Fri, 15 February 2008
Laurie King's TOUCHSTONE is set in England, 1926, in the tense atmosphere of impending labor strikes that threaten to tear the nation apart. It is the story of a remarkable WWI-scarred veteran whose injuries have stripped him of sensory filters, allowing him to feel the slightest emotional turmoil in those he encounters. He finds himself at the mercy of myriad political players who seek to harness his talents to impose their vision of socio-political order. While this might seem an anachronistic tale in today's marketplace, the weft of the historical canvas sketched with such deft touch by King warps into our own time. When we see that all outside-of-center labor and political leanings of the era were dubbed threats to "national security"; threats that permitted the government to evoke powers that displaced democratic rights, a vortex opens before our eyes—spinning us through space and time before landing us again where we've always been. The novel is, indeed, a touchstone. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.