The Knives by Richard T. Kelly

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As The Knives progresses, disconcerted readers begin to realise we are in the hands of a deft storyteller, and we should not trust our first impressions. It is as much an exploration of self-destructive male vanity as politics.
-Guardian

Synopsis

'The knives are out for you, always. But that is the mission you accepted, David. So you have to face the knives, with fortitude. Just as we ask of the great British public...'

As Home Secretary in Her Majesty's Government, David Blaylock's daily work involves the control of Britain's borders, the oversight of her police force, and the struggle against domestic terror threats. Some say the job is impossible; Blaylock insists he is tough enough. But around Westminster the gossip-mongers say his fiery temper is a liability.

An ex-soldier from a modest background, Blaylock has a life-story that the public respects. Privately, though, he carries pain and remorse - over some grievous things he saw in the army, and his estrangement from an ex-wife and three children for whom he still cares. A solitary figure in a high-pressure world, with no place to call home, Blaylock is never sure whom he can trust or whether his decisions are the right ones. Constantly in his mind is the danger of an attack on Britain's streets. But over the course of one fraught autumn Blaylock finds that danger moving menacingly closer to his own person.

 

About Richard T. Kelly

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Richard T. Kelly was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1970, and grew up in Northern Ireland. He has authored three acclaimed 'oral history' books on film and filmmakers for Faber: Alan Clarke (1998), The Name of This Book is Dogme 95 (2000), and the authorised biography, Sean Penn: His Life and Times (2004). In 2000 he wrote and presented the Channel 4 documentary, The Name of This Film is Dogme 95. He also edited Ten Bad Dates with De Niro: A Book of Alternative Film Lists (2007) and in 2008 his debut novel, Crusaders, was published.
 
Published August 2, 2016 by Faber & Faber. 496 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Knives
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by Erica Wagner on Aug 12 2016

Novels are thrilling in the truest sense when they feel as if they are built of flesh and blood; it’s Kelly’s success in doing so that makes his final twist of the knife even more shocking.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Nick Cohen on Aug 09 2016

As The Knives progresses, disconcerted readers begin to realise we are in the hands of a deft storyteller, and we should not trust our first impressions. It is as much an exploration of self-destructive male vanity as politics.

Read Full Review of The Knives | See more reviews from Guardian