Francis Wheen

Fictive Propaganda

War Without Frontiers

By

Hodder & Stoughton 598 pp £8.95 order from our bookshop

A Very British Coup

By

Hodder & Stoughton 220pp £6.95 order from our bookshop
 

The political thriller has been perhaps the most successful fictional genre of the past decade, as Frederick Forsyth’s bank manager would doubtless testify. Yet very few politicians have tried their hands at it. A few years ago Brian Sedgemore, who was then still a Labour MP, wrote an indescribably bad book called Mr Secretary of State. But that hardly counted as a thriller; it read more like a copy of the Labour manifesto with a few love scenes hamfistedly chucked into it.

The one politician who has produced readable and successful thrillers is Douglas Hurd. He is now a minister in Mrs Thatcher’s government and he was, by the by, the only Foreign Office minister not to resign when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter