This novel is something a little different for me. It is a satire set in the
UK at the present moment. There are striking parallels between these days and
the 1930s. There’s a lot of racist people around who are crawling out of the
woodwork as they have been encouraged by the implications of the Brexit vote.
“Let’s get this show on the road, shall we?” said Tompkins, putting on his white driving gloves and yellow scarf, before bounding down the stairs and closing the front door behind him with one mighty swipe of his arm.
He started up the Jaguar and smiled at the familiar tone – it was sounding like his own car already. He slammed down the accelerator, avoiding a school bus and a fire engine, and made for the motorway.
First, out of a sense of guilt, he drove past the car showroom and saw a dramatic scene. The police were inspecting a damaged Jaguar in the centre of the showroom. All the sales people were lined against a wall and being shouted at by a large man in an expensive off-the-peg suit.
Amongst them was the friend of the family, who was looking somewhat perplexed at the turn of events. Tompkins made a mental note to make sure the man in the off-the-peg suit would soon have an unplanned holiday in the outer recesses of Romania, along with nine Romanians, who wouldn’t be happy at his presence amongst them.
Tompkins filled up the car at the next garage and headed down the motorway towards the south-west, zipping along the outside lane, middle lane, and inside lane, when it suited him to do so. In just over an hour, he parked outside a large house in the Clifton area of Bristol.
Tompkins opened the car door, leapt out, and did 50 press-ups on the pavement, just to get the stiffness out of his back and neck. Having completed these, he jumped over the garden gate, ran up the path, and slammed his hand against the black-painted front door of the house a few times. The birds stopped singing and next door’s cat, sleeping in their lounge window, opened an eye just to see who was shaking the house.
The door was opened by a man of about 40. He was six feet tall and smoking a cigarette. His green jumper and yellow corduroy trousers didn’t match, but he didn’t care a damn what other people thought.