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Spin Off

Michael Shea

Average Review Rating Average Rating 5/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Harper Collins

Published : 1999

Copyright : Michael Shea 1999

ISBN-10 : HB 0-00-225473-5
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-00-225473-1

Publisher's Write-Up

Following his highly successful novels of political intrigue and devious diplomatic dealings - Spin Doctor, The British Ambassador and The Berlin Embassy - Michael Shea again draws on his long experience as a spin doctor and his unparalleled insider knowledge of government machinations to give us a chilling work of topical fiction.

When American scientist Harper Guthrie is invited to be a guest researcher at an esteemed laboratory in Edinburgh he sees it as a good opportunity to further his research into the spread of deadly viruses, as well as the chance to escape from a slightly sticky personal situation.

Little does he realize that he's going to be plunged into the centre of a crisis of international dimensions. Lyle Thane is the number one spin doctor at Number Ten Downing Street. He is masterfully managing the PR of Peter Morgan's government until the PM starts evidencing some strange and disturbing symptoms. He's not the only powerful man in Britain to fall ill - is it random, or are these men being targetted?

Lyle must skilfully hide this threat to national security while enlisting the help of top UK scientists to discover the cause of this strange new disease, and find a cure, before it kills the Prime Minister. And before the virus mutates into a spinoff, and becomes a deadly epidemic that threatens the whole country...

Michael Shea, whose fiction has been praised for having an uncanny resemblance to fact, has produced a compelling novel that examines the only-too-real threat of biological terrorism.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (310301) Rating (5/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 5/10
Spin Off is a story influenced by the recent to-do about the effects that so-called Spin Doctors have on the Government of the day.

Unfortunately, for someone who has a very low opinion about politicians in general, I do believe that the politicians are merely puppets set up to repeat what are the current policy lines and get paid too much, go on too many jollies and generally bear no responsibility for their actions. (I work in the NHS - can't you tell??)

So, it is of no surprise to me that various prominent politicians keep dropping into strange catatonic states and behaving like irrational fools and it seems to be a disease only targeting politicians. (No surprises to me there - I thought irrationality was their normal state).

It appears however, that there is a plan behind these afflictions. The investigator is an out of favour American Virologist on sabbatical to a University in Scotland for his personal antics. (Nudge nudge...)

He is a nice bloke but rather than being a thriller it is a well written, interesting story which happens to contain a modicum of expectation, and the ending falls together rather than being pulled together.

I suppose this is why Michael Shea is a good writer, he allows plots and endings to come together in a low key, plausible manner, rather than having the reader believe in great leaps of credulity.

Having said that I did not enjoy this one as much as some of the others he has written.
Chrissi (31st March 2001)

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