One thing struck me straight away about this book and bugged me whenever a character was introduced, the complete naffness of their names. Goodfellowe is the prime example, and all the characters follow a similar trait. It’s very annoying and actually began annoying me whenever a name was mentioned. It actually succeeded in pulling me out of the story each time.
However, that gripe out of the way, I found that the story itself was extremely real, and not just in the London setting, but the reality of people and their decisions. I liked it for that. It was also style of writing just seemed to bring everything to the level of that of everyday life, even though I had never experienced life in politics. It just all seemed so real and so natural. I think many writers miss that part, just making the characters real to the reader.
What it also tried to do was not make a high level political action story, but by pulling in a lower level politician and focusing on his involvement it kept the story to that same level of belief, even when the actions are ramped up, you aren’t distracted by them in some Clancy-esque moment. It still remains about the characters.
With that, Dobbs manages to successfully get across some serious political views, and very easily at that. I whole heartedly agree with him on the idea that we are reducing our armed forces, yet expecting more of them. In fact we are treating our soldiers as the lowest of workers. Expected to fight and defend our country, lately it seems on the whims of Politicians, and then taking them home and dumping them at retirement or shutting down their regiments. Something we can feel quite strongly about in Scotland. What I do think is worse is the treatment of the foot soldier after alleged war crimes. Follow orders now…now stop and use your own mind…now back to orders…oh hold on, I know you’re being shot at, but just a moment…
I’m digressing seriously. Let me address that issue in a normal post. So, the book is good, enjoyable, and very real. However, it’s exceedingly light to read, and despite liking the reality, I think it felt like it could have taken a bit more weight.
Something else I noticed was that the action seemed to reach a peak really quickly and before I knew it everything was over. Perhaps that is the sign of a really good book. However, it just left it as a nice evening read for me.