It is 1943, World War II, and secret agent Gregory Sallust is parachuted into Nazi Germany. In the company of an ex-Bolshevik General named Stefan Kuporovitch, the two of them join forces with the widow of a German diplomat who is in contact with Allied Intelligence. It is through her that Gregory becomes unwillingly involved with a Black Magician and when, 16 months later, they meet again, each decides to use occult forces in an attempt to destroy Hitler once and for all....
Dennis Yates Wheatley (1897 - 1977) was an English author whose prolific output of stylish thrillers and occult novels made him one of the world's best-selling writers from the 1930s through the 1960s. His Gregory Sallust series was one of the main inspirations for Ian Fleming's James Bond stories.
Born in South London, he was the eldest of three children of an upper-middle-class family, the owners of Wheatley & Son of Mayfair, a wine business. He admitted to little aptitude for schooling, and was expelled from Dulwich College. Soon after his expulsion Wheatley became a British Merchant Navy officer cadet on the training ship HMS Worcester. During the Second World War, Wheatley was a member of the London Controlling Section, which secretly coordinated strategic military deception and cover plans. His literary talents gained him employment with planning staffs for the War Office. He wrote numerous papers for the War Office, including suggestions for dealing with a German invasion of Britain. Dennis Wheatley died on 11th November 1977. During his life he wrote over 70 books and sold over 50 million copies.
Amazing story line. As near as you get with a story integrated with WW2. Glad to have the opportunity to listen to his stories.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
A rattling good story by an excellent write spoiled by bad reader. Such a great shame.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to They Used Dark Forces again? Why?
No. but only because I have read it more than once, so probably will not again.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
When I read it when I was younger; I thought the black magic twist on the story was the most interesting. Now that I am older, I found the political discussions about the second world War and the main characters views the most interesting or( Dennis Wheatleys views to be more accurate) But I suppose people wanting more action, and faster plotting may not like these discussions.
Which character – as performed by Nick Mercer – was your favourite?
He performed them all well, you could tell the difference between Characters. And his voice suits this type of story, he sounds like each individual character. In fact he suits all the Wheatly books in my opinion.
Any additional comments?
Although the story is a bit dated now, and some readers may be put off by long political discussions concerning the Second world war. and, there are aspects of a certain attitude of
(stiff upper lip to the narrative) it is an exciting book.
it portrays a certain type of british hero that may not have really existed, but it certainly is a very good tale of the fight against Evil ;and the occult part of it, adds another dimension.
I think his other books on black magic are better ,as this is really just an old time adventure tale, with a bit of occultism thrown in. But there is drama ,action, and suspense in it,and although it perhaps has not aged as well as it could have done, there is no doubt that Wheatly could write a good adventure story. I only gave it three stars because of its age, but apart from that, it does have merit if you like old fashioned writing.