This novel is something a little different for me. It is a satire set in the
UK at the present moment. There are striking parallels between these days and
the 1930s. There’s a lot of racist people around who are crawling out of the
woodwork as they have been encouraged by the implications of the Brexit vote.
“Do you need an export license for that?” asked Tompkins picking up Ingram and placing him in the room. Tomcat Tompkins had the strength of three strong men or five weaklings, depending on your point of view.
“No licenses required, if you do it illegally,” replied Ingram straightening his clothes. He looked around at the 14 members of The Archers group, most of whom were affecting cupid-like poses and aiming their imaginary arrows at paintings on the wall.
“And how does this Whopper Gang get these tourists past the customs and excise people who are manning our ports and harbours with such great vigilance?” asked Tompkins aiming an imaginary arrow out of the window.
“We haven’t worked that out yet,” replied Ingram, “there must be some collusion going on we’re not aware of.”
“Shame about that,” said Wet Bob, “you don’t think they’re being taken on a cross-channel ferry or one of those hover things, rather than on a train?”
“No, it’s via the Channel Tunnel, because the French authorities are suddenly aware of ten drugged people in a small area, all of whom are wearing Guy Fawkes’ masks such as those seen in the film V for Vendetta.”
“Sounds like those Whopper Boys are Protestants, Ingram, my lad, there’s a clue for you and free of charge,” said Tompkins, doing fifty one-handed press-ups as he was getting bored with proceedings.
“Does your group ever meet outside, where there’s plenty of room to shoot arrows at targets over the requisite distances?” asked Ingram.
“Well, what a damn fine idea that is, Inspector, and no mistake,” replied Dry Bob Bentonshaw, “it would save on the damage to the interior decor of Papa’s house in Surrey and the small estate shed we use on the grouse moor in Northumberland.”
“Perhaps we should try shooting pheasants with our bows,” said Ginger Brenton-Smith, “that would improve our aim.”