Synopses & Reviews
In Henry Porters novel, The Bell Ringers, England in the near future appears largely unchanged. There are concerns over the threat of terrorism, the press is feisty, and the prime minister is soon to call a general election. But quietlyand largely unknown to the public or even most in governmentthings have become undeniably Orwellian: cameras with license plate recognition software record every cars movements; a sophisticated top-secret data-mining system known as Deep Truth combs through personal records and identifies petty criminals as well as those disposed to antigovernment” beliefs. In the interest of security, the divide between private and public has crumbled, and freedom has given way to control. Once the prime ministers head of intelligence, and one of those who knew about Deep Truth, David Eyam suffered a fall from grace and then died in a terrorist bombing. Now his former lover has been named as the benefactor of his estate. But Eyam has left her more than just his wealth; she is also the heir to his dangerous secrets and unfinished business. Absorbing, eerie, and unsettlingly realistic, The Bell Ringers is a fearless work from a talented novelist at the top of his game.
"In Porter's outstanding near-future thriller, David Eyam, the former head of Britain's Joint Intelligence Committee, is killed by a bomb in Colombia that was apparently aimed at others. His recently estranged close friend and former colleague in the spook business, Kate Lockhart, is surprised to learn she's the main beneficiary of Eyam's will. Her suspicions that the story behind his death is more complex than officially reported are heightened when Eyam's lawyer is gunned down soon after thugs break into his office. While the basic plot an attempt to uncover a broad government conspiracy against daunting odds is familiar, Porter (Brandenburg Gate) invests it with urgency and power by taking current legislation drawn up to combat terrorism and projecting how it would play out if special interests and unscrupulous leaders used it to destroy the privacy of individuals. Shaken U.S. readers will wonder how much of the fiction might soon become fact on this side of the Atlantic." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
For those who like political thrillers, this is one of the seasons best
: scary, informative, and, alas, eminently believable.” The Economist
A sophisticated, engrossing, and important political thriller.” Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post
Porter has battled for years against the insidious creep of government snooping. If you worry about too large a dollop of didacticism, fear not: The Bell Ringers is a thriller, and Porter is a stylist who enjoys a bit of theatrical flourish. Youll find yourself imagining the movie it would makeNorth by Northwest meets House of Cards. Still, the message is clear, and persuasive. Porter claims that the novel is set in the near future. Dont be fooled.” Cullen Murphy, Vanity Fair
Read it and you'll be hooked.” Alan Cheuse, Dallas Morning News
Outstanding.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A chilling political thriller
This gripping novel will appeal to readers of action-packed patriotic thrillers (think Brad Thor) as well as fans of David Baldacci and Brad Meltzer.” Library Journal (starred review)
The Bell Ringers is a wonderful novel. I read it addictively and was sorry the minute it was over. Its way too good to be called a thriller.” Richard Ford
I can think of few writers better qualified for the contemporary thriller than Henry Porter. Hes never been afraid to take a standhe has a journalists natural nosiness and disdain for politicians, wedded to the narrative gifts of a fine storyteller. The Bell Ringers is a novel with a purpose from a man born to make mischief. Hell, I wish Id written it.” John Lawton, author of the Inspector Troy Series
The Orwellian parallels are clear, but Porter gives the subject a subtle, complex and well-timed shot in the arm.” Adam Woog, The Seattle Times
Superb.” Anna Mundow, The Boston Globe
Henry Porter writes fabulous novels. Empire State was one of my favorites a couple of years back. The Bell Ringers is even better, a spy novel for everyone who loves le Carré and Deighton, but with a crisp modern woman in charge. You won't put this novel down until the final paragraph.” Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail (Canada)
In Henry Porters exciting, timely, and frightening story, a single brave, prescient individual [takes on] megalomaniac officialdom
A cant-put-it-down, rattling good yarn.” Literary Review
A vibrant thriller dealing with
the surveillance state and the erosion of individual liberty. Although set in the future, it feels as up-to-the-minute as tomorrows headlines.” The New Statesmen, Books of the Year
A daring, stylish, and tensely paced thriller.” Metro (UK)
Absorbing, eerie, and unsettlingly realistic, "The Bell Ringers" is a fearless, Orwellian work from a talented novelist writing at the top of his game.
About the Author
Henry Porter is a political columnist for The Observer newspaper in London and the UK editor of Vanity Fair. He has written five novels, including Brandenburg Gate, winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award.