Monday, 16 March 2015

Hostage: London - Geoffrey Household

Set in the late 1970s, when the Western world and Russia were in the grip of the Cold War, when the troubles in Ireland and Ulster were leaking into the UK, this is a frightening telling of something which is not out of time, even now in the twentyfirst century.

Told in the form of a diary, the diarist is a man of many names. Originally a trained guerrilla fighter, and already having served a 15 year prison sentence, he becomes part of an international anarchist group called MAGMA. Their aim, perhaps like the anti-consumerists of today, is to bring down the consumer-led big boys, and start a new world order. Which would not be so bad, except that when the diarist finds out firstly how ruthless they are, and secondly that a bomb, large enough to take out most of London has been well-hidden somewhere, his own anarchist views fall away, and he must attempt to stop them. How can he trust anyone? How can he find out who the leaders of the group are?

First published in 1977, Household has woven a tale of bluff and double bluff which had me on the edge of my seat throughout. Has this been made into a film? If not why not?!! I loved Rogue Male by this author, and have read it more than once. This one only needs one read as it is more a will-it-won't-it subject rather than a man's singular hope that he can escape his pursuers. But for male and female readers alike, this is a short but gripping read.