Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Ten Days

Ten Days: Gillian Slovo, February 10—19, 2016

My rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

TenDaysA death during a police arrest sparks a chain of events that sees a run-down London housing estate erupt into violent riots. Ten Days follows the unfolding crisis through the eyes of a resident, the new Met chief, the Home Secretary and more.

The macabre schadenfreude of the 2011 London riots are painted vividly in Slovo’s version of civil unrest. The dramatic scenes of police lining London’s streets while vehicles explode and shops are raided is darkly fascinating.

Meanwhile, our leads are facing a medley of crises. The Home Secretary wants rid of the Prime Minister, and is plotting with his wife to spin the riots into a promotion opportunity; the new Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police is establishing himself while the country burns; downtrodden single mother Cathy is caught in the eye of the storm as her community descends into anarchy. From politics to infidelity, Slovo masterfully sweeps the spectrum of class. Rather than put things in perspective, the unfolding nightmare sharpens each character’s own perception that their problem is the most important and insurmountable.

Ten Days is not without its oddities. Sporadic excerpts from the inquiry into the book’s events add little, but are inoffensive. And it seems to be set in the future: yes, this is a London which has the iPhone 8, and refers to elements of incument Boris Johnson’s apparently concluded mayorship. But none of that detracts.

Slovo’s writing is so detailed and well researched that you are transported directly onto the scene, be it a running street battle or Downing Street’s inner sanctum. It’s immersive and captivating, and the ten days will fly past in what feels like ten minutes. Each story creeps from the page into your mind and once you’re sucked in, you’re there for the duration.

To think about it, Ten Days is an immensely challenging piece. To read it, it appears effortless. Fantastic!

Disclaimer: the publishers provided an advance review copy free of charge for the purpose of review.


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This entry was posted on February 19, 2016 by in 5 star and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare