Regular readers will have seen my review of the first book in the Division Bell Trilogy early this month (you can read it here if you missed it) and will know how much I was looking forward to sharing part two with you all. Well, today is that day! Quick warning – anything passed this point WILL contain spoilers for book one if you haven’t read it!
Jennifer Sinclair’s fight to save her political career, her family and her freedom has failed. Traumatised by prison violence, she agrees to transfer to the mysterious British Values Centre.
Rita Gurumurthy has betrayed her country and failed the children in her care. Unlike Jennifer, she has no choice, but finds herself in the centre against her will.
Both women are expected to conform, to prove their loyalty to the state and to betray everything they hold dear. One attempts to comply, while the other rebels. Will either succeed in regaining her freedom?
Divide and Rule is 1984 for the 21st century – a chilling thriller examining the ruthless measures the state will take to ensure obedience, and the impact on two women.
It is hard to find the words to describe Divide and Rule without giving too much away about the story. I found it to be quite an unsettling read, I think largely because it didn’t take an awful lot of imagination to picture the state of Britain portrayed in it becoming a reality, although I hope it is one that never comes into existence!
The tactics used at the centre to control the “patients” are shocking, from mind games and public humiliation, to vicious beatings and more, and it is disturbing to read about the lengths the Government is prepared to go to to control people who it sees as dissenters. Rachel McLean’s writing style skilfully weaves an atmosphere of fear and distrust amongst all the Centre’s occupants.
I am probably making this sound like a difficult read, but it is far from it. From the very first page, I found it almost impossible to put down, as I just couldn’t wait to see what was coming next for Jennifer and Rita. Despite the subject matter of the book, there is an underlying sense of warmth between the “patients” at the centre, and this gives an added depth to the story that I didn’t expect.
I am looking forward to reading the final instalment of the trilogy to see what the future holds for Jennifer and the friends she made whilst in the centre.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I’m Rachel McLean and I write thrillers and speculative fiction.
I’m told that the world wants upbeat, cheerful stories – well, I’m sorry but I can’t help. My stories have an uncanny habit of predicting future events (and not the good ones). They’re inspired by my work at the Environment Agency and the Labour Party and explore issues like climate change, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and sexism in high places. All with a focus on how these impact individual people and families.
You can find out more about my writing, get access to deals and exclusive stories or become part of my advance reader team by joining my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub.
Many thanks to Rachel McLean, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of today’s blog blitz, and for providing me with a copy of the book.