Retaining a Political Thriller Element 29th July 2014

Does the idea of a political thriller appeal? It certainly does to me. I have just edited a very powerful scene which really gets to the roots of the political conspiracy behind this series.

I am quite fascinated by politics, which is why I included this subject in my story – but without banging on about politics too much. I am trying to keep the subject light.

Urquart from UK TV drama 'House of Cards'Does anyone remember BBC’s 90s political thriller, ‘House of Cards?’ It is about a Machiavellian MP and his quest for power. He does in fact sound very much like my own arch villain, ‘Perry’ and leaves me hankering to watch it – especially as it contains scenes in Westminster. Sounds like a fun way of doing more research.

Maybe, I was a little too young to understand the real dirty nature of politics. Much as I love debates about politics, my early memories are based around listening my dad bellowing at the TV set, usually when someone like Arthur Scargill came on the news! But now I’m a little older and wiser.

On reflection, most of us find politics quite an interesting subject – yet our true interest only really lies in the way it affects our own lives. 

Same Face Different Place (the series) can loosely be described as my take on Britishness. It is filled with rich examples of the political scene from each decade. People may remember the trade unions, the strikes and power cuts of the 70s – the privatisation and soaring property values of the 80s.

But my book is not just about politics: it includes a political conspiracy, yet only lightly touches the subject of politics. The book is more about the characters, where the murder of a British MP is the underlying vein of the story – yet, it is how this atrocity penetrates the lives of a community, that creates the over-all drama.

Westminster

Lastly, I couldn’t finish this piece without a little teaser. 

Even Eleanor sensed, how excruciating it must have been to divide her loyalties. She had been allied to the Liberal Party, of which Albert was formerly a member; yet her relationship with Perry went deeper. Ever since their University days, they had known each other – they had even been lovers. In fact, they had remained close, right up until the day, Evelyn had bumped into him at that service station – where no-one could have failed to register the agony in her voice, given the horrible way their friendship had ended.

“Albert rose to power,” she mumbled. “He clawed his way up to the top and was almost unanimously accepted as new leader of the Labour Party. Ted Heath was Prime Minister. Yet, Labour were rapidly gaining popularity, especially with someone as passionate as Albert at the helm. It looked for all the world as if he would sweep the board at the next election, so Perry’s loathing intensified. As if being denied a chance to be an MP, wasn’t enough! But to see his rival, rise to power – it was unbearable! So he started a smear campaign.”

This is an extract from Book 3 ‘Pleasures’ which is currently in progress

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About Helen J. Christmas

I am a budding author and have written the first 3 books of my British series of novels, 'Same Face Different Place. Beginnings is a suspense thriller set in the criminal underworld of 1970s London. The second Book 'Visions' is a psychological thriller, set in Kent - a mystery which ensnares the owners of an historic, English Country House. Book 3 Pleasures contains suspense, thrills and YA romance and the 4th book is being written.
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