Michael Yates used to be a media personality; the best selling political biographies, the stint as a presenter on Newsnight, the cocaine habit. He even married the boss’s daughter – and all before he was 30. Lately life hasn’t been so kind. The drugs no longer work, Mrs Yates has decided she is a lesbian and Michael just doesn’t seem to be as, well, glib as he was before.
But then, mirabile dictu, the popular New Labour Prime Minister is assassinated and Michael finds himself in a journalistic heaven of conspiracies, coups and computer virus wars. He is in demand again. And obsessed with the flirty young anarchist, who for some reason, has just invited herself to stay in his spare room. A Sympathetic Hanging is a deftly written, bitingly satirical thriller set in a counter factual future that is nearer than we think.
Praise for A Sympathetic Hanging
‘Damn. There goes another option for a generation with the first novel itch. The assassination of the New Labour prime minister has now been done… In this deftly plotted novel Farndale captures the edgy point scoring and the brain sharpening cynicism of the media world. It has sharp dialogue, satirical bite and pace.’
Robin Oakley, Daily Telegraph
‘A set of predictions on their own would make for a fairly limited parlour game of a novel, but Farndale strings them entertainingly into a substantial backcloth to his story of the assassination of the PM… It remains rooted in acute observation and a kind of truth.’
Harry Mount, Sunday Telegraph
‘The text is peppered with sardonic sideswipes… Farndale has a knack for letting dialogue tell a story, and the interplay of the two characters is sharp and convincing… He eloquently ridicules his own profession.’
James Harkin, New Statesman
‘A sparklingly entertaining first novel. There is nothing remotely tragic or cynical about this high spirited romp which has great fun in constructing its picture of a future England. Farndale conjures up a wide social range and draws amusingly on his career as a journalist.’
Michael Hall, Country Life