Monday, July 21, 2008

Ben Elton-The First Casualty

Have I told you that I like historical novels? Well if I haven`t, I`m going to tell u now :D

I found this novel at the University Library. Well.. looks like a nice book as a "supplement" for my "busy" research. Don`t know much about the author but according to the book , he is also known as a stand up comedian. Errrr.. so what a stand up comedian do with a historical novel? Let`s see about that ;-)

It tells us story about Douglas Kingsley, a successful Detective with the London police, who becomes an enemy of the state after he refused to take part in the Great War and denounces the war as a stupid and illogical. As a punishment, the court decides to put him in jail along with the criminals that he successfully nabbed before. But then a terrible incident happens which would change Kingsley`s fate. A well known viscount, son of a political figure and was known for his patriotic poems as well as his action in the battlefield, is killed mysteriously. So the government (who regard Kingsley as their top detective) decide to to fake Kingsley`s death at the prison and send him to the battlefield in Ypres in order to investigate the matter

And so the investigation begins in the middle of The Third Battle of Ypres. For me, the investigation is a mixture of comedies and also ironies. We could see the irony when Kingsley tries to interview his witness, then suddenly artillery shell comes and blow his witness to pieces of debris. The investigation itself makes us to think whether the viscount death really worth of deep investigation compare to other soldiers death. While on the other hand I could hardly not to laugh at the masturbating lunatic soldier at one of the Kingsley`s interview session and at the MP Sergeant who stamp his feet so hard every time he finishes his words.

At the end.. well you can guess yourself who is the real killer :D

Overall I give this novel 3 out 5 stars ;-)

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