy had the possibility of escaping and leading a wholly new life away from the organization...or reentering it and finding the traitor. She chooses the latter and finds a suitcase full of letters explaining the arcane, byzantine world through which she had been moving as best as her former self could manage. With these letters and a personality quite different from her former self, the new Rook Thomas goes to battle to save England and herself and find the traitor who will surely do this to her again. A great deal of fun, The Rook is in some ways reminiscent of Charles Stross's Laundry novels (The Atrocity Archives, The Jennifer Morgue), but offers a flavor all its own. A combination of MI5, the X-Files, and every secret society in literature, the world depicted is delightfully weird, dangerous, and oddly plausible in the way it handles the politics involved. Highly recommended. -- Mark's Pick


A quick-witted, genre-bending, and wildly imaginative thriller about the secret organization keeping England--and the world--safe from supernatural threats (one staff meeting at a time).
"The body you are wearing used to be mine." So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, THE ROOK is a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.

About the Author

Dan O'Malley graduated from Michigan State University and earned a Master's Degree in medieval history from Ohio State University. He then returned to his childhood home, Australia. He now works for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, writing press releases for government investigations of plane crashes and runaway boats.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316098809
ISBN-10: 0316098809
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: October 16th, 2012
Pages: 486
Language: English
Series: Rook Files