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.
“That’s a great idea, Tomcat,” said Spiffy Wiffy, “what do you say, Detective Inspector?”
“I’d like to know where Mr. Tompkins gets his information, his data, his sureness of everything,” replied Ingram.
“Well, I am well connected, people know where I live, and feel they can share information with me.” Tompkins took out an envelope from his Savile Row jacket, which was so well tailored no one would have known an envelope lurked inside and handed it to Ingram.
Ingram opened the envelope. He spread the contents on the desk. All the information was there – the arrival, the itinerary, the speaking engagements, the departure.
“And all this just arrived through your letterbox one morning, did it?” asked Ingram.
“It did, PC Ingram, I’ve no idea what time as I don’t get up in the mornings, other than today. It could have been 6am, 9am, 11am, I’ve no idea and to be frank it doesn’t matter. This could be vital information to preserve the future of our beautiful country, this royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle, this earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, this other Eden, demi-paradise, this fortress built by Nature for herself, against infection and the hand of war, this happy breed of men, this little world, this precious stone set in a silver sea, which serves it in the office of a wall, or as a moat defensive to a house, against the envy of less happier lands, this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.”
“Very impressive, that’s Richard II, isn’t it?” asked Spiffy Wiffy.
“It is,” replied Tomcat, “I played the King in the school production, y’know.”
“Why am I not surprised?” said Ingram looking at the papers and wondering how on earth one person gained access to all this top-secret information. This data had come from MI5, MI6, the Foreign Office, and from overseas. Friends in high places didn’t even come close to describing the level of Tompkins’s contacts, more like friends in the 8,000-metre peaks of the world.