A House Divided is a political thriller, but it’s also about loyalty, family and friendship.
One relationship where loyalty is put to the test is the one between Jennifer Sinclair, the protagonist, and Catherine Moore, her friend and political opponent.
Until Jennifer meets Catherine, she’s never had a friend from the other side of the political divide. In fact, to be honest Jennifer doesn’t have that many friends in Parliament. She repeatedly watches her boss, Home Secretary John Hunter, with envy. He finds relationship building easy and achieves his political success on the basis of the alliances he makes and his ease with colleagues.
Catherine is something different. When she and Jennifer meet, Jennifer is licking her wounds from a personal and political triumph that has descended into abject failure. Catherine is a new MP, wet behind the ears and impressed by Jennifer’s experience and her courage in standing up to her party leader.
Jennifer surprises herself by warming to Catherine. She enjoys being around someone who didn’t witness her downfall, and is secretly flattered if perplexed by Catherine’s admiration for her.
But as Catherine’s career starts to take off, the relationship between the two women begins to turn sour.
When they fall out over a divisive piece of legislation, it looks like their friendship is over. But then when Jennifer believes Catherine has been the victim of a terror attack, she makes contact and the two start meeting in secret.
But all is not as it seems. Jennifer has been asked to spy on the Tory leadership via Catherine, she has a plan to oust Catherine’s party leader Leonard Trask, and she’s learned to be less trusting. And her husband Yusuf constantly warns her off the relationship.
But then Catherine risks her own career and reputation to pass information to Jennifer, information Jennifer has to act on without anyone knowing. She decides that her friend can be trusted after all, and brings her in to her plan to topple Trask and undo legislation that has criminalised her son Samir.
Jennifer has no idea what Catherine has been doing to advance her own career, or what the nature of her relationship with Trask is. It looks as if she hates him as much as Jennifer does – but does she really? And if she does decide to help dethrone him, will it be to help Jennifer or to advance her own career?
It’s not until the final scene of A House Divided that we find out which way Catherine will go. Will she work with her friend and do the right thing? Or will she go back on her promises and further her own selfish interests?
You’ll have to read the book to find out!