My second Ben Elton and while it was better than the first book I read - [b:Blind Faith|2164457|Blind Faith|Ben Elton|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320483062s/2164457.jpg|2346268] - it isn't saying much as Blind Faith was a mere '2 Star' read for me. This was not a bad book, but I thought that it could have been done better, given the interesting premise.
Douglas Kingsley is a stubborn idealist (not a pacifist, mind you) who works as a policeman in World War-I era Britain. And alike all egoistical idealists, he denies to participate in the war even though that means his family would also have to face the consequences of his rather hypocritical stand against something he did anyway in his previous life - killing (He was a policeman after all, and admits himself that had sent quiet a few criminals to their death while working for the government and even had done some things that he didn't like). He denies to participate in the war as the sheer scale was too big to ignore! (Didn't I say he was a hypocrite?)
So, after having been disgraced nationally and sent to prison, Kingsley dreads that he might be murdered in prison by one of the fellow prisoners he arrested when he was a policeman.
But then something amazing happens. An officer cum a famous poet is killed in Ypres. Not by enemy fire. But in a hospital by a fellow Briton. Thus under special circumstances, Kingsley is sent to the front to investigate the murder.
The premise sounds interesting enough, doesn't it?
But my problem with the book was that that Elton lingered too much on the disgrace aspect of Kingsley's life in Britain after his denial to participate in the war and hence took a very long time (more than half of the book) to actually advance the main plot of the story. And even when Kingsley reached the battlefront in France, the book failed to recapture wholly the sheer horror faced by the men in the Great War.
Even the final confrontation of Kingsley with the real killer seemed overtly dramatic and hence unintentionally hilarious.
The book had promise, but for me, it didn't deliver.
That's 2 in 2, Mr. Elton.