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Having recently watched the US TV adaptation (which is excellent) of this book, I felt it was high time I read House of Cards by Michael Dobbs, and in fact also went on to read the sequel To Play the King, as they were in the same volume. This is a thoroughly enjoyable political drama, and the author certainly has a pedigree, having worked with Margaret Thatcher and Norman Tebbitt, and having been Chief of Staff at Conservative Party headquarters.
House of Cards introduces us to the ambitious Chief Whip, Francis Urquhart, who will stop at nothing to become the next Prime Minister. However, his goal is threatened by a tenacious young political correspondent who is prepared to risk all to expose his corrupt dealings.
The sequel, written after being inundated by requests for such, begins by contradicting the ending of its earlier tale (for which we can blame the BBC), and sees Urquhart taking his place at 10 Downing Street. He is almost immediately at odds with the King, who has opinions of his own and would like to be able to voice them. Battle commences and only one man will survive the confrontation.