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Extended Audio Sample The Bell Ringers: A Novel, by Henry Porter Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (201 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Henry Porter Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In The Bell Ringers, England in the near future appears largely unchanged. There are concerns over the threat of terrorism, the press is feisty, and the prime minister is soon to call a general election. But quietly—and largely unknown to the public or even most in government—things have become undeniably Orwellian: cameras with license plate recognition software record every car’s movements, and a sophisticated, top-secret data-mining system known as Deep Truth combs through personal records, identifying violators of minor laws as well as those disposed to “anti-government” beliefs. In the interest of security, the divide between private and public has crumbled. Freedom has given way to control.

David Eyam was once the prime minister’s head of intelligence. He was one of those who knew about Deep Truth, but he suffered a fall from grace and then died in a terrorist bombing. Now his former lover, Kate Lockhart, has been named as the benefactor of his estate. But Eyam has left her more than just his wealth; Kate is also the heir to his dangerous secrets and unfinished business.

The full power of the out-of-control, security-obsessed state comes down on Kate, but with the help of the secret resistance known as the Bell Ringers, hope for freedom is not lost.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Outstanding near-future thriller…Shaken US readers will wonder how much of the fiction might soon become fact on this side of the Atlantic.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Danny Feser | 2/8/2014

    " Wow, this book is exciting AND smart! Porter must have enjoyed researching this modern tale of espionage that succeds in informing readers of the inner workings of Great Britain's Parliament, and threats to public privacy. Well done!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Pam | 1/28/2014

    " This was a quick page turner--perfect to read on an airplane trip or a long lazy summer day. It was excellent entertainment and dealt with very current, relevant issues. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Annie | 1/25/2014

    " Excellent and chilling. Will read more of Mr Porter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Larry Rogers | 1/11/2014

    " Porter's "The Bell Ringers" first appeared in Great Britain as "The Dying Light." His earlier "Brandenburg Gate" ended with the people of East Berlin streaming into the light (both literal and figurative) of West Berlin with the opening of the wall. This novel examines a turn toward darkness by a British government intent on strengthening the control of the state at the expense of traditional civil liberties. The mechanism used by that government is a combination of wholesale data mining and behavioral prediction based on a growing intrusive knowledge of all aspects of people's lives. The 'bell ringers" of the American edition's title are a nonviolent resistance group dedicated to preventing the governmental actions. The book is very well written, its characters are compelling (even ones caught in the middle), its pace is suspenseful, and its stakes are enormous. (Read it along with Jonathan Raban's "Surveillance' for a double literary jolt of true danger.) "

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About the Author
Author Henry Porter

Henry Porter is a novelist and political columnist for the Observer newspaper in London. Since 2005 he has been chronicling the attack on liberty and rights in Britain and has written some ninety columns on the subject. Porter has written six novels, including A Spy’s Life and Empire State. He is also the author of the children’s book The Master of the Fallen Chairs. In 2005 Porter won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award for best thriller with Brandenburg, a story set against the backdrop of the fall of the Berlin Wall. He is also the UK editor of the American magazine Vanity Fair. He lives in London.