Hibernia Unanimis: "Pro Deo, Rege et Patricia, Hibernia Unanimis" (For God, King and Country, Ireland is United) by John Piper
|Hibernia Unanimis: "Pro Deo, Rege et Patricia, Hibernia Unanimis" (For God, King and Country, Ireland is United) by John Piper|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: An alternative history thriller with a freakily well envisioned and extrapolated background. Greece leaves the Euro and the time is right for a dictator to arise from the one country you'd least expect. Most definitely worth a read from an author to watch. John Piper popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 293||Date: May 2015|
|Publisher: John Piper|
Benedict Plunkett calls a meeting of a small but select and distinguished group of Irish and US politicians, clergy and business men to whom he explains his plans for Hibernia Unanimis – a united Ireland. It will be raised up by and for the Irish in response to the new UKIP government in London. Before the great and the good leave Benedict's mansion they are asked to sign contracts if they want to be part of his future. Some sign, some don't but all think he's deluded and nothing will come of it. Then the accident happens and everyone takes Benedict a little more seriously as, in time, will the English government.
John Piper became a published author by accident after discussing some of his ideas with fellow holiday makers while away. This may have given him the impetus but it's a talent for original, dark twists that keeps the ideas and novels coming. Hibernia Unanimis, his third novel, is no exception as it deals with a central character and a theme that's as dark and twisted as they come – dictatorship fuelled by terrorism.
The first thing we notice is that the European political backdrop he sets it against is one that tallies closely to that which is unfolding as I write this (late June 2015). I won't spoil the whole scenario for you, but considering John wrote this a while ago, among other things it predicts the path of Greece apart from (hopefully) one or two minor differences.
The conditions are ripe for a dictator and John makes good use of that. Benedict Plunkett rises from a disparate Ireland to put his point across in a forceful manner. He may have mental health issues (fascinatingly profiled by the British government's expert in the story) but gosh, is he patient! (Talking of patience reminds me: initially it seems to us that the first bit of the book is an almost throwaway prologue but we should pay attention – nothing is for nothing.)
Benedict is clever, ruthless and graphically violent, adding to the paranoia and fear that builds as we read on. From time to time there may be a little almost Victorian-level moustache-twirling and some of the characters occasionally recap unnecessarily, but the pervading aura is that of suspense as we plump for Gerry, the Irish blue-blood who becomes Benedict's puppet with no obvious means of escape.
John's narrative style is that of crime noir, giving it an almost documentary feel. This is added to by the other real-life organisations that come out of the woodwork as it escalates, meaning Gerry can trust no one and that fatal accident' can come from anywhere at any time. A climate like this causes just as many headaches for my other favourite: the indomitable Treadwell.
Treadwell is a good, old fashioned British Intelligence operative at a thinking-outside-the-box best. He makes the novel into a story based around a triumvirate of characters who leap into our imaginations, making Hibernia Unanimis a real summer-reading page turner.
(We'd like to thank the author for providing us with a copy for review.) You can read more about John Piper here.
Further Reading: If you enjoy a spot of alternative history we definitely recommend Plan D by Simon Urban and Katy Derbyshire (Translator)
John Piper was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy Hibernia Unanimis: "Pro Deo, Rege et Patricia, Hibernia Unanimis" (For God, King and Country, Ireland is United) by John Piper at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Hibernia Unanimis: "Pro Deo, Rege et Patricia, Hibernia Unanimis" (For God, King and Country, Ireland is United) by John Piper at Amazon.com.
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