Of palimpsests and G7 Summits

From time to time I relax with detective fiction or a thriller, and yesterday polished off a bit of enjoyable hokum from Raphael Cardetti,

(in French it has the much more sophisticated title
). The author is a Professor of Italian history and Renaissance specialist, and so although the novel is of the Dan Brown ilk (precious mediaeval manuscripts, secret wisdom, thugs with guns and car chases through Paris), it has a whiff of realism about what universities are like. Even better, the protagonists are not very successful as scholars, and poor to boot. What struck a particular chord was that the book at the heart of a mystery is a palimpsest – just after I had written here about palimpsests!

But it also reminded me of my own long-standing ambition to write a thriller. This will revolve around the international merry-go-round of summit meetings, the IMF and World Bank ones, the G7 and G20, and so on, which I used to cover as a reporter. It has the financial crisis to provide the intrigue, the glamorous locations, the nexus of power and money, and of course an intrepid journalist as a heroine. I have a store of incidents. The leading regulator who drowned a cat in Venice, the senior journalist who had a temper meltdown in a Washington hotel lobby, the press officer who let slip to a taxi driver the results of a secret investigation – you know who you are, and you will all one day find yourself immortalised (anonymously, naturally) in my blockbuster novel, Summit!

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