Book Review: Michael Dobbs ~ Goodfellowe MP (1998)

If you like politics nasty, sinister, corrupt and Machiavellian then a Michael Dobbs novel is just for you. He learned his trade as an advisor to Margaret Thatcher before realising that that cesspit could be monetised. From that insight was born his magnificent novel House of Cards (1989). He hit the jackpot twice. First a tremendous BBC series, followed by another in the USA.

Follow THAT! The Goodfellowe novels are in the same territory – obviously enough- but are they any good? Ground can only be broken once and House of Cards was ground-breaking. Tom Goodfellowe is a bumbling financially incompetent, well-meaning MP whose family life has been destroyed by a tragic accident. Dobbs then imagines a Whip* who sees an easy mark. Goodfellowe is supposed to be biddable but isn’t. Worse: he starts to think for himself and becomes every Whips nightmare: a maverick.

A lovely pacey read with characters that are just about believable and a good(ish) plot which includes the subversion of legislation by The Press. I’m a sucker for this sort of thing and will certainly read the next two in the trilogy

* Political manager in the house of commons

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