Mike Cunningham has been a contributor to ATW for many years now and it is my pleasure to be in the position of offering a review of his novel "Single To Westminster, via Berlin".Anyone who has read Mike's postings here over these passing years will know what to expect; A fearless ability to tackle big issues without compromise, humour, entertaining dialogue and an ability to make you think.
The book is a great read and coming in at around 450 pages you also get value for money from it. In these recessionary times this is an expansive book. The plot revolves around a charismatic English politician who inherits Hitler's gift for the gab in a particular way and who follows his own path to power. There are some great twists and turns and I really liked the way parts of the plot really surprise you, the reader.There are moments of tenderness and also harsh violence.
Mike reflects many of the great political events of the past five and more years.
Charlie Watson is the character at the centre of all the action. He's a strange type, some of his views are reprehensible, others admirable. He is able to manipulate and ride the tide of popular opinion, in some cases nudging it where he would like it to go. For me, one of the great strengths of the book is the dialogue between the cast of characters. It's not an easy thing to write realistic dialogue and I think Mike really does breath life into his characters. I enjoyed the way he makes them distinctive and it adds weight to the read.
Mike's themes should resonate with all thinking ATW readers. It's about freedom - about our rights to live as free men without the tyranny of the large Superstate. The EU features large in this as does the inherent corruption at the heart of our political system.