Monsieur Rene has come upon a great idea. As the Permanent President of the International Brotherhood of Concierges and Hall Porters, he and his service industry brothers are privy to huge amounts of sensitive, exclusive information and gossip from heads of state, world leaders, diplomats, and the wealthy, which they happen to overhear while working in the rooms, dining halls, and elevators of Geneva's finest hotels. As waiters, porters, and servants, they are trusted to be silent about such weighty matters-top secret information that, in the wrong hands, could change the course of world events.
A self-appointed revolutionary humanitarian, M. Rene gathers some of his trusted brothers to reveal his plan to form a secret conspiracy of distinguished servants who will record the conversations of their clients, gather their correspondences, and spy on their actions. M. Rene confides his plan, "It is always at a table that statesmen are at their most unguarded. Waiters have golden opportunities for this kind of work. . . . Who needs spies if they have concierges, waiters, and valets?" Is the purpose bribery or blackmail? Will the power be transferred to those who have none? Will the plan benefit the world, or place free countries in great danger? As these questions arise, the conspiracy brings to light assassinations, secret clauses in treaties, government conspiracies, and more.
What unravels is a novel of suspense, intrigue, and danger, territory that Sir Peter Ustinov has mastered in this original literary triumph. If ever the workers of the world had better reason to come together and seize control of the establishment, this book is it.
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Published January 1, 1999
by Prometheus Books.
Literature & Fiction.