Sir James Percival, a cool, world-weary veteran of Tory politics, finds himself with a small but workable majority after 7 years of Labour rule and might be forgiven for looking forward to a quiet life.
But life, especially in politics, isn’t like that. His 2nd wife Helena & disreputable son Antony don’t get on & the move to No.10 leads to flare-ups that can’t be kept private. The Cabinet are soon at odds over Ireland where a new wave of violence has crested out of a calm sea. Popular, brilliant Jeremy Cornwall, young rogue elephant of the Toryies, exploits the opportunity with a crusade to Bring the Boys Home. The Government’s attempt to counter-attack is disastrously betrayed by someone inside No.10.
Suddenly in a matter of weeks the government is fighting for its life & the PM has sinister information that his own may be at short call. How these events themselves with the personal relationships of the PM’s immediate circle, how people in a tight corner discover qualities they were never suspected of, how the sheer pace of events takes charge, how politics is the most addictive of all drugs, Douglas Hurd shows with all the deceptively easy mastery of the real professional.