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The House

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  25 reviews
In their remarkable debut political thriller, Tom Watson, former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, and Imogen Robertson open the doors to The House, a place of ambition, hope, friendship . . . and betrayal.
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published October 22nd 2020 by Sphere
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  69 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Nadene  (Totally Addicted to Reading)
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I decided to read The House as I expected a story filled with political intrigue. Well, I got more politics than intrigue. Heavily laden with British politics, with the intrigue slowly developing as the story progressed, unreliable characters and an unsatisfactory ending, The House proved to be a less than exciting read.

The story has some good attributes. It pro

Mags Schofield
Nov 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I read this book through Pigeonhole, one stave a day, which may had added to the confusion I felt in the first few staves. Names and parties, as well as a dual timeline meant I had to really concentrate. The middle section I enjoyed more as it was more about people rather than politics. The ending I'm not sure about. Inconclusive, so maybe open to a sequel? What I have learnt is that the murky world of politics is even murkier than I thought. Perhaps this book should be subtitled Action & Conseq ...more
Keith Weller
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
I liked his first book but I have abandoned this halfway through too slow found it very boring which is a shame because I was looking forward to reading this book
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
The House is a taut political thriller, packed full of intrigue, secrets, corruption and betrayal. The setting is Westminster - somewhere that Tom Watson has an intimate knowledge of. And you can tell. There are nooks, crannies and offices described in here that I’ve never even heard of - and sneaky back doors too!

The story itself seemed multi-layered and quite complex to begin with, and I have to admit to struggling with the amount of names I needed to remember (this is typical of me though, to
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great read, particularly if the reader is interested in political intrigues. Good plot, and good pacing make the story enthralling. The end is realistic, even though I did not wish it so!!!
Thank you so much, Tom and Imogen for letting me read your book on Pigeonhole!
Fay Flude
Nov 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I am not sure I would label this book utterly gripping. It is in parts, but for me, perhaps because I am not usually a reader of political fiction, in parts it was also tedious!
As for must-read, I think it is if you are a fan of the genre. If you are not, I think it is a perfectly acceptable introduction that might possibly urge you into reading more fiction in this vein.
Will I ? Probably not, but I remain pleased that I did read The House, as it is always good to read something you wouldn't nor
Shelagh Wadman
Nov 09, 2020 rated it liked it
It’s 2008 and four young housemates are living in London all of them very ambitious within the Labour Party. Georgina Maxwell, Philip Bickford, Owen McKenna and the youngest member of the household Jay Dewan a very bright enigmatic young man with great potential. Fast forward to 2022 and everything has changed for the former housemates. We run headlong into a story revealing what life is like in Westminster full of political intrigue, cover ups, constant media pressure and virtually no time for ...more
Nicola Mackenzie-Smaller
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Extremely timely political thriller exposing the murky world of party politics. I can only assume that some of this is based on Watson’s insider knowledge, which is most alarming.
The tale of a terrible accident at a festival and the ramifications of this for an MP many years later, this explores the power dynamics at play if you want to climb the greasy pole towards being Prime Minister.
Others have criticised the ambiguity of the ending, but this feels all too plausible to me.
Read with The Pige
Amina Kara
Nov 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book for the most part, insofar as it was well written and the plot was good.

The disappointment for me came from the ending. I get that that's just life, but that didn't make it any less disappointing. Didn't really do much to change my view of the world of politics. Backstabbing, lies, makes me wonder why anyone would actually want to work in politics. (And yes, I do know this was just a work of fiction).

Thank you to Pigeonhole and Tom Watson/Imogen Robertson for the
Gail Wylde
Nov 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: pigeonhole
3.5 stars. A book set in the very murky world of politics. Written in two time lines, 2008 and 2022 (a bit depressing as they are still wearing masks in 2022!) we follow four housemates who all have aspirations of becoming MPs. Full of intrigue and betrayal this was a good read although I did get a bit bogged down in politics at times. I have recommended this to more politically minded friends than me.
Thank you Pigeonhole for once again taking me out if my comfort zone and to Tom and Imogen for
Christine Rennie
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pigeonhole
I read this book via Pigeonhole which released a stave a day for 10 days. It took up to the third day to follow the storyline because it kept going backwards and forwards. The timing of the book with COVID and Brexit in the UK and the ongoing saga of the American election results made the book quite realistic at times with its petty vendettas and shenanigans and even quite tame.
It was an enjoyable read.
Linda Kendell
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
Let down by the ending this book of political intrigue was, overall, a good read. Guessed who and how early on but didn’t detract as there were still some doubts that anyone could be that power hungry.
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Owen Mckenna and Phil Bickford were once great friends, that was a long time ago though, and now, as MP's on opposite sides, they despise each other.
But someone in the shadows is dredging up the past, and both of them could be damaged by whatever secrets come to light. Will the truth come out? and who will it destroy?

