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.
“Is there a Groucho Club in Manchester?” asked Tompkins.
“I’ve never heard of one,” said Webster, “why do you ask?”
“Just being silly,” replied Tompkins, “I always hoped Groucho was a long-lost grandson of old Karl, that’s all.”
“How about, Old Trafford, where Man Utd play?” asked Daisy.
“I don’t follow,” replied Tompkins.
“Well, they’re called The Reds and there are meeting rooms at the ground,” said Daisy, “I will ask my GCHQ pal to check to see whether there’s any likely meetings on 29th and 30th June.” Daisy emailed again.
“Do Communists possess such a sense of humour?” asked Tompkins
“They might not want to meet somewhere that’s so high-profile,” said MacKenzie, “after all this is a low-key visit by someone who’s not well known yet, even in Russia, so it would make sense to just meet with a few people in a coffee shop somewhere and not even book a room, as that leaves a trail for people to follow and investigate.”
“I would agree,” added Smythe, “she’d just meet 3 or 4 people, the leaders of their own groups and have a discussion. There’d be no stand-up meeting with crowds in attendance.”
“But – how do we deal with that possibility?” asked Tompkins in an exasperated tone, “we can’t watch all the coffee shops can we?”
“Well, Tomcat, if you ponder the situation, that few people could meet in someone’s house, they don’t need to go anywhere,” said Daisy.
“I’d say not,” said MacKenzie, “that would draw attention to an actual address and they’re unlikely to do that.”
“We must follow her there and see where she goes,” concluded Smythe, looking round as a brief snatch of Elgar’s Nimrod indicated Daisy had received at least one email.