Are you between 5 and 25? If so, enter the Wicked Young Writer Awards NOW - click here for details...

debuts of the month
Search our site
Last Letter from Istanbul by Lucy Foley Read the opening extract of the brand new Lucy Foley book before its publication on 19/03/2018

A Very English Scandal Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment by John Preston
  

A Very English Scandal Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment

Biography / Autobiography   eBook Favourites   

Lovereading view...

In 1979, Jeremy Thorpe, the rising star of the Liberal Party, stood trial for conspiracy to murder. It was the first time that a leading British politician had stood trial on a murder charge. This is the story of hypocrisy, deceit and betrayal at the heart of the British Establishment. A Very English Scandal is an eye-opening tale of how the powerful protect their own, and an extraordinary insight into the forces that shaped modern Britain.

If you like John Preston you might also like to read books by Owen Sheers, Will Davenport and Iain Pears.

Synopsis

A Very English Scandal Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment by John Preston

The shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for murder Behind oak-panelled doors in the House of Commons, men with cut-glass accents and gold signet rings are conspiring to murder. It's the late 1960s and homosexuality has only just been legalised, and Jeremy Thorpe, the leader of the Liberal party, has a secret he's desperate to hide. As long as Norman Scott, his beautiful, unstable lover is around, Thorpe's brilliant career is at risk. With the help of his fellow politicians, Thorpe schemes, deceives, embezzles - until he can see only one way to silence Scott for good. The trial of Jeremy Thorpe changed our society forever: it was the moment the British public discovered the truth about its political class. Illuminating the darkest secrets of the Establishment, the Thorpe affair revealed such breath-taking deceit and corruption in an entire section of British society that, at the time, hardly anyone dared believe it could be true.

Reviews

The shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for murder * Publisher's description * This is a brilliant, sad, startling nonfiction novel about the Jeremy Thorpe murder-plot scandal. It is as funny and dark as anything by Evelyn Waugh or Jonathan Coe. And in these post Cyril Smith/Jimmy Saville days, it's so timely and relevant * Jon Ronson * A 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 time -- Claire Tomalin I loved it; eccentric, dark, humane and English in the very best sense. It's going to be a sure fire-hit -- Alain de Botton The most forensic, elegantly written, compelling account of one of the 20th century's great political scandals... a real page-turner' * Observer * Very funny and endlessly extraordinary... makes for amazing reading -- Catherine Shoard * Guardian * Impeccably researched... full of shocks, surprises and laugh-out-loud moments. Preston revives a forgotten era and delves into the personalities behind the headlines. * Times Crime Club * Retold with masterful skill... It grips like a detective story, as compelling as BBC2's Life of Duty and every bit as dirty in what it exposes about the upper echelons of society in the Sixties and Seventies * Daily Mail Book of the Week * This brilliant account made me feel I was hearing the tale for the first time ... Preston is an enthralling narrator * Mail on Sunday * Gripping ... cack-handed assassins, buffoonish policemen, dodgy Home secretaries and sozzled judges. The conclusion of an Establishment cover-up is hard to avoid * Daily Telegraph * The unbelievable truth... Preston is a natural storyteller ... he provides the context for actions that seem unbelievable today * The Times * 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 * Standpoint * Fluent, readable ... a vivid tableau of the players in Thorpe's long, tragic downfall * Evening Standard * I spent a thrilling 48 hours reading it. The narrative is so vivid, the characterisation so brilliant... I thought I knew all about these events, but the full horror of them has only now become apparent -- Antonia Fraser A gripping account of the Jeremy Thorpe case. The details make one laugh out loud or gasp with amazement -- Charles Moore * Spectator * The whole affair is retold here compellingly and fluently, bringing to life the cast of characters with some verve * The i * Nothing comes close to the eyepopping outrageousness of the gay murder shenanigans that engulfed and almost destroyed a Liberal leader. Reads like a comic thriller -- Rachel Johnson


About the Author

John Preston is a former Arts Editor of the Evening Standard and the Sunday Telegraph. For ten years he was the Sunday Telegraph's television critic and one of its chief feature writers. He is the author of a travel book and four novels. His most recent novel, The Dig, was published to great acclaim in 2007.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

5th May 2016

Author

John Preston

More books by John Preston
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

Viking an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Format

Hardback
352 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Political corruption

ISBN

9780241215722

Lovereading takes the guesswork out of finding your next read with "if you like you'll love" and extracts to help with your decision.

Sarah Bruch

Lovereading helps me decide what real people read.

Kerry Bridges

It gives a chance to read about new titles, invites comments from all kinds of readers and is run by such a nice bunch of book lovers.

Joy Bosworth

Lovereading has given me the opportunity to delve into new and exciting worlds of authors who I would never have tried before.

Glynis Elliott

The books for review are always great reads, brilliantly written, and introduces me to a huge variety of, established and new, authors.

Lesley Hart

Its jam packed with fantastic titles, informative descriptions & fantastic reviews and has a vast array of great features & competitions.

Linda Rollins

The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook

With literary excellence, humour and drama, Lovereading's got value and is a real stress-calmer!

Siobhan McDowell

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools