Kompromat

Stanley Johnson. Point Blank, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-1-78607-246-7
This thriller has the makings of a gleeful romp through geopolitical skullduggery, but Johnson (The Commissioner) has laid out something that looks more like an alternative history for our grim and disrupted times. The hyperkinetic action starts off with Russian president Igor Popov shooting a putative Republican presidential candidate in the buttocks with a tranquilizer dart in a cleverly contrived Siberian setup, but it keeps returning to efforts to jump-start, then fan the flames of, a Brexit-style campaign for the United Kingdom. Johnson, a longtime figure on the British political scene, aims for satire as he sketches out Operation Tectonic Plate, Popov’s nefarious scheme to destabilize his country’s opponents and place a friendly face in the White House, but the ripped-from-the-headlines plot is too close to actual (or easily imagined) fact to provoke real laughter. The reader will find no sympathetic characters, and the corridors of power from Berlin to Beijing to Washington all convey the same sense of grasping self-interest and greedy fear that confirms the worst suspicions of how politics really work. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Audio Product - 978-1-78706-726-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-78706-674-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-78706-638-0
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