Terrorists and Russian Dolls


The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

‘I can’t tell you the truth, but I can tell you a story’

And yes he does exactly that.  Clearly, as a former Met detective David Videcette has plenty of real life experience to bring to his story telling. There are quite a few scenes where there’s so much authenticity in the detail that the bare bones must be true, but the wider story?  Who knows?

The more I read The Theseus Paradox the more I thought of those Russian dolls.  As you got deeper and deeper into each layer of the story the kernel of the truth was there somewhere waiting to be uncovered. Or was it?!

It’s a totally brilliant concept that has you asking what is true or not?  And is that the same in real life? Could there be truth in this version of London’s 7/7?  Is what we accept as true really true?

David Videcette takes the reader on a journey about the nature of terrorism.  What actually is terrorism? Are terrorists always the fanatical extremists we imagine?  How do they get there? Are the school girls who left Gatwick for a what they perceived as a more religious, and therefore better life, terrorists? Or are they victims of other people’s agendas?

Could impressionable young people’s passion for their cause be misappropriated by criminal master minds?  And if so, is it terrorism or just a criminal act?  Do we feel more fear about a radical terrorist willing to do anything to gain entry to the afterlife or a criminal genius willing to do anything for money and power?

The other interesting theme in this book is around the use of data.  It made it quite clear that the war we fight today is on so many fronts.  Leaving endless DNA and clues to process has the potential to cripple our emergency services in the same way as the bomb itself.  Fascinating, I never thought of that, but it’s so obvious when you think about it.

This is a really interesting read.  You need to be open minded to question everything you know about 7/7, and for some that might be painful. Like so many Londoners this story is personal to me, I was on the circle line tube at the very time it happened.  It took me a while therefore to read this.  But once I got into it I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Videcette’s book is fast paced with strong characters, believable details and a challenging story line.  I loved the insight into the British psyche. I can’t wait to see what DI Jake Flannagan gets up to next!

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