Book Review – Collateral Damage by Steve Howell

November 23, 2021

This is a political thriller set mostly in London and partly in Libya just after the aerial bombing of President Gaddafi’s residence by the USA.  A young journalist dies mysteriously while attending a conference in Tripoli.  A junior solicitor is persuaded by the dead man’s girlfriend and his own ex-girlfriend to fly to Libya to find out exactly what had happened so she can gain closure.  The solicitor’s ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend, who was at the conference with the deceased, is unable to travel with them because of a family illness so the solicitor and the decease’s girlfriend travel to Libya together.

They arrive in Libya where they are met by the deceased’s father and a Foreign Office official whose attitude towards them is decidedly frosty bordering on hostile.  They return to England with the cause of death unresolved and subsequently discover that the circumstances surrounding the death are not what they were at first led to believe.

It is an intriguing story which keeps the reader turning the pages as further disturbing revelations come to light and I thoroughly recommend this book to all those who enjoy tales of political deception.

 

Keith Jahans

 

Published by Quaero Publishing
and available as an ebook and paperback


Book Review – Game Changer: Eight Weeks that Transformed British Politics by Steve Howell

July 12, 2018

This is a must read for anyone who wishes to understand the processes that go on inside political campaigning in British politics.  It is told by an insider who helped organise Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign during the 2017 British General election.  It is therefore unashamedly biased towards the philosophies of the Labour Party so if you are a supporter of any other British political party, particularly the Conservative Party, many of the views expressed here will be extremely hard to take.  But even so anyone who actively supports such parties will find a great deal to learn from the events described by the Author.

When Prime Minister, Theresa May called a snap election in April that year no one in the mainstream media gave Corbyn a chance.  His party appeared in turmoil as a large proportion of Labour MPs had tried twice to unseat him as leader and the Labour Party was so far behind the Conservatives in the polls.  Consequently, May saw it as an opportunity to strengthen her position as Prime Minister and leader of her Party ahead of her negotiations to take Britain out of the European Union.  However, such was the success of the Corbyn campaign that, despite being unable to topple May’s premiership, their individual political standings within their own parties were reversed.

It was a remarkable turnaround in the positions of the two party leaders and it is a story that is extremely well told.  It is a narrative that the Conservatives will seek to put far behind them but for anyone interested in British politics it is an account that should be read.  The book is skilfully written and contains lots of facts and footnotes relating to broadcast and newspaper reporting at the time.  This is not surprising given the author’s background in journalism and in time it should serve as a useful reference for anyone wishing to look back and study what must surely be a significant event in Britain’s political history.

 

Keith Jahans

Published by Accent Press in
hardcover, paperback and as an ebook


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