Finding a new author is always a delight and one of my discoveries for 2011 was Terry Fallis. Terry’s debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, was such a great story that I reviewed it on this blog last September. His second novel follows the characters and plot of the first so that I was able to simply read on.
Fallis has developed a lovable but real character in Angus, with his unerring ability to do the right thing even if it will embarrass his political party. Angus’ view is that politicians must do what is right for the country first and their individual riding and party second, a viewpoint which has the party leaders gunning for him. The public, however, is enthralled. There is even talk of honour in politics.
Telling the story in first person by aide, Daniel Addison, and ending each chapter with a diary entry by Angus allows the reader to see Angus McClintock’s character from two vantage points. His thoughts about the day as written to his deceased wife provide a humorous yet intensely intimate look at the private side of this public figure, a large part of the reason we fall under his spell.
A swarm of geriatric rabble-rousers, the lovely and intelligent Lindsay, and an aide to the Prime Minister who is unparalleled in his hate for both Angus and Daniel all provide plenty of colour and humour in this worthy successor to Fallis’ first book. They also make this a delightful read, no matter what country the reader calls home.
Politicians are not known for taking the ‘high road’ but Angus does. The High Road is spot on as a title, then, having just a hint of Scots in it and suggesting the positive character of Angus McClintock. Well done, Terry!