Start reading Secret State on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Secret State

Secret State [Kindle Edition]

Chris Mullin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £4.12 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £3.87 (48%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Whispersync for Voice

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of £3.49 after you buy the Kindle book. Learn More


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £4.12  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £6.15  
Audio Download, Unabridged £14.00 or Free with 30-day free trial
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: At least 60% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Description

Product Description

Based on the novel by Labour MP Chris Mullin, and adapted for the screen by Alan Plater (Fortunes of War), A Very British Coup imagines what might have happened if a Left-Wing Labour MP had become Prime Minister of the UK at the end of the 1980s. Radical Leftist Harry Perkins (Ray McNally), an unassuming working class politician from Sheffield, stands for open and honest government. Despite a landslide victory for Labour, Perkins is fighting for his seat from day one as the right-wing establishment and its American allies scheme to plot his downfall. Adultery, blackmail and conspiracies abound, Perkins remains committed to his socialist agenda. But when politics gets dirty, can he play the game and win?


"'Rattles along with speed and great credibility' The Times 'A delicious fantasy... crisply written and the story belts along' Observer 'A world of power struggle in Downing Street, Fleet Street, Whitehall and Washington' New Statesman 'A spiffing read... calculated to grip blue-rinsed Conservative ladies and make Socialist eyes pop' People"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 761 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (30 Sep 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005KJ7AXQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #49,990 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Chris Mullin has been the Labour MP for Sunderland South since 1987. He chaired the Home Affairs Select Committee and served in three departments. He is the author of the bestselling novel A Very British Coup, re-published by Serpent's Tail, which was turned into an award-winning television series.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be Warned 6 Nov 2012
This is not a follow up to Chris Mullin's book 'A Very British Coup' - this IS Chris Mullin's book 'A Very British Coup' under a new title because of a TV tie-in. A new version of the TV series is being shown under a new title and so the book is retitled too. Amazon do not make this clear (I wonder if they even realise it) but if, like me, you have the original DO NOT buy this book. If you do NOT have the original and you remember the 70's and the dark rumours concerning Harold Wilson and the secret service of the day then you will enjoy this I am sure.
Was this review helpful to you?
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars how it would be 14 Dec 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic DVD . Magnificently acted ( A fitting tribute to Ray McAnally ) As someone who was involved in the political scene of that time I found the characters frighteningly real. A great political thriller and superb read. The political analysis is spot on. Would give it six stars if I could
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More prophesy than entertainment? 2 April 2005
By Andy V
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A Very British Coup is one of the landmark political dramas. Gripping from the outset. The election of a truly left-wing government and Prime Minister, who are intent on driving through their left-wing (and popular) agenda, scares the establishment into increasingly desperate machinations to discredit the elected representatives and regain control. What makes this drama so compulsive is the plausibility. I have an uneasy feeling that the situation this film portrays is more prophesy than entertainment.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Exciting after 20 years 10 Mar 2009
Expecting this to be an interesting historical piece (even in the 80s a lot of the source material was based on the experience of leftist governments in the 70s) there was so much to enjoy that is as relevant as ever. The reference early on to jailing city bankers who had messed up the economy raised a smile. The compliant pro-American free market Labour politicians, who plotted against Perkins we know only too well. Harry Perkins is still the British left's Jed Bartlett, the best fictional leader we never had
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radical New Labour 18 Oct 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Based on a 1970s novel this TV movie shows the son of a steelwoker Harry Perkins as Britain's first Radical, Pro-Communist, Labour Prime Minister. He has to deal with party factions, difficult unions and media moghals as well as a conspiracy of government officals and secret agents who seek his downfall. A very British coup, no blood, no revolution, just constant pressure and obstruction to force his resignation. Slickly made with excellent acting from Ray McAnally as the blunt spoken Perkins who is more devious than he seems. I remember this well from Thatcherite '88 when a socialist goverment was truly in the realms of fiction.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who really choses our Government? 14 Nov 2004
From what I gather from the interview on the DVD, the book was written at a time when politics was polarised and the different parties had very little in the way of common ground. Like "Yes, Minister" it takes the idea that the Civil Service has its own policies and agenda and runs with it.
The story is that a Socialist Labour Party is elected. That automatically puts the party on the wrong side of the press (especially a barely-disguised Murdoch like figure), the "Establishment" and, with their nuclear disarmament policy, the US.
As other reviewers have commented, the plot is that the above 3 disaffected parties launch their own, clandestine, campaign to unseat the current Prime Minister.
The film asks whether the electorate chooses the Goverment or the Establisment chooses the electorate. The film is plausible and is, consequently, scary.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very British Thriller 3 April 2013
Among politics junkies nowadays, Chris Mullin is best remembered for his laudable campaigns against miscarriages of justice. That's when he is remembered at all, for he was an obscure politician. What many don't know is that he also once wrote a rather good novel. 'A Very British Coup' is one of the most fun thrillers you will ever read, though it does help if you have a general interest in politics. Not real politics, but the type of counterfeit that requires you to vote tribally and thoughtlessly, placing an 'X' in a box once every few years.

In truth, politics is quite a dry business. In a way, Mullin succeeds here because he portrays the political game in a way that we would like to believe it is but which, deep down, we know it isn't. Here there are 'goodies' and 'baddies' of the type that resemble the cynical cut-outs portrayed in the popular media and from the demagogic margins. Real politics isn't like that, but the fantasy world depicted by the media eschews reality for false dichotomies, moral outrage, construed conflict and manufactured confrontation. The central character in 'A Very British Coup', and the hero, is 'Harry Perkins', a populist left-wing politician who somehow becomes Prime Minister. Perkins has campaigned in poetry and plans to govern in overt, hard-left prose. Railed against him are the shadowy forces of the Establishment: in the main, certain rogue figures in the intelligence community who do not want to see Britain transformed into what, presumably, Perkins would consider a 'fair' society. The plot charts the machinations of Perkins' enemies and the hero's fight against them. The plans to thwart Perkins get nastier as the story progresses.

The naiveté and political illiteracy of the premise doesn't matter.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good buy
Well received gift.
Published 8 hours ago by wizzasmum
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good read
Published 16 days ago by M. E. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insight into British parliament and its machinations
Excellent insight into British parliament and its machinations! It feels as if you have been inside No 10 Downing Street. A good read.
Published 19 days ago by david queale
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see.
Great film which highlights the length with which the ruling elite will stop a democratically elected socialist government.
Published 20 days ago by Ms. R. Fryer
2.0 out of 5 stars Misssing episode.
The copy we received was missing one episode. Very frustrating as we knew the story from past years and were disappointed not to see the whole story unfold.
Published 28 days ago by Susan C. Henshall
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Prompt delivery and as described
Published 1 month ago by Martin McCarth
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I much preferred Alan Plater's tv adaptation . . .
Published 1 month ago by bill diver
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite of his books is still A view from the ...
I've read all of Chris Mullin's books and I'm a big fan. My favourite of his books is still A view from the foothills, but Secret State came a close second.
Published 2 months ago by Val Woolridge
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very British Coup
Some of these reviews are in the wrong place !! This is a DVD , not a book !!
This is simply the best TV drama ever made . Ignore all the other reviews !!! Read more
Published 3 months ago by chunky monkey
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, not dulled by the passage of time and the change in...
I'd seen part of the TV version some years ago and always ment to read the book. Set in an age before the internet and mobile telephones, when nationalised industries and the USSR... Read more
Published 4 months ago by G. Wake
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category