It’s Crooked Cat Sale time again! The e-book of Revolution Day (along with lots of other books) is reduced to 99p/99c until tomorrow (Friday 29 December). You can find it via these links: Amazon UK Amazon.com Other Amazon sites
Usually, when there’s a sale on, I post an excerpt to give people a taster of the novel. But this time I thought I would do something different. So here’s a brief summary of what the novel is about, illustrated by half a dozen very short extracts. Hope it whets your appetite!
Carlos Almanzor has ruled his country for 37 years. Now in his seventies, he is feeling his age.
“… the figure of an old man stumbled onto the balcony. He appeared lost, confused, as if, in the grip of senile delirium, he had wandered onto the balcony by mistake. His body was so frail, so insubstantial, that it seemed to be held upright only by the starched creases of his elaborate uniform...”
Nevertheless, he still grimly holds the reins of power to himself, believing that he alone can be trusted to run the nation. His Vice President, Manuel Jimenez, is frustrated by his subordinate position. When an attempt to boost his profile is met with humiliating rejection, he resolves to take action.
“… if what one has is worthless, then the risk of losing it is no risk at all. If there is little to lose and the possibility of gaining a great prize, then to roll the dice seems not like gambling, but rational behaviour. And yet, it is still rolling the dice. As he contemplated the possibility of doing so, Manuel experienced for a moment the frisson of excitement that the gambler must crave: that strange wild union of hope and fear.”
Meanwhile, Carlos’s estranged wife Juanita has been under house arrest for sixteen years.
“The trees on the other side of the road beyond the gate do not look any different from the ones I remember, the ones I could have walked among and touched if I had wanted to. They are no further away, in space. But I no longer see them as real trees. To me, they are like a picture of trees or, when the wind blows, a movie of trees swaying to and fro. They are beyond the line, and all that is outside it has for years been slowly fading out of reality.”
She is writing a memoir in which she chronicles Carlos’s seizure of power …
“I recall very little of what happened next, though I do remember sensing the change in the fleeing crowd in front of us as they realised what was happening and began to turn upon their tormentors. There was a whirring, bewildering confusion of bodies, a cacophony of shouts and screams, and a few shots. Within minutes, a third of the presidential guards were dead.”
… and his long descent from idealism into autocracy and repression.
“And so it was done. The men were shot a week later: the first three of eighteen hundred and forty six executions so far during Carlos’ reign. I remember being glad that it would be done quickly, in case he changed his mind. Angel and Pablo did get to sit in the front row. So did Carlos, and Manuel. So, to my discomfort and later shame, did I.”
Lacking a military power base, Manuel makes his move not by force, but through intrigue, playing on Carlos’s paranoia and exploiting the vulnerabilities of those around him, including his young mistress, Corazon, whose spare time is not always spent in the palace.
“The door opened and a man entered the room. This was not her usual driver: younger, taller, with slicked-back hair and dressed in a sharp black suit, he looked more like a guest than an employee of the club. Corazon gave the barman a puzzled look, but he smiled and beckoned her to come forward.”
Juanita too will soon find herself an unwitting participant in Manuel’s plans. Will he succeed in deposing Carlos and claiming the Presidency for himself? Or will the old man discover the plot and take action before it is too late? You’ll have to read the novel to find out!
You can find more information about Revolution Day, including reviews and longer excerpts, here