Wallace, Christopher - 'Killing the Messenger'
KILLING THE MESSENGER is an awesomely disturbing book. A political thriller, it is set in a time of considerable upheaval for the government, when one extremely popular and charismatic prime minister has been replaced by another, not so vibrant, one. In the unsettled period that occupies most of the story, including the resignation of the new prime minister and his replacement with the old one, an advertising agency is employed to help The Powers That Be regain public support and give them something that they need - a way to achieve, or appear to achieve, mental well-being - and have the government as the main provider; thereby securing themselves a place in peopleís affections once again. In reality the campaign is a clever set of mind-controlling adverts, put together by a mysterious couple of people with a dubious past, that are linked to series of set replies that will be churned out in response to any enquiries or help requests that the public are encouraged to put forward as a result of the advertising.
Our two main characters are Dr Greig Hynd, a mental health professional who, after a meteoric politic rise, ends up as a member of the cabinet and a minister for a brand new department, and Cal Beg, an advertising whiz kid, who heads up the government campaign and canít seem to stop getting into trouble as a result.
Wallace, himself a communications officer within a public sector organisation, is an extremely gifted wordsmith and this book makes you wonder just how far our own government would go in order to make us all behave as it wants us to. A well-written and fascinating hint at conspiracy theories, corruption and mind-bending manipulation.
Very highly recommended.
Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
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