A Very British Coup by Chris Mullin (Profile Books, £8.99)

It is fascinating when fiction seems to pre-date and indeed predict fact. The premise of Mullin's political thriller, originally published in 1982, is this: what would happen and what would the Establishment (ie the movers and shakers behind the scenes) and our American allies do, if Britain elected a radically left-of-centre Prime Minster?

Would a left wing government really be able to implement reforms such as unilateral disarmament, expelling American airbases and the ending of newspaper monopolies? Or would the media moguls, military men and big business leaders all club together in an effort to oust the democratically elected and protect their interests?

In this incredibly plausible novel, Mullin allows himself to imagine how it might all play out. Harry Perkins is a likeable chap and an unlikely Prime Minister.

He comes across as very genuine and focused on trying to make the country a better place.

He doesn’t really have much else in his life, which frustrates those who want to bring him down. He confounds the Civil Service by insisting on taking public transport (which Mullin attempted to do himself as a Member of Parliament) and living away from Number Ten when possible.

He claims a couple of early victories against the banks with some fast manoeuvring and a steely will. But who will win in the end? Well, I will let you read it to find out.

Excitingly, Mullin has just penned a follow-up too called The Friends of Harry Perkins, taking into account the new political climate.

He will also be coming to St Peter’s School, York on March 28 to speak about both his fiction and his own political life, as part of York Literature Festival 2019. It promises to be a fascinating and entertaining evening.

Philippa Morris