When Senior Detective Michael Matlock says that a woman was in the wrong place at the wrong time when she was killed, he doesn’t realise the social blunder that he has committed and the ramifications that will result. Few authors do satire as well as Ben Elton and this seems to be his vent on everything that is absurd and simply wrong in our modern social media, PC correct world. Elton has his finger firmly on the zeitgeist of the times as he has his dig at Harvey Weinstein, interfering in political elections from foreign powers, political correctness, ultra-feminism, social media, immigration, fake news, Brexit.
Almost instantaneously after the press conference his social faux pas is trending number one on twitter. Suddenly he gets a call from the Mayor demanding that he make either an apology or resign.
At its heart, the novel is a murder mystery and people are turning up dead with a blow to the back of the head from a blunt object, probably a hammer, seeming to be the only thing they have in common. However, that is all the evidence the police have. After each murder, twitter seems to go into meltdown, with hashtags flying thick and fast. But who is starting these hashtags and where do they originate from?
As the novel progresses, the bodies pile up and the narrative builds to a climactic ending.
Elton does a wonderful, hilarious job, of describing Matlock trying to conduct multiple murder investigations as he tiptoes his way through the minefield of a politically correct world gone mad. If you are an Elton fan than you are in for a treat as his razor-sharp wit has lost none of its edge. 4 Stars!
Ben Elton was born on 3 May 1959, in Catford, South London. The youngest of four, he went to Godalming Grammar school, joined amateur dramatic societies and wrote his first play at 15. He wanted to be a stagehand at the local theatre, but instead did A-Level Theatre Studies and studied drama at Manchester University in 1977.
His career as both performer and writer encompasses some of the most memorable and incisive comedy of the past twenty years. His ground breaking work as a TV stand-up comedian set the (high) standard of what was to follow. He has received accolades for his hit TV sit-coms, The Young Ones, Blackadder and The Thin Blue Line.
More recently he has had successes with three hit West End musicals, including the global phenomenon We Will Rock You. He has written three plays for the London stage, including the multi-award-winning Popcorn. Ben's international bestselling novels include Stark, Inconceivable, Dead Famous and High Society. He won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award for the novel Popcorn.
Elton lives in Perth with his Aussie wife Sophie and three children. We can almost claim him as an honorary Aussie now.
There is a super podcast interview at 2GB and here is the link - https://www.2gb.com/ben-elton-reveals-why-hes-not-on-social-media/
If there is a live show on simply mute the sound with the sound icon and scroll down to the Elton interview and hit play. It's worth it!