Government and politics can be explosive subjects, topics of heated debates had by many depending on where you fall on the political spectrum. Reading about such topics can be unbelievable, exasperating and can leave you angry and flabbergasted – and that’s just reading the newspapers! Then there is the world of fictional political thrillers – could they ever be as exciting as real world politics? The answer is yes, and I have just finished reading an exciting page-turner of a political thriller – Urban Scarecrows by Jim Chambers.
Urban Scarecrows is a political thriller, almost a dystopian nightmare, that is an exciting, exhilarating and quite frightening read based around UK politics.
The year is 2019, it is election time in the UK. After years of austerity, the Labour Party sweep into power promising radical reforms. But this new government headed by Thomas Tobin and Jane Connell, are not typical socialists and the government will them at the helm swiftly mutates to a British form of totalitarian Marxism in its quest for social justice and equality.
Dominic Green, a celebrity chef, Labour supporter and activist, is convinced that the new government will change the country for good, even when things are not going so well, until he and his family get caught up in a social and economic crisis that sees the country heading towards a civil war and him being labelled and hunted as a terrorist.
With re-education centres (prisons) springing up, redistribution of people’s wealth, Draconian laws and a new SNPS state police force where night-time visitations, beatings, and incarceration are the norm, things soon escalate into the horrific practice of urban scarecrowing to keep the population scared and inline.
Dominic soon becomes embroiled in a war, labelled a terrorist and hunted as a leader of the resistance movement. He must do everything he can to save his family. His eldest son is incarcerated in a re-education centre, his youngest son vows to break-out his brother, and his marriage is in tatters. Dominic is soon deeply involved in a fight to save his marriage, his children and the country. But who can he trust? Where can he go for help?
Overall, Urban Scarecrows is a fantastic political thriller, verging on a dystopian nightmare. This is a real page-turning exciting read that whatever your politics, whether you have an interest in politics or not, you will just not be able to put down.
The book starts in the year 2027 with the main protagonist in custody and on his way to Wormwood Scrubs prison as a terrorist. The story then flips back and forth between 2019 and 2027. The dual timeline is easy to follow and tells the story of a country despondent with a Conservative government (as a lot of the UK are now) and the voting in a new government of change and reform, except that that reform goes too far, descending into a government following a totalitarian Marxism course in the name of The People. It starts slowly, building an interesting story before upping the tempo and building into a story of a government that will stop at nothing to do what it wants and the uprising to stop it.
I thought this was an intelligent well-written, almost believable, story. It is a story of extreme politics and a vision of a political concept that couldn’t happen it the UK – could it? But it isn’t just the story of politics, it is also a story of family loyalties, media manipulation and fighting for what is right.
The character development is very good with some excellent characters. Dominic is a frustrating character that you just want to shake some sense into and really makes the story more interesting rather than just being the hero that is fighting from the beginning. The style of writing is excellent and engaging and does a brilliant job of conveying an interesting story that keeps you wanting to read more.
Urban Scarecrows is a fantastic read. Readers that love thrillers, political thrillers and even dystopian novels will enjoy reading this excellent story. It is packed with tension, built up with good writing, great characters and an excellent storyline that unfortunately could be all too true.
Definitely worth a read and a book that you will lose yourself in. A very intriguing and captivating story.
RRP: £12.99 (Paperback) / £2.99 (Kindle)