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.
“How do we spot her then?” asked Webster Smythe, “we can’t follow every single passenger and find out if they’re heading to Manchester.”
“Any ideas?” asked Tompkins.
“I do,” said Daisy Henshaw, “I’ve got a pal at GCHQ, who’s a whizz with searches, searches through hotels, trains, taxis, airlines, electoral rolls, those sorts of things. He can feed in a list of names and addresses and have details of their onward plans back in about an hour. If you have the list of the people aboard that ship, he can tell us where most of them are going, which will narrow down our options to a manageable level.”
“Excellent, Daisy,” said Tompkins, removing a small disk from his waistcoat pocket, “here’s the inventory for you. Can you send it off to your patriotic pal and see what he can do for us, for his country, and for the people of England?”
“Absolutely,” said Daisy, taking the disk from Tompkins’s strong paw and plugging it into her laptop. As Daisy sent an email to GCHQ, Tomcat continued: “Once Daisy’s pal has narrowed down the field of potential people for us to manageable proportions, we can follow the likeliest candidates.”
“The other side of the coin is could we find out who she’s visiting in Manchester, Leicester, and Boston,” suggested Miles MacKenzie, “and then wait for her to arrive and see them?”
“Good point, Miles, oh how I prefer saying miles to kilometres, it makes me so patriotic, ” said Tompkins patting his chest, “anyway, yes that’s a thought, a great thought, but my understanding is that we don’t know who she is visiting.”
“Communists in Manchester, there must be some, because that’s where it all started in the 1840s when Engels came to Manchester and was appalled by the conditions the working classes were working in,” said Smythe. “Marx joined him on occasions and their investigations led to The Communist Manifesto.”