Actually, the title is The Ghost Writer; I first noticed it in a movie my neighbor on a plane was watching and thought the visuals were pretty good. Which is relevant because the book turns out to be more or less perfect airline fluff: High velocity, a powerful hook into the real world, and very competent writing.
The premise is that a recently-exited British Prime Minister who looks and smells and sounds like Tony Blair gets in a bunch of trouble for having facilitated torture in the “War-on-Terror” context, just as his autobiography’s ghost writer turns up dead.
The point-of-view is the replacement ghost’s, and while there’s no actual violence, the sense of offscreen menace is satisfyingly high. Did I mention a real-world hook? Here it is: Why did Tony Blair’s government act wholly in support of Dubya’s clueless crusaderism?
This one got me because I thought a lot of Tony Blair, initially; I remember watching an extended interview with him as he closed in on his first big kill; the (admittedly lame) post-Thatcher Tories. I thought “Wow, this is a really smart guy”; the flashes of intellect and insight seemed to erupt from the TV screen. And then, Britain as bit player in the ardent stupidity of the Iraq campaign. Inexplicable.
The book has atmosphere, interesting people, and a powerful sense of you-are-there. The fact that justice for first-world torturers is a deeply implausible notion in the twenty-first century shouldn’t get in the way of your enjoying it.