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.
“What – and you’re hoping she’s a lesbian, are you?”
“No, no, nothing like that. I was hoping you could just be an impartial observer of proceedings and see what happens in Manchester, Leicester, and Boston when she meets her friends, sympathisers, and adherents in those three places.”
“Wait a minute, this makes something Stalky said rather important and I didn’t understand what he meant by it, but when he was in his brief, rampant phase last night, he said he’d have to make the most of our time together as he would soon leave for Parkeston Quay.”
“That’s Harwich, the old name for Harwich port,” said Tompkins, polishing off his first main course of the lunch, “but hold on, in our plans, he wasn’t going anywhere near Harwich. He was driving down to the house on the Sussex coast and meeting with our pals to discuss how the monitoring exercise on Stalin 2.0 was progressing.”
“Well, it looks like he had no intention of doing that, Tomcat, he was going to Harwich to either meet or monitor Stalin 2.0 in person, so it looks like he has been playing his own game for a while.”
“Damn and blast – this is all unravelling in front of our eyes. Right, this is pigeon time, Miss S, we must know who’s on our side and who isn’t, don’t you think?”
“Absolutely, let’s get the boys together and sort things out.”
“Not yet, that’s what they will expect us to do, Miss S. I will sort my pigeons and ensure everyone knows the drill, hook, line, and sinker,” replied Tompkins holding up a giant paw to denote caution in matters.
Miss Scarlett looked disappointed and adjusted her hat – “Well, Tomcat, it’s your game, so we shall play things your way – I hope there aren’t more traitors in our midst in the same mould as Stalky Stark. What did the police do with the body of the Albanian au pair, do you know?”
“Yes, I got a pigeon about that this morning from my contact in Sussex – the au pair’s in the morgue in Chichester, awaiting identification, though I am not sure which person will do that, as her family is based in Tirana and can’t come over here without a visa. They also found an East European unconscious between her legs and he will be released this morning without charge. He claims he was knocked unconscious by an English football hooligan.”