One doomed Prime Minister. Two would-be successors. But who's pulling the strings?
The second novel from Britain's foremost political commentator is a thrillingly intimate look at the inner workings of Whitehall and who really controls party politics.
The Labour Party has unexpectedly won a narrow majority in the 2018 general election. But the new government is weak and divided, its unpopular leader embattled in the House of Commons.
A group of eminent figures from the party's past see an opportunity to reestablish their grip over its future by replacing the Prime Minister with a figurehead they can manipulate to their own ends. But who will they choose?
Two possible candidates emerge from the recent intake of MPs: David Petrie, a self-made Scot with a working-class background and a troubled personal history; and Caroline Phillips, a high-flying Londoner whose complicated private life could be either her greatest handicap or her greatest asset.
Against a backdrop of intrigue and betrayal at the Palace of Westminster, both must struggle with the sacrifices and compromises they will have to make if they are to seize the greatest political prize of all.
In his second novel, Andrew Marr draws on his unrivalled inside knowledge of British politics to expose the foibles, duplicities and absurdities of those we elect to govern us.
©2015 Andrew Marr (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Praise for Head of State: "Brilliant." (Mail on Sunday)
"Riveting." (Sunday Times)
"The hottest thriller in town." (Evening Standard)
"The Machiavellian melodrama of House of Cards veers into The Thick of It, and then off into the shadows where fixers out of John Le Carre lurk.... Marr excels.... Lively and enjoyable." (Independent)
"Andrew Marr is a marvel...what makes Head of State worth reading is that Marr is unbuttoned...witty and wicked." (New Statesman)
Really enjoyed Marr's latest offering. He yet again manages to fusion his inside knowledge of the workings of parliament, and all the back stabbing and deal making that goes on.
Having recently had aspirations of standing for parliament in the future myself, having read this book I'm now less inclined. Marr manages to incapsulate their lonely existence well.
For any political junkies like me this is an excellent listen.
As a politics hound I was curious to see what Marr came up with in this novel. I found the elements that dealt with inside political machinations such as selection process, and the wheeling and dealing of it, or the timing of an MP's first speech to the house and it's content all extremely interesting. However, as the plot moved forwards tension didn't mount and the dramatic elements used were in my opinion, not that juicy, not so real.
I would love to see more of Marr writing about fictionalised politics and journalism, perhaps in a sort of political sci fi sort of thing, which this novel borders on in this place. Marrs experience is well placed to give us imaginings in this realm. But in terms of thrill and theatrics, this book lacks in the final third. Maybe because Marr is unsure whether this is political drama, crime thriller, or a cutting satire. It is all in part, but none in entirety.
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