Title: The Facility
Author: Simon Lelic
Source: Library Copy
Rating: 3 out of 5
Synopsis: The book is set in the near future where a “Unified Security Act” has been passed in the UK which essentially allows the government to go to any length in the name of maintaining security. A secret facility/prison is established and a number of people are detained without any explanation. The book follows Arthur Priestly – one of the imprisoned, Henry Graves – governor of the facility and Tom Clarke – a journalist approached by Priestly’s wife, Julia, who believes her husband has been detained under false pretences.
I had read good reviews about Lelic’s debut novel, Rupture (which I haven’t read yet) so I was eager to get my hands on his second book. I am usually not too keen on reading political thrillers but this plot sounded interesting enough and so I chanced it.
This is a fast paced thriller and is gripping throughout, well almost. It wasn’t very thought-provoking and I felt that this complex issue of government confidentiality could be investigated further. The book revolves around these 3 protagonists and how they react to this situation. Instead of a typical frameworks of such novels which reveal more as they progress, this is an inverted projection of this kind of story in that it doesn’t reveal the big conspiracy and aimed at keeping things hidden.
We don’t really know why the facility is established until a third of the way through the novel. The difficulty with this approach is that it is difficult to examine the issues in-depth. The writing is good, there is a creepy murky feeling throughout the novel but it doesn’t really stand out as an exceptional thriller. It is an absorbing fact paced read but it doesn’t end up leaving you satisfied with the outcome.