A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the

A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment: Now a Major BBC Series Starring Hugh Grant No actual murder is committed inA Very English Scandal but political suicide runs rampant John Preston has resurrected the trial of Jeremy Thorpe the charismatic and secretly gay leader of the Liberal Party whose career was upended by Britains stringent laws against homosexuality and his own malfeasance Preston has written this page turner like a political thriller with urgent dialogue well staged scenes escalating tension and plenty of cliffhangers especially once the trial begins New York Times Book ReviewNewspaper titan William Randolph Hearst said that truth is not only stranger than fiction it isinteresting Author John Preston bears witness in A Very English Scandal a book that details the downfall of prominent politician Jeremy Thorpe who was tried in for conspiring to murder his former male lover Preston is witty in his speculations and concise in his writing Minneapolis Star TribuneLove House of Cards Then try this gripping real life story of a British politician accused of trying to murder his secret male lover Best thing Ive read this year CosmopolitanPreston like any good journalist has uite an ear for uotes and character sketches and Scandal is sprinkled with gems that reflect an England long gone The story that Preston skillfully tells here is a much broader one than that of an MP its also the tail end of a way of life for corrupt politicians of the s and s and the financial and social upheaval that arrived shortly after Seattle TimesIn December British member of Parliament Peter Bessell left a meeting with his friend and boss Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe praying Thorpe would change his mind about a plan hed just set in motion The undesirable assignment wasnt a matter of political policy or election strategy it was homicide Thorpe wanted Bessell to attend a meeting with a would be assassin to plan the murder of a troublesome ex lover Norman JosiffePreston does a thorough job of following Norman Josiffewho later changed his name to Norman Scottthrough a long string of fresh starts and disappointments Preston refrains from editorializing but its impossible not to be appalled by the ambient homophobia of the period Prestons account of the fight to decriminalize male homosexuality in Britain is especially enjoyable Slates Book ReviewIt is easy to forget just how much British attitudes to homosexuality power and privilege have changed in the last years but John Prestons terrific new book A Very English Scandal provides a supremely entertaining reminder The scandal in uestion is that of Jeremy Thorpe who when the book begins in was a Liberal Member of Parliament and later became leader of the party Although Thorpe always denied it the book accepts widely circulated claims that he was a bisexual who often slept with men Preston does a wonderful job of pointing out some typically British eccentricities NYIn this addictive true crime account of one of Britains greatest political scandals London based novelist Preston The Dig chronicles Thorpes early secretive love life at a time when sodomy was still illegal and his exposure Knee deep in politics scandal and betrayal the book also conveys the sobering grim reality of lives destroyed by dirty politics and homophobic culture Publishers WeeklyIn his narrative of the scandal that engulfed Great Britains Houses of Parliament in the s Preston The Dig delivers an operatic account about hypocrisy deceit and betrayal at the heart of the governments establishment This book which is based on extensive interviews with principal players and reads like a thriller is recommended for those with a penchant for s British political culture Library Journal Preston tells the story like a good old fashioned mystery with chapter titles such as The Postcard Unexpected Developments and A Simple Plan Preston presents Thorpe as unfeeling and disconnected from his sexual desires a classic case of a closeted man whose public persona and private realties were constantly at oddsPreston shows how Thorpes secrets and increasingly desperate actions damaged everyone who got near him It would take another decade before Thorpes secrets would emerge in tabloid headlines after the failed plan to kill Scott became a national scandal forcing Thorpe to resign as party leader Preston details these years with page turning suspenseGay Lesbian ReviewI loved it eccentric dark humane and English in the very best sense It s going to be a sure fire hitAlain de Botton author of The Course of LoveI spent a thrilling hours reading it The narrative is so vivid the characterization so brilliantI thought I knew all about these events but the full horror of them has only now become apparentAntonia FraserA terrific book and brilliantly researched John Preston writes wonderful dead pan prose and reveals the depths of depravity the absurd power of snobbery and the old boy networks of the timeClaire TomalinThe hugely entertaining account by John Preston of the Jeremy Thorpe affair is a strange tale of furtive liaisons fraudulent deals blackmail plots and conspiracy to murder renderedextra ordinary by the the man at the centre being for a while leader of the Liberal Party TabletA gripping account of the Jeremy Thorpe case Sometimes the details make one laugh out loud or gasp with amazement at the tale of the shooting of Rinka the Alsatian dog and all that followed SpectatorThis is probably the most forensic elegantly written and compelling account of one of the th centurys great political scandals An entertaining mix of tragedy and farce involving people in high and low places amply justifying its subtitle Sex Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment Observer GuardianTold with masterful skill by author John Preston It grips like a detective story as compelling as BBC s Line Of Duty and every bit as dirty in what it exposes about the upper echelons of society in the Sixties and Seventies A wonderfully woven tale The Daily MailFluent readable a vivid tableau of the players in Thorpes long tragic downfall Evening Standard The unbelievable truth Preston is a natural storyteller he provides the context for actions that seem unbelievable today The Times The TimesGripping cack handed assassins buffoonish policemen dodgy Home secretaries and sozzled judges The conclusion of an Establishment cover up is hard to avoid The Daily Telegraph Wonderfully readable John Preston is the ideal author having researched for years many minor characters and talked to dozens of well known political and literary friends and enemies of Thorpe StandpointGleams like a truly superior airport novel Whats He On About BlogJohn Preston is the author of three highly acclaimed novels as well as a nonfiction travel book Touching the Moon which was short listed for the W H Smith Literary Award He writes for London s Daily Mail and Sunday Telegraph

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