The story starts on the floor of the House of Commons, about a year and a half from now, with MP's debating the aftermath of the Covid crisis and Brexit. It is a fairly dry begin
Di Paterson
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-copy
I enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end. I read it courtesy of the Pigeonhole, and I know quite a few other readers were dissatisfied with the ending, but I'm not one of them. The book gives some real insight into the intrigues and murkiness of politics, as well as being a bit of a commentary on women in politics and business. The characters were extremely well developed and real, and the plot unfolded brilliantly. I always enjoy novels which are written in two timelines, where the act ...more
Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Although on the whole, I enjoyed this book , I would definitely not describe it as utterly gripping! At times it was rather slow and plodding.

Set a couple of years from now, with flashbacks to their younger days, it involves the lives and actions of a group of ambitious politicians and how their actions as young people come back to haunt them.

It did give a fascinating insight to how different political factions might work, with betrayals and loyalties being challenged, and felt very authentic.

Tim Mullen
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An exceptional work of political intrigue set mainly in 2022 (the bad news is Covid is still around) and during the 2008 financial crisis, The House follows four rising stars of the Labour Party. As a veteran of the Party so much of the good intentions subsumed by ambition rings true, and as a believer in our democracy the personal struggles between conscience and career are especially relevant. Extremely well written with some insider knowledge, and even a weekend at Glastonbury thrown in, Tom ...more
Nov 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: other
I did quite enjoy this but it’s not a masterpiece. I love anything to do with politics and the story hung together reasonably well, with decent enough characters, although it was pretty easy to spot the baddie. It’s always good to have a political novel written with the benefit of inside knowledge and this was not at all nerdy, easy for anyone not interested in the machinations of Parliament.
I suspect he only has one book in him, I wouldn’t rush to read another, unless, like this it was via Pige
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this well written and gripping thriller. Intrigue, secrets, corruption and ruthless betrayal, rather appropriately set in Westminster! Interesting characters and plot line. Tom’s intimate knowledge of how Westminster works and the kind of people who work there really jumps off the pages. I was lucky enough to be able to read this excellent book via the Pigeonhole App, a stave a day over ten days. I couldn’t wait for each one to arrive to be able to devour it. I can highly re ...more
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Thanks to the authors and the Pigeonhole for the chance to read this. Overall I enjoyed this well written book, however I found the more political parts at the beginning a bit confusing, possibly due to a lack of knowledge about British politics. But once it moved on to the interactions between the main characters I really started to enjoy it. I found the ideas about life as we learn to live with the presence of Covid-19 interesting. I also liked the descriptions of Parliament, I did a tour a co ...more
Ellena Downes
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
If this is representative of parliament then MPs or potential MPs are greedy, manipulative, self-interested and unprincipled. This is well written and gripping with a twist or two but there wasn't a single character I could side with. Even the 'victim' was an entitled whinny oversized schoolboy. Again I'm not saying it makes a bad story just not the kind of people you'd want looking after your interests. ...more
Jan 07, 2021 rated it liked it
This was great fun and I imagine Tom Watson and his co-writer, enjoyed writing it and conjuring up the skulduggery in the House of Commons. Attention should be paid to the roles of the various women, one or two of whom are not quite what they appear! References to real characters and situations ground this book in just enough reality.
Barbara Noble
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I always knew that politics is a dirty game and this book written by an insider confirms it. It follows the story of a group of political hopefuls and shows how some people will do anything to get on. At times a bit confusing but worth reading.
CLAIR Withers
Nov 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this learnt quite a bit about politics. The story was good. Liked going back and forth between timelines. And learning about each character. Definitely recommend. Hoping there is more to come. X
Jeff Petar
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dammed good for a first novel

This is a thoroughly good yarn filled with all sorts of plots and counter plots. I hope Tom you continue to write these genes of novels.
Diana Cassar
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was drawn into this book from the first page and it is indeed a page turner. The political intrigue behind the scenes is fascinating. Excellent book that is hard to put down till the end.
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