Urban Scarecrows – Jim Chambers

Published By: Silverwood
Pages: 276
Released On: 25/05/2022

The Labour Party election victory of 2019 ushers into power a radical socialist government which swiftly mutates to a British form of totalitarian Marxism in its quest for social justice and equality. Dominic Green, a Labour Party activist and celebrity chef, is caught up in the economic and social crisis as the country lurches towards civil war.

Taunted by the jibes of his volatile Spanish wife, Rosa, he moves from denial to acceptance to opposition and becomes a totemic media figure in the struggles. His marriage is in terminal decline; Rosa cannot forgive his philandering or his support of the government. His family falls apart as Rosa leaves him and one son is incarcerated, whilst the other attempts to liberate his sibling. Labelled a turncoat terrorist he is hunted by the brutal SNPS state police whose attempts to subjugate the population includes ‘urban scarecrowing’.

Who can he trust as he goes on the run whilst assisting the resistance movement? Will Rosa forgive him as she tracks his public pronouncements and his efforts to free their son? Will Dominic escape the clutches of the SNPS as the net closes? Will international outrage translate into military intervention as sections of the armed forces rebel? And can Dominic survive and recover his relationship with Rosa and their surviving son?


Thanks to LiterallyPR for the gifted copy of this title and a place in the book tour in return for an honest review.

Obviously for a political book, there’s going to be political language and terminology, so there were parts I didn’t fully understand but it was well explained in context and well thought out, and it’s nothing a quick Google can’t help with.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Rosa, even by the end she still wasn’t my favourite character. There was something about her that just grated with me, just got under my skin. I enjoyed the writing of their two sons, they seemed opposites and well rounded in and of themselves. The main character of Dominic did irk me at times, I just wanted to grab him by the lapels and shake him, but he soon endeared himself. None of this suggests Jim’s writing is bad. On the contrary, I find it’s easier to write likeable characters, but to sustain characters like this – who, in my opinion are not pleasant people – is a testament to great character building.

It was an interesting book to read whilst were experiencing our own conflicts – government politics, war, climate change, unemployment, the rise of living cost etc.

I did like that whilst this was a book about politics and elections and riots and government promises, for me it was more a focus on the humanity, it’s more an exploration of the characters rather than what’s happening in society as a whole. It means you can tear apart the people, try to identify yourself and others, and think about what you’d do in the situation.

I did think when reading the premise that it was going to be more like The Handmaids Tale, a bit of a fantasy dystopia, but at times it is a little too close at times to reality to fully lose yourself in – or at least that’s how it felt to me. Part of me wishes he’d chosen fantasy names for the political parties; in my opinion, using Labour and the Conservatives puts it firmly in reality and I found it difficult to detract from what was happening in reality, it seemed neither realistic or fantastical. However I know others will prefer one foot in the real world as it makes it more tangible.

I felt some of it was a little long-winded and some of the narrative could have been tidied up a bit, but overall I found it to be enjoyable,, thought proving, questioning, eyebrow raising. It’s not a lighthearted read by any stretch of the imagination. It’s one that will ask you questions and demand answers and demand you pick a side. A real conversation starter, it would be ideal for a book club debate.

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