The Dying Light by Henry Porter

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The Dying Light by Henry Porter

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A fast-paced political thriller set in the near future which is on the outer edges of probability, but is eerily, scarily possible. Recommended - a real page-turner.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: August 2009
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: 978-0752874845

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We're a little way into the future: the Prime Minister followed two whom you might recognise. The first was so dangerously casual that members of cabinet only realised what decisions had been taken when they read the papers the next day. His successor was prone to childish tantrums. The Olympics are spoken of in the past tense and John Temple's government is well-established under his seemingly calm leadership. It hasn't been without its glitches though.

A couple of years previously David Eyam, the acting head of the Joint Intelligence Committee, left his job in suspicious circumstances but the reasons have all been brushed under the carpet. It's likely to be completely forgotten now as the great and the good (and quite a few politicians) are gathered in a beautiful town in the Welsh Marches for Eyam's funeral. He was caught by a terrorist bomb in Columbia and what remains of him has been flown back to the area he loved so well.

Kate Lockhart loved Eyam, but somehow they never quite got together after their brief affair whilst they were both at Oxford. They hadn't met for two years after a rather childish squabble in New York where Kate was a Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyer – a profession derided as beneath her by Eyam. It's with deep sadness and regrets for what might have been that she goes to the funeral. When she discovers that she's the main beneficiary of his substantial estate she's deeply shocked, but there's a lot more to be revealed about David Eyam's legacy.

Henry Porter has delivered another tense political thriller. There were times when I was torn between wanting to rush forward and find out what was going to happen and having to put the book down so that I could breathe out. The pace never lets up for a minute and the plot is right on the further edge of what you might believe, but scarily, worryingly possible. The threat of terrorism makes us hold more tightly to those we feel might protect us, but what of the civil liberties which are being eroded 'for our own good'?

When you read this book it will be far too easy to believe that the political situation is fact. The background is pitch-perfect, from the offices of Downing Street and Chequers to the peace and tranquillity of the Welsh Marches. It is fiction though. I'm sure it could never happen. Honestly.

If you're looking for a holiday read which will leave you gasping for breath then this one would take some beating and I really want to thank the publishers for my review copy.

If this book appeals then we think you'll also enjoy Power Play by Gavin Esler.

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