Red Norfolk, by Allan Kashmer, ISBN 9780994408433
Three out of five stars
There are two main problems with this book, both of which are significant. The first is that the plot is too farfetched, even for a thriller. It is that a small group of eighty revolutionaries is able to stage an armed coup in Australia, taking effective control of New South Wales. Some of the group are members of the army, while others are just dedicated communists. This is most implausible, but not as much as the reaction of the government of the People’s Republic of China. Their actions would trigger a major international incident, if not a world war. There is no mention of the role of the United States, which would not sit idly by and allow such an action to be consummated.
Many police officers are killed on sight at the start of the insurrection, this would trigger a strong reaction from the remaining officers, not the weak-willed one depicted in the story. It is stated that members of the Australian army would not fire on other members of the army, but that is incorrect. When fellow officers or soldiers are ruthlessly killed, the others take it very personal.
The second problem is that the writing is just not that thrilling, the story moves at such a slow pace that little excitement is generated in the reader. Part of this is due to the weakness of the plot, but most can be attributed to the lackluster quality of the writing.
The days of the dangers of armed communist takeovers of countries (always overhyped) are gone and even if one occurs, no communist country will rise to support it and risk international backlash. This attempt to resurrect that obsolete fear falls flat.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.