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.
“Bish and bosh, Yuri,” said Tompkins under his breath, “I need the Jag back pronto, so I can run down to Bristol to see me pals down in the south-west, make it quick my vodka-drinking, sausage-eating, Russian-hating friend.”
Tomcat Tompkins arrived home and threw the box to the top of the stairs using three fingers from one hand, before heading into the kitchen.
“Filly…, Filly…, are you around – oh what’s this? A note from me wife stuck to the fridge with a magnet of King’s College, Cambridge, how patriotic – woof – anyway, what’s it say?”
“Gone for a jaunt with some whizzo pals to The Dark Side, see you on Friday, Tomcat, dinner is in The Dog as you weren’t here, and he so likes Lobster stuffed with Bulgar Wheat. Don’t eat the cat. Love, Filly. PS 3 Pigeons have arrived.” Tompkins smiled at the hidden meanings in her words and wondered how many of the Bulgarians would appreciate being sent to France in this manner.
Bigger things were now afoot. Three important pigeons had arrived. This could only mean one thing, secret information waiting for him upstairs in the loft: Who, When, and Where.
After bounding up the stairs, Tompkins saw those three pigeons sitting on a perch feeding on sunflower seeds. Besides Tomcat, Tompkins’s other nickname was The Power Station. People thought he had this name because he gave off lots of energy but that was not the main reason. He had this title because he was well connected, and the pigeons proved this. The ‘Who’ pigeon came from MI5 and was from a ‘sympathiser’ to Tompkins’s cause. The message on the pigeon’s leg gave grid coordinates plus a page number in code. Tompkins looked in his Atlas and found the right place, St Petersburg in Russia.
“Well, bugger me, the old blighter is on his way, he’s coming here to stir things up,” muttered Tompkins to himself, before removing the message from the ‘When’ pigeon. This bird had flown from a large estate near Sevenoaks in Kent. The terse message read – ‘the 28th’ – four days’ time. The message on the ‘Where’ pigeon, flown from Central London, gave a website address. Tompkins typed the URL into his computer and found what he was looking for.