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on 30 September 2015
Tom Goodfellowe emerges throughout this novel as that rare thing in the public perception, an MP who is driven by his conscience.

We first meet him cycling to The House where he has been summoned on a three line whip to support the Government in a series of parliamentary votes. The majority is slim, and members have been either cajoled or threatened to ensure they turn out. Goodfellowe is now a backbencher but not long before he had been a Minister, and had been tipped for a golden future. Following a combination of personal tragedy and crass misjudgement he had lost his way, his ministerial post and his driving licence.

For various reasons Goodfellowe finds himself missing several of the votes that evening, being summoned on a mission of mercy to help a young Chinese woman, one of his neighbours, who has been arrested as a consequence of a rather farcical series of events. The events following on from Goodfellowe's intervention will prove to be cataclysmic, and Goodfellowe will find his path crossing that of Frederick Corsa, press magnate and would-be power broker.

Dobbs knows his parliamentary turf very well, having been an adviser to both Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and he portrays the Machiavellian dealings of party whips with the same verve that he brought to his famous 'House of Cards' novels. Although this both was written almost twenty years ago, it has a searing topicality, dealing with issues of press intrusion in private life, MPs' expenses and outside interests and over-zealous lobbying.

Very entertaining!
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on 21 August 1999
Why is it that so many current protagonists are middle aged, paunchy, and have domestic problems? Goodfellowe MP (both the character and the book) is less self-pitying, and therefore more sympathetic, than most. If you choose to take this as an entertainment, then the tribulations of Thomas Goodfellowe when the wicked press-baron drives him between the rock of family loyalties and the hard place of his conscience are intriguing and enjoyable. But if this is a documentary it goes to prove Winston Churchill's adage that you should not watch either laws or sausages being made. And if it IS a documentary, you will never want to vote or buy a newspaper again. But of course it isn't documentary, it is fiction, so that's OK. Turn the pages, and enjoy it.
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on 19 April 2015
Goodfellowe MP is a likeable character who finds himself in many predicaments which are sometimes quite appalling. The way he deals with the situations in which he finds himself are often amusing. Throughout the book you are willing Goodfellowe to succeed. The way the author describes the scandalous proceedings by newspaper journalists is quite eye-opening, especially how they can manipulate MP's for their own gains. A very readable book.
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on 13 April 2014
Brilliant writer with inside knowledge. Had trouble putting it down after I started. Along with the House of Cards trilogy an excellent read.
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on 21 February 2002
If you liked House of Cards etc, this is one for you. A hopeless hero, and full of political shenanigans, it brings the world of Westminster to life.
Just fiction? Who knows!
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on 19 September 2015
Michael Dobbs is a brilliant writer. If you liked the House of cards series, this is book 1 of another political series which I read many years ago and about to re-read
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on 24 December 2014
Interesting and exciting a book that keeps you transfixed until the end. A conflict between politics and the press that is set in the mean streets of Westminster.
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on 18 October 2015
Fantastic writing with a real sense of Goodfellowe's plight. An intelligent and slick political thriller which left me dashing for the sequel!
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on 15 December 2013
A very readable, enjoyable and interesting book, well up to his usual standard. I enjoy the insights into UK politics which he brings.
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on 19 February 2012
It`s quite rare to find a writer who can grab your undivided attention.

I`ve read all the Wilbur Smith`s, the Robert Ludlum`s,the Ken Follet`s

and with many hours of reading pleasure I ve found Michael Dobbs
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