Jo Walton: Farthing

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Farthing is a country house mystery set in an alternative history. The year is 1949, eight years after the war ended for Britain. See, in this reality, before United States got involved with the war in Europe, British agreed to peace with Nazi Germany, giving Hitler the control of the continent in exchange of peace.

Now Sir James Thirkie, the man who brokered the deal, is dead, killed in the Farthing country estate, surrounded by - well, if not friends, at least his closest political allies. It's an ugly case, too: the killer stabbed him with a dagger and left a star of David pinned in his chest. So who did it? Jews or the Bolshies? Sir James certainly has potential enemies.

The Farthing estate is owned by Lord Eversley, whose daughter disgraced the family by marrying a Jew. The daughter, Lucy Kahn, is one of the voices for the novel. The other is the Scotland Yard Inspector Carmichael, and the two take turns moving the story forward, chapter by chapter. What begins as a slow-paced murder case becomes quite a thriller.

Farthing isn't just a good murder mystery, but also a chilling tale of fascist politics. The alternate Britain the book is set in isn't necessarily a nice place. Walton doesn't really point fingers, but the ugly political power games of the book have fairly obvious reflections in the modern-day world. It makes for a fascinating story, indeed. [ Farthing at ]Farthing at LibraryThing ]

Other blogs mentioning this book:
- bookshelves of doom: Farthing -- Jo Walton
- Books @ the Hathor Legacy: Farthing - Jo Walton
- Someone's Read It Already: Farthing by Jo Walton

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This page contains a single entry by Mikko published on July 3, 2008 7:27 PM.

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