On 17 March, it was noted here that The Righteous Men, by Sam Bourne, had received, so far, only one review by a major newspaper. This despite the fact that Sam Bourne is the pseudonym of the Guardian's political correspondent Jonathan Freedland. Furthermore, said review was distinctly sniffy.
Well, now there is another review. It's written by Matilda Lisle, and it appeared in the Observer, which is the Guardian's sister paper (Sundays only).
Sadly, Matilda Lisle didn't like The Righteous Men much either, describing it as 'an overly familiar and overly silly collision of codes, cabals and conspiracies'. She concludes: 'It isn't much of a book,' but adds that it is not the worst of its kind, and Jonathan Freedlan really ought to have put his proper name to it.
Which is odd really, because the Observer tells us that Matilda Lisle is the nom de plume for an Observer staff writer. And this week's Private Eye reveals that Matilda Lisle is actually Alex Clark, assistant literary editor of the Observer (and female, if you're wondering).
Dear, dear me. This is all very distressing, for reasons which were discussed last time, were expanded upon in the comments section, and which need not be further rehearsed here. All of this is not, one feels, entirely appropriate for a book which earned a six-figure advance, and is agented by the famous Mr Jonny Geller, a man of impeccable judgement.