Book: A Very British Coup, by Chris Mullin (2011)


Chris Mullin, A very British coup (Serpent’s Tail, 2011). 226pp.

The tone wasn’t quite what I expected — it somehow seemed lighter and less serious than, for example, John le Carré. As for the subject matter, it might seem quite farfetched, but I’m fairly certain that it’s grounded quite firmly in recent (post-WW2) history. The occasional reference to Allende and Chile make that point quite well.

On the down side, although the methods by which the Establishment (and the American government) apply pressure are plausible enough, the plot development seems somehow off; Perkins seems to win a few victories, then suddenly things turn against him and out of nowhere the book is over. Made worse by the fact that entire chapters are spent away from the main action, getting deep into the motivations of fairly minor characters when it could instead be showing Perkins’ cabinet steadily losing ground to their opponents.

Three stars because although it was enjoyable enough, it wasn’t anything special, and seemed to be over almost before it began.