I just finished reading Stuart Fairney’s novel Single Acts of Tyranny.
It’s a cracking read which Fairney claims to be “a beach novel with a libertarian philosophy”.
Now it’s probably against the rules of book reviewing to say the best summation I can think of is to quote the author! But that is exactly what it is.
Now I found this description ominous before I read the book. How can you combine the two without it sounding disjointed? And yes the novel does contain some polemics of a libertarian form but they feel integral because it is essentially a political thriller so of course the characters talk politics at times!
Anyway, it works and has really nice moments that I can’t give away. Except to say “talking about nuns”. That pivotal scene is realised very nicely and sees the villain of the piece reveal to the heroine his one true weakness. Having that within seconds of them meeting is pretty original and it creates a lovely tension as the plot unfolds. Both the reader and Halle du Bois knows John Legree’s weakness. He has his sword of Damocles hanging over him from the start.
So I’m giving Single Acts of Tyranny almost two thumbs up.
“Almost” because there are flaws. This is difficult to explain. They are niggles really but the problem is that I like to feel immersed in a book and these jolt you back into your own reality and not the author’s. Some are just poor editing. Halle would never call her mother “Mum” because she’s Atlantan she’d say “Mom”. Just really silly stuf like that that is only annoying because otherwise you’re really enjoying the book. And then there are the sex scenes. Now I know these are notoriously difficult to write well but these really are bad. The use of the word “impaled” springs to mind. So if Fairney has a bit of time on his hands and plans to revise the novel then there are some pointers.
In summary. It’s a spot on little novel with some annoying glitches which are only annoying because they take you out of the fictional world. They momentarily force you to unsuspend your disbelief. And I’m not being dismissive by using the word “little”. It’s short and that is good. I thought I’d add that because the term “political thriller” generally conjures images of tombstone tomes.
You can get it here. And it’s only seven quid so give it a go.
Might I suggest a sequel. Halle du Bois running for the presidency of the newly re-united USA?