Review: The House by Tom Watson and Imogen Robertson

Posted on November 29, 2020 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 13 Comments

Review: The House by Tom Watson and Imogen RobertsonTitle: The House
Author(s): Tom Watson, Imogen Robertson
Published by Sphere on October 22, 2020
Pages: 400
Genre(s): Political Thriller
Source: Pigeonhole Book Club
Format: arc, ebook
Purchase: Amazon|Audible
Rating: One StarOne StarOne Star

In their remarkable debut political thriller, Tom Watson, former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, and Imogen Robertson open the doors to The House, a place of ambition, hope, friendship . . . and betrayal.
Once allies, Labour MP Owen McKenna and Conservative Minister Philip Bickford now face each other across the House of Commons as bitter enemies. Then the reappearance of a figure from their past forces them to confront the choices that led to the tragic downfall of their former housemate, Jay.
Late one night, Owen receives a visit from a lobbyist who promises to protect him from the consequences of his actions in exchange for one, small favour - or to have his reputation and career utterly destroyed if he refuses. But that favour will sell out everything Owen believes in.
As rivals gather and whispers of wrongdoing fill the corridors of Westminster, it's clear that someone knows the truth about Jay's Icarus-like fall from grace. Now, the former friends must face one terrible truth...
Someone is responsible, and a reckoning is overdue.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

I decided to read The House as I expected a story filled with political intrigue. Well, I got more politics than intrigue. Heavily laden with British politics, with the intrigue slowly developing as the story progressed, unreliable characters and an unsatisfactory ending, The House proved to be a less than exciting read.

The story has some good attributes. It provided a clear picture of the dirty side of politics. Blackmail, bullying and backstabbing all in the name of trying to make a name for oneself in the political arena. In this story the reader saw friendships being destroyed and it was a stark reminder that we cannot trust everyone who professes to be our friend. Most are looking out for themselves and would go to any lengths to achieve recognition, including destroying you, and then try to find justification for their actions.

The story told in two timelines 2008 and 2022 follows the lives of four roommates, Phillip, Owen, Georgina and Jay. All have political aspirations; however, tragedy struck and will forever change the lives of these four friends. Fast forward to 2022, with everyone still wearing masks, all the friends have achieved their dream, except for one whose life had been destroyed resulting from events which occurred in 2008. An investigation into the events of 2008 revealed a web of corruption, deceit, cover-ups, blackmail and a host of other nefarious activities.
The principal characters and most of the secondary characters proved to be an undesirable lot. Two of the principal characters redeemed themselves in the end, which provided me with hope that people can change even a disingenuous politician.

The story ended on a disappointing note. After ploughing through all the political quagmire to get to the truth and to have such an ambiguous ending did not go down well with me.

This book did not deliver as I expected, but other readers may be of a different view from me. So, if you are big on politics and like seeing how things in that world develop amid the global pandemic, then you can get yourself a copy of The House.

Story Evaluation
World Building
Writing Style
Overall: One StarOne StarOne Star



About Imogen Robertson

Imogen is a writer of historical fiction. Now based in London, she was born and brought up in Darlington and read Russian and German at Cambridge. Before becoming a writer, she directed for TV, film, and radio. She is the author several novels, including the Crowther and Westerman series. Imogen was shortlisted for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award 2011 and the CWA Dagger in the Library Award 2012. The Paris Winter was partially inspired by Imogen’s paternal grandmother, a free-spirited traveller who set off through Europe with money sewn into her skirts.

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13 responses to “Review: The House by Tom Watson and Imogen Robertson

  1. DJ Sakata

    I appreciate your honest reviews, these are the hardest for me to write and you did it so well!