Political Suicide by Robert Barnard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I chose yet another book by British author Robert Barnard to serve as a diversion during my trolley commutes. The last one that I read by Mr. Barnard, The Bones in the Attic", was not particularly good, so I did not have high hopes for "Political Suicide". I was quite wrong!
A Tory Member of Parliament for a Yorkshire district is found drowned in Thames, not that far from the Palace of Westminster. Suicide is suspected but murder cannot be ruled out. Chief Superintendent Sutcliffe investigates the case, the last case before his retirement. The criminal thread is moderately interesting, but it is by no means the best part of the book.
"Political Suicide" is primarily a hilarious satire on British politics. Written in 1986 (many of us remember who was the Prime Minister at that time), the novel lampoons politicians from all three major British political parties (the Tories, the Labour, and the SDP-Liberal Alliance). Let me quote one of innumerable funny passages: "Early on in his stint as a junior minister a newspaper had called him 'the thinking man's Tory', and the label had stuck, possibly because there was so little competition. The occasion for the label had been a thoughtful speech on the nature of conservatism which could, by a generous stretching of the term, have been called philosophical." Politicians from other parties are mercilessly ridiculed as well. I loved reading this book not only because of Mr. Barnard skillful pen. Like him, I believe that the majority of politicians are cheats, thieves, morons, and, generally, the worst scum of the earth.
Three and three quarter stars.
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