REVIEW: The Final Warning by Peter Isdell-Carpenter

This debut novel from Peter Isdell-Carpenter offers a chilling insight at what the future of America could look like….

Corruption, betrayal and secrecy all lie at the centre of this chilling and compelling debut novel that examines what the future of politics could look like in America and its potential impact on the Western world.

Set sometime in the future (with references to President Trump’s administration), the story centres around new President Adam Sukova, who finds himself entangled in a sinister plot that threatens to bring down not only his government – but America itself.

Blending fact with fiction, The Final Warning richly entwines many different characters and their stories to build up a portrait of just how deep corruption goes and the impact that it has on ordinary people’s lives.

Intelligently and insightfully written, the reader is given a real examination into how easy it would be for democracy to collapse, highlighted with references to the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death and natural disasters such as hurricane Katrina that have already helped to break down trust between ordinary people and political leaders.

While initially quite slow to start with, perhaps too much filling in with every character’s backgrounds, the book soon develops into an intriguing and thought provoking thriller with an ending that is genuinely unexpected and chilling. Yet, despite the seriousness of the topics covered, it is never dealt with too much of a heavy hand – with moments of warmth and humour between the characters that keep the story feeling grounded. The only exception to this is perhaps on occasion there is too much reference to golf – a bonding topic for many of the characters but does take up valuable space in places.

Despite this, as the author ramps up the tension and the reader begins to understand how what is happening at the White House affects characters such as Fuzzy and GL, the book becomes even more compelling to read, making the reader care about the outcome of it all.

Excepting the villains of the piece, which includes those at the heart of government and a top businessman, the characters are all distinctly likeable in their own way, adding a more human side to the story which could very easily become more about the politics of it all rather than uncovering a conspiracy. It really effectively examines how a number of issues are really closely linked in potentially bringing down the government – intentionally or otherwise.

Overall, it is an enthralling and intriguing read that explores corruption at the heart of government effectively – and does serve as a timely warning to us all.

By Emma Clarendon

The Final Warning is available to buy from the 17th September.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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