- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1258 KB
- Print Length: 234 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1549531115
- Publisher: Submission Accepted Publishing (16 Aug. 2017)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B074W9X2D2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 35 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #131,546 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The influence of Orwell, Dick and Bradbury is clear throughout the book, while not detracting from the originality of the setting (suburban Nottinghamshire), and is darkly satirical of current Middle Eastern politics and Political Correctness, as well as the historical purges of Nazi Germany and Communist Russia. In fact, the setting - for once not London - is exactly that of DH Lawrence, his social divisions replaced with more sinister alternatives. There is a moral ambiguity about both the oppressors and the oppressed, raising the issue of what happens during and after totalitarianism.
As the twin story arcs converge at the end of the book, the overwhelming feeling is 'I should have seen this coming' - given the subject matter, this is as true for the protagonists as it is for the reader.
A thought-provoking and uneasy read, taking events happening right now and superimposing them onto 'middle England', but no less compelling for it.
The chief characters Peter and Richard are linked with the police which has been turned into a repressive machine to enforce the will of the new order. They face dilemmas and personal tragedies which gradually turn them into opponents of the system. Much of the action is set in Nottingham and contact is made with resisters nearby in Derbyshire who receive occasional help from the Chinese who are locked in conflict with DT at a global level.
The story-line is haphazard and jerky in places but the reader’s attention is held by the pace and vivid accounts of the confrontation between ill-matched opponents.
I wondered if the overpowering violence was simply too excessive. Without it being spelled out it looks as if a big swathe of the population has been killed in Rwanda-style massacres from Spurs fans slaughtered en masse after a football match to ordinary citizens who are butchered, their children taken away to face an unknown fate.
Women face terrible exploitation & the Nottingham leaders seem obsessed with satisfying their carnal lust. Family relationships disintegrate in an English landscape of unrelieved savagery and sudden death. Paradoxically, it is previously-enslaved women who play a key role in ruthlessly hunting down and killing the DT cadres after Chinese assistance enables a rebellion to gather pace.
Shazia, a Persian woman who has no compunction of slaughtering male members of her family, is perhaps the most clearly-etched character in the book. She provides a clue as to why England fell so low when she observes:
‘...the government elites didn’t realise how many people would “go over” as quickly as they did. Public figures, journalists, academics, intellectuals and even celebrities “went over”...sold out and joined the DT after years of virtue signalling. They helped silence criticism by believing they’d be favoured later on. They faced the biggest shock when their heads rolled just like everyone else’s’.
The author’s knowledge of the world of the British police in the early 21st century enables him to show how a force riddled with political correctness is suborned by the DT, purged and turned into a tool for its rapine and plunder. This reader was left puzzled as to why DT collapsed so quickly and, indeed, how leaders obsessed with satisfying material and sexual urges took over in the first place. Peter is told by David, an ex-teacher that apathy and complacency had become ingrained in the English collective character, enabling a ruthless rabble to prevail.
Dan Hastings has written a gripping futuristic tale. I suspect that in an earlier generation he would have had no difficulty in having it published. But an ossified and introverted London publishing world is now in the grip of shallow, parochial people who understandably flee from taking on a crude but melodramatic and absorbing nightmarish glimpse into a possible future.
In the hands of a good editor this book could have been honed down into an even more vivid and engaging story. But the last I heard there were few editors left in the self-satisfied world of publishing and that much of the work had been delegated to interns unmatched in their caution and absence of imagination.
There are some frustrations caused by the failure to develop characters and integrate the story-line more effectively. But Dan Hastings has a strong literary voice and I hope more is heard from him in the future.
I found this book intriguing because it is set in my home town and had echoes of elements of that which I was so familiar – that is before the policing disappeared altogether. The author allows our imagination to flourish and I love the subtly of the ending (I wouldn’t want to give any of this plot away, far too good to not allow other readers to experience the same journey). This was one of only a handful of books that I have read where I couldn’t stop reading it, even waking in the middle of the night and taking it up again. I had to go back to the beginning to discover what DT stood for (Divine Truth) which I think is mentioned only once at the beginning and promptly forgotten by me; whether intended or not by the author, every time DT appeared I could only think of the initials of a current world leader who could (is) devastating the world in the same way!
This is a must read for anyone who has a conscience or failing that it’s just plain entertaining.
Pat McDonald British Crime author.
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A dystopian story of a future that may not be that far fetched, if the world continues on its...Read more
A truly gripping read.