London, 2044. Britain is a Republic. President Jan Polak has vanished overnight from Buckingham Palace, just weeks before an election. Has he been kidnapped? Or even killed? One man is determined to find out – as soon as he’s had his breakfast. His name is Pond. Howie Pond – the President’s official spokesperson and wannabe secret agent. With just a love of James Bond films to guide him, Howie sets out on a mission to solve the missing-President mystery. But with Howie’s journalist girlfriend, Britt, soon onto the story, the race is on to see who gets to the truth first…
This debut comedy-thriller novel from British writer Paul Mathews is packed with sharp humour, great characters, dynamic dialogue and a mystery that will keep you guessing from beginning to end. It will transport you to a low-tech, high-drama, post-revolution Britain of the future. A world where some things, like the complete lack of internet and mobile phone access, are quite different. But other aspects, such as politics and big business, are very much the same.
On the 28th June I will be reviewing Paul Mathews’ third book in his series, entitled We Have Lost the Coffee as part of a blog tour. Before then, I am aiming to read the first and second books in the series. Today I bring you my thoughts on book 1, We Have Lost The President. Having read a fair number of thrillers recently, it was a nice change of pace to try a comedy-thriller. Having read It’s Killing Jerry not too long ago, I was eager to try this debut book from Paul Mathews.
We Have Lost The President takes place in a near-future version of London where the monarchy have taken flight to live out their days in Florida, and the Republic of Britain now operates a presidency. Revolution took place to dethrone the royal family, leading to the change in ruling power. And since then, all has gone well, or at least, it had been until just a short time before a major presidential election, the President goes missing.
The task of finding him falls on the shoulders of Howard “Howie” Pond – 007 fantasist and presidential spokesman. Howie finds himself appointed into a security role to allow him to investigate the disappearance before the press get a sniff of a headline that might have catastrophic effects. Unfortunately for Howie, thinking is journalist girlfriend is asleep, mentions enough to his cat that she realises something is amiss.
While Howie faces a race against time to uncover the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the widely popular President Jan Polak, his girlfriend Britt Pointer faces the same race to uncover the details in time for her groundbreaking news story. The two investigations take very different, though at times equally ludicrous turns as both stop at nothing to uncover the answer. The book culminates with the mystery revealing itself to all involved, and bringing a headline of sorts for the intrepid journalist too, while setting things up nicely ahead of book two.
We Have Lost The President is a wonderfully fun mystery, with plenty of comedic elements to lift the story into something different. The story is well crafted, leading the reader on an enjoyable journey that sets the benchmark for the rest of the series.