Fox by Anthony Gardner
This book ticks all of the boxes; it is entertaining and yet thought provoking. It is also beautifully produced with an eye-catching red cover and sumptuous paper inside – the kind of book that makes you love books for simply being books.
Fox is a multi-stranded tale each crisply detailed through Gardener’s witty pen. The British Prime Minister is using the excuse of a nasty virulent disease spread by foxes to begin operation Mulberry Tree, a dastardly plan to inflict mass surveillance on an unsuspecting public. Biochemist Christophe Hardy discovers the plot while in China and while trying to expose the conspiracy is involved in a chase which begins in Beijing and ends in Northumberland.
In a twist of fate, which will have all thwarted fox hunters chuckling, the fox is now so much of a problem that it is being hunted again even by packs based in the heart of London. I loved Gardener’s descriptions of the hunts through the most exclusive parts of the city.
Each strand of the story is told in delightful prose, from the hunts to animal rights activists, high society Chinese assassins and the strangest catering venture ever the Pu Dong Pudding Company, manned by Mr Yu and his son, the precocious P.G Wodehouse educated Frederick.
Fox is fast and topical, it is a brilliant satire on modern society and some of the big issues, manages to be both very funny and touching. It is a great caper taking the reader deftly through some big issues of our day - surveillance societies, freedom of speech, the vagaries of the English class system - but with a gripping plot which combines some very funny scenes with heart-warming romance and brings the reader to a breathless but very satisfying conclusion.
The text is illustrated throughout with black and white sketches done by Nicola and Rosanna Reed.
by Jacqui Broderick of Lavender & White Publishing
Released February 2016 Published by Ardleevan Press
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