blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Time To Lie – Simon Berthon*

A divisive prime minister.

A long-buried body. A plot to bring him down…

The bigger the secret the more dangerous it is to lie…

On the morning of the Tory Party conference, the bones of a young woman’s hand are discovered in a London building site.

Jed Fowkes, Special Adviser at the Treasury, confronts Prime Minister Robin Sandford with a terrible accusation. He claims the hand belongs to someone they once knew well: a young woman whom Sandford murdered years ago.

With his career on the brink of ruin, the Prime Minister’s only hope is to enlist the unofficial help of MI5. A decision which leads him into a new world of espionage, illegal trafficking and murder.

And the deeper he goes, the more treacherous the game becomes. Because now it’s not just his life on the line; it’s the future of the state itself…

My thoughts:

A political thriller with a prime minister under threat, a journalist going on the hunt, a young MI5 agent undercover, dodgy dealings and possible murdered women in the past coming back from the dead.

There’s a lot going on here, including at least two different but intertwining conspiracies, both dating back twenty to thirty years, with innocent women suffering at the hands of cruel and manipulative men.

The only male character who doesn’t seem to be at least semi awful is ex-journalist Quine, the PM and SPADs, and other politicians are all as smarmy and ghastly as you’d imagine. The female characters fare better, MI5 agent Isla and her partner, Sophie, who happens to be Quine’s daughter, are both decent and intelligent people with their own agency. I felt sorry for the PM’s wife Carol, who seemed to have given up her own career to follow his, and that’s not even a requirement anymore. She’s asked to provide money and help him while knowing nothing. He should trust her more.

Then there’s the magnificent Mrs T, who deserves her own book about her exploits as I bet she was more than just a Cornish housewife when she was younger. Quine can join in her in one last adventure.

This was very clever and engrossing, but I really wanted to push Jed off a bridge just for being a creep, and have the PM resign and his clearly too good for him wife become leader, and then put things to rights.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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