Robert Harris’s bullet-paced thriller, The Ghost, traces the downfall of a charismatic former Labour prime minister whose political stardom is shattered for being too closely associated with some of the more morally repugnant decisions done in the name of the War on Terror. It will make particularly uncomfortable reading for Tony Blair.
Indeed, Harris’s statesman may be called Adam Lang but this politician with the popular touch is impossible not to confuse with the real ex-PM – and Harris should know, as a journalist who trailed him closely in the run-up to the last election. He has put aside the Machiavellian politics of ancient Rome, the subject of his last two books, for the much murkier machinations of London and Washington.
First and foremost it is a murder mystery. There are shady spooks, money-grabbing literary agents and, most convincing of all, the hack ghost writer out to make a fast buck from writing the Prime Minister’s memoirs for him. The book is written in the first person by the nameless ghost