Saturday, February 24, 2018


The American presidential election system overhaul comes under fire in a suspenseful political technothriller I recently finished. The conspiratorial villains aim to take over the United States through election fraud brought on by manipulating newly introduced electronic voting technology. But the platform of the feisty female aspirant determined to move into the White House is elaborated at great length and there are extended excerpts from stirring speeches. I think I’d have given her my vote!

But was the manifesto perhaps drafted in comprehensive detail before the thriller attributes were bolted on? I’ve read a few other books which hint at this authorial approach and I must admit I’ve enjoyed them. They allow non-fiction issues to be expounded upon in depth, even if the content is paradoxically fictitious.

There is nothing new about garnishing police and courtroom procedurals with sub-plots and story strands that reflect an author’s concern about real-world iniquities, from climate change denial to people trafficking, from toxic masculinity to the vilification of an underclass.

Recently, however, I as reader get the feeling that sometimes the societal issue is the primary content of a book. A signpost pointing in this direction is a lack of originality in terms of the thriller elements which are secondary when employed by the writer as ’packaging’.

This is something I must think about more as I look for the direction my future storytelling should take. A manifesto thriller?    

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