Michael Dobbs

The Reluctant Hero

"Thought provoking, scary and utterly enjoyable."


Harry Jones is a politician with a history as a tough, resourceful soldier. His wife was rescued from a burning boat by his colleague, Zac Kravitz. This debt remains even after his wife's death six months later. When Harry is informed that Zac is in prison in the republic of Ta'argistan after insulting the President by dallying with his wife, he feels obliged to repay the debt and try to free Zac. He calls in a few favours by asking to be included in a government trip to Ta'argistan. Also on the trip is American Martha Riley, known for her tough talking and actions.

Initially there is mutual distrust, but eventually they work together towards freeing Zac. Martha displays amazing resourcefulness and courage, whilst Harry reverts to type and faces almost impossible odds with cold ruthless efficiency and killer instincts.

The other members of the delegation also have ulterior motives in joining the group, which Harry exploits in order to achieve his ends.

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Above all this is a gripping, exciting and totally engrossing read. Harry Jones is in the mold of the hero who can achieve the impossible by virtue of his tough mental and physical strengths. His ruthlessness in pursuit of a goal only adds to the attraction. Added to this is the insider information that Dobbs brings to the workings of MPs and parliament and you have a fascinating, escapist read. Ta'argistan is a believable and scary creation. The similarity to several existing states is close enough to frighten us. The power of the internet in altering the actions of the state is bang up to date with echoes of the actions of groups of young activists in Iran and Russia. Thought provoking, scary and utterly enjoyable.

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