This definitely gets an “Oblique Good Read Award”.
It’s a political thriller- and a satire.
It was written by Andrew Marr, well-known in the UK as a political writer and broadcaster (and artist). As such, it has a ring of authenticity, and echoes of his drily witty, sometimes tongue-in-cheek voice.
The novel is set in the middle of a European referendum campaign. There is a crisis in the pro-Europe camp, which results in a fiendish plot. I won’t give you any spoilers; it is in many ways farcical, but none the worse for that.
There is a great cast of characters: politicians, press, broadcasters, criminals and others. Many are larger than life, and enjoyably so. The Prime Minister is “magisterial” with “louche private behaviour”. The leader of the anti-Europe faction is a dominatrix. Yes, really; but luckily I don’t think Mr Marr will win any bad sex awards. One or two real personalities appear, and there are references to Mr Marr’s own Sunday morning TV programme. It appears there are some in-jokes, such as a knighthood for one broadcaster.
A huge selling point for me is that the book is plot-driven. I read it in two days, acknowledging the satire but gripped by wanting to know the outcome. There is also some nice use of language: for example, one character is “dishevelled”, another is “shevelled”. The authentic-sounding detail of politics and political places is used well but not excessively. As it was written in 2014, it necessarily has been overtaken in certain ways by events, which does not in any way prevent it from being a thoroughly enjoyable read.