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Book Note: Anthony Price, For The Good of the State

I read this book about 21-Dec-2004. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1986. This note was last modified Thursday, 22-May-2014 15:28:49 PDT.

This is book 16 of the "David Audley" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


I've also got a general page on Anthony Price.

Any book that begins with the Richelieu quote from The Three Musketeers can't be all bad. For that matter, neither can a Price book.

This one's about internal politics, largely. With a visit from Nikolai Panin merely providing the opportunity, and the bloodshed. Audley has just been shot at, and that's never specifically accounted for, but I'm left with the impression that it was laid on by Garrod Harvey to encourage Audley (ah, later it is admitted that Jaggard was responsible).

Sir Thomas Arkenshaw is a gem. He's been doing "minder" jobs (bodyguard, protective detail) in the Middle East, and still regards the CIA's Shirley (same one from Our Man In Camelot) and Major Sadowski as having far better physical moves than he has himself. And he keeps wandering off into 12th century archaeology. And, by the end, he wanders off into Research and Development. And he gets to marry Willy.

And he's one of the few Baronets in modern fiction, something I'll likely be one day (well, not the "in fiction" part).

The whole good outcome depends, in the end, on Sir Thomas obeying Audley's order to go see what Sadowski is up to -- and getting there in time to see that he's on friendly terms with the sniper who's just shot General Zarubin. Lots of other things have to be done right to reach that point, but even then it could have been a pure disaster without seeing that. It made it clear who was doing what to whom, and let Audley put together the whole scenario with enough evidence to be convincing.

The big surprise at the end is that Butler wants to align R&D more closely with the rest of the intelligence community. I'll have to keep my eyes open and see how this effects the remaining few books. And the "Stansfield Turner CIA recommendations", too; meeting Parliament half way, or they'll come and get them.

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David Dyer-Bennet