The Bell Ringers: Book summary and reviews of The Bell Ringers by Henry Porter

The Bell Ringers

A Novel

by Henry Porter

The Bell Ringers by Henry Porter
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2010
    288 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

In Henry Porter’s new novel, The Bell Ringers, England in the near future appears largely unchanged. There are concerns over the threat of terrorism, the press is feisty, and the prime minister is soon to call a general election. But quietly—and largely unknown to the public or even most in government—things have become undeniably Orwellian: cameras with license plate recognition software record every car’s movements; a sophisticated top-secret data-mining system known as Deep Truth combs through personal records, identifying violators of minor laws as well as those disposed to “antigovernment” beliefs. In the interest of security, the divide between private and public has crumbled. Freedom has given way to control.

David Eyam was once the prime minister’s head of intelligence. He was one of those who knew about Deep Truth, but he suffered a fall from grace and then died in a terrorist bombing. Now his former lover, Kate Lockhart, has been named as the benefactor of his estate. But Eyam has left her more than just his wealth; Kate is also the heir to his dangerous secrets and unfinished business.

The full power of the out-of-control, security-obsessed state comes down on Kate, but with the help of the secret resistance known as the Bell Ringers, hope for freedom is not lost. Absorbing, eerie, and unsettlingly realistic, The Bell Ringers is a fearless work from a talented novelist at the top of his game.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Shaken U.S. readers will wonder how much of the fiction might soon become fact on this side of the Atlantic." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. A corrective read for anyone who feels more secure because of the Patriot Act, this gripping novel will appeal to readers of action-packed patriotic thrillers (think Brad Thor) as well as fans of David Baldacci and Brad Meltzer." - Library Journal

"While the narrative occasionally bogs down in details, the prose sings, and fully fleshed characters unraveling a compelling mystery provide more than enough momentum to power through the slow bits. Gripping and chillingly realistic." - Kirkus Reviews

"For those who like political thrillers, this is one of the season’s best: scary, informative, and, alas, eminently believable." - The Economist

"The Bell Ringers is a wonderful novel. I read it addictively and was sorry the minute it was over. It’s way too good to be called a thriller." - Richard Ford

"I can think of few writers better qualified for the contemporary thriller than Henry Porter. He’s never been afraid to take a stand—he has a journalist’s natural nosiness and disdain for politicians, wedded to the narrative gifts of a fine storyteller. The Bell Ringers is a novel with a purpose from a man born to make mischief. Hell, I wish I’d written it." - John Lawton

"In Henry Porter's exciting, timely, and frightening story, a single brave, prescient individual [takes on] megalomaniac officialdom … A can’t-put-it-down, rattling good yarn.' - Literary Review

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Author Information

Henry Porter Author Biography

Photo: Matt Holyoak

Henry Porter is a novelist and political columnist for the Observer in London. Since 2005 he has been chronicling the attack on liberty and rights in Britain. He has now written some ninety columns on the subject.

Porter has written six novels. His latest title is The Dying Light, a political thriller set a few years in the future. His first children's book, The Master of the Fallen Chairs, was published in 2008. In 2005 he won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award for best thriller with Brandenburg, a story set against the backdrop of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Porter is also the UK Editor of Vanity Fair. He lives in London.

From the author's website

Link to Henry Porter's Website

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