Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Who Guards a Prince by Reginald Hill
Royalty is always a target and Doug McHarg spent many years of his life protecting the prince’s life. Only when he own wife falls so ill she can no longer spare him does he leave the job to protect her and becomes a policeman. His wife’s death creates a rift between him and his daughter which leaves him virtually alone in the world. Then one day, a tongue is found buried on the beach. It looks human, but when the results come back that it was a dog’s tongue, McHarg smells a rat and, terrier like, refuses to let it go. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, The Connelly Family has problems of their own. The clan’s leader Dada has found out that Dree is having a relationship with the English prince and cannot stomach what he deems betrayal to their Irish roots. He makes the entire family’s stake in the will dependant on her behaviour, leaving Dree in an impossible situation. What no one realizes is that there is a plot against them all which may take down some of the most prominent people in the world unless McHarg can figure it all out in time.
This one started off a bit on the slow side, or maybe that’s just my take on it. I hadn’t realized there would be an Irish/IRA side to the book and was worried that the story would go down the same old roads with the same old problems. It does to a certain extent, but it also goes much further as Hill pulls the Masons into the whole scheme, which adds an element of interest. The whole plot quickly becomes quite involved with unknown and uncertain alliances taking place as several groups strive to gain or retain control. McHarg is unknowingly stuck in the middle of it all and may possibly be the only one who could figure the whole thing out as the shadowy figures start to take shape. It turned out to be quite a good read in the end. By the last half of the book I was riveted. I also think this one is going to be a good re-read someday. Kind of like the movie Sixth Sense where the connections all come together when you watch it for the second time. Warranting a re-read is always a sign of a good book.