It's the year 2011. The Party in power, the New Project Party, is on a moral revival campaign, and Selwyn Knox, the recently appointed minister for the Department for Society, is at its helm. Sonya Mair, his political adviser, is helping him call the shots - as well as helping him with some more personal matters. Together they've selected the team. Very carefully. In fact, they've got dossiers on every last member.
Sir Robert Nottridge, permanent secretary: Eton, Cambridge, married, no children - or so his wife thinks. Christopher Brody, director of policy: a helpless gambler with debts up to his eyeballs and two mortgages. Nigel Tonbridge, director of strategy and communications: ex-journo and keeper of some dark family secrets - as well as some disturbing political ones that might just taint Saint Selwyn. But for now, the team better do as they're told, and get down to administering morality.
Meanwhile, back at Downing Street, PM Andy Sheen is suffering a few smears of his own, and his right hand man, Charlie McDonald, must quickly dispatch an official to Cambridge to "rescue data" and hunt down the man behind the allegations.
© Martin Sixsmith; (P) Macmillan Publishers Ltd
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