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.
“To preserve the integrity of our close-knit pack of patriotic pals, yes, it is necessary, because it shows we won’t tolerate any spies, traitors, or turncoats. We have to preserve our order of fair play.”
A waiter came across to the table – “Tomcat, would you like us to cook the pigeon for you? Might I recommend poached?”
Tompkins’s stentorian boom of laughter reverberated around the room – “Oh well, I think my friend who owns this purebred racing pigeon would be upset about that. I will send him back with a message. Thank you for the suggestion – I am not that hungry.”
As the waiter left, Tompkins tore the parchment in two, putting the message in his top pocket and writing ‘Top-hole’ on the rest. He placed the message in the casket, clasped it to the pigeon’s leg, and walked out of the room. He returned a minute later looking satisfied.
“Message sent?” said Dr. Black.
“Absolutely, Bertie is on his way back to his owner.”
“There was something else in that message, Dr. There were 13 words, meaning that the person who wrote the message thinks the person she’s seeing will be unlucky. That can mean only one thing – knowledge of previous indiscretions I am unaware of. That is bad news for the victim.”
“And who is this, Tomcat, can you tell me?”
“Sorry, this is done on a need to know basis at the moment, as our group, our pal’s pact, our patriotic set have either been infiltrated or contains someone who is providing information to the people we are trying to overcome. We can’t have that, and we have to restrict certain information.”
“I understand, Tomcat, anyway I must leave, I have to operate tomorrow morning at 10am and I need my sleep.”