Jeremy Underwood is a long-suffering subeditor on The Daily Beast, Britains mightiest tabloid. Returning from holiday, he notices two burqa-clad figures lurking outside the papers Kensington offices. Two male terrorism suspects have escaped from a mosque disguised as women;recently suspicion and fear have made everyone alert. Jeremys casual observation sets off a chain of events that spins out of control, as the great Beast feels that it is the next target of terrorism. Alexander Starritts darkly funny novel is a vivid anatomy of that most uncontrollable of large creatures, the British tabloid newspaper. The ferocious professionalism and manic rivalries of a newsroom have rarely been so well described. And at the heart of the newsroom is the brooding, dictatorial figure of its editor, Charles Brython, the booming voice of Middle England. His world is under threat, and he will do whatever it takes to defend it. This is a story in which comedy teeters on the edge of horror.
